Well, I recently stumbled across Scrivener, which is basically a writing organisation tool. It is a word processor and research compiler in one. I believe I discovered Scrivener in this blog post by Kristen Lamb about her new writers social network WANA Tribe. The Tribe looks cool and I have joined it, but being alerted to the idea of Scrivener has proven to be the most valuable thing to me at this moment in time. Why? Well those of you who have been reading will notice I have a problem with actually getting anything done. Sitting down and gathering my thoughts on my novel and getting started on it just isn’t happening. The whole task just felt so large! Well yesterday I downloaded the trial for Scrivener and for the first time I know I am going to get started on this work very, very soon!
In fact after tomorrow night I think I will be officially in the business of writing my novel. I spent some time yesterday going through the Scrivener tutorial taking breaks to trace and cut a pattern for a dress I want to make (productive diversions FTW!). I am hoping to finish the tute tonight and have a look at the different options for safely saving my files in a way which can move across two different PCs. Then when my boyfriend gets home tomorrow night I will seek his opinion on the tech side of my save choice (he is a bigger nerd than me so will be able to tell me if its safe). Then Thursday night it is on!
For saving, I think I am going to use Dropbox. There are two options here. Save the file to Dropbox, but be very careful to fully close on one PC before opening on another and be sure that Dropbox is synced before opening, and again before shutting down. In this case I would also save back ups on my main PC’s hard drive, and also possibly on an external HDD.
Option two is essentially the reverse. You save your work to the local drive on the PC you are working on, and set Scrivener to save the backup to Dropbox. Then when you switch computers, you first delete any old .scriv files from the PC, then copy your latest back up from Dropbox to the PC to work from.
Whilst the second method sounds more complicated it is apparently more secure. The problems lie in the way .scriv files are a collection of files, constantly changing and updating. For ordinary files, Dropbox is an exceptional way to secure your work (you can’t lose it like a USB, and its portable unlike saving to the PC), however for the complex files of Scrivener, if you use Dropbox incorrectly you can end up wiping over your new work with an older version if you are not careful, among other possible disasters.
The whole thing is quite confusing so I am hoping to have a handle on it soon!