Scrivener and Novel Factory are both powerful tools designed to assist writers in the process of crafting novels, but they have distinct features and interfaces that cater to different writing styles and preferences. In this comparison, I’ll delve into various aspects of both tools to help you make an informed decision based on your specific needs and preferences.
User Interface and Navigation:
Scrivener boasts a versatile interface that allows writers to organize their work in a hierarchical structure. The left sidebar provides a tree-like view of your project, with folders for chapters, scenes, and research documents. The main window displays the content of the selected item, making it easy to navigate and rearrange sections.
On the other hand, Novel Factory takes a more linear approach, guiding writers through the novel-writing process step by step. It presents a series of tabs for characters, locations, and plot points, ensuring a structured and straightforward experience.
Planning and Outlining:
Scrivener excels in providing a flexible environment for planning and outlining. Its corkboard and outliner views allow you to organize and rearrange scenes easily. You can attach notes, synopses, and even images to each scene, providing a comprehensive planning space.
Novel Factory, while also offering outlining features, adopts a more structured approach. It prompts writers with questions about their characters, settings, and plot, helping to develop a detailed outline. This can be beneficial for writers who prefer a more guided approach to planning.
Writing and Editing:
Both Scrivener and Novel Factory offer a distraction-free writing mode, allowing you to focus solely on your text. Scrivener’s full-screen composition mode provides a customizable writing environment, while Novel Factory offers a clean and simple interface for distraction-free writing.
Scrivener has a robust text editor with a wide range of formatting options, making it suitable for writers who want control over the appearance of their text. It also supports inline annotations and comments for collaborative editing.
Novel Factory’s writing interface is user-friendly, with basic formatting options. While it may not have the same level of customization as Scrivener, it provides a straightforward environment for getting your ideas down.
Character and World-Building:
Scrivener has a dedicated character and setting template, allowing you to create detailed profiles for your characters and locations. This information can be easily accessed while writing, aiding consistency and depth in your narrative.
Novel Factory also emphasizes character and world-building through its structured approach. It prompts writers to consider various aspects of their characters and settings, ensuring a comprehensive understanding before diving into the writing process.
Revision and Organization:
Scrivener’s snapshot feature allows you to take snapshots of your work at different stages, facilitating easy comparison and restoration. Its version control system is robust, making it suitable for writers who engage in extensive revisions.
Novel Factory provides a revision tracker to help you keep track of changes made during the editing process. While it may not have the same level of granularity as Scrivener’s snapshots, it offers a practical solution for managing revisions.
Exporting and Compatibility:
Scrivener supports various export options, allowing you to compile your work into different formats, including Word, PDF, and ebook formats. This flexibility makes it a versatile choice for writers with different publishing needs.
Novel Factory also supports export to various formats, including Word and PDF. However, Scrivener’s extensive export options and customization capabilities give it a slight edge in this category.
Price and Platform:
Scrivener is available for both Windows and macOS, with a one-time purchase fee. It offers a 30-day free trial, allowing you to explore its features before committing to a purchase.
Novel Factory is a web-based application, accessible from any device with an internet connection. It operates on a subscription model with a monthly or annual fee, offering a 14-day free trial for users to evaluate its suitability.
Final Conclusion on Scrivener vs Novel Factory: Which is Better?
In conclusion, the choice between Scrivener and Novel Factory depends on your writing preferences, organizational style, and budget. Scrivener provides a robust and flexible environment for writers who prefer extensive customization and control over their writing process. On the other hand, Novel Factory offers a structured and guided approach, making it suitable for writers who appreciate a more step-by-step methodology.
Before making a decision, consider your writing workflow, the level of planning you prefer, and your willingness to adapt to a specific organizational structure. Both tools have their strengths, and ultimately, the “better” choice depends on which features align more closely with your individual needs as a writer.