Writing Sci Fi with Scrivener for Windows

“If anyone has not tried switching to SciFi as a language (my standard modus operandi in Scrivener now) I strongly urge them to for some fun. This English translation was the brain-child of our beloved ‘pigfender’ and it’s brilliant – sure to bring a wry smile to one’s lips.”

(Lee Powell, lead-developer of Scrivener for Windows)

Writing a novel is a bit like being the Captain of a spaceship. Or at least it is if you write your novels using Scrivener for Windows and switch the interface from the default “English” to the “Science Fiction” translation:

To switch to Sci Fi mode:

  • Press <F12> to open the ‘Options’ dialogue
  • At the bottom of the ‘General’ tab, is a box where you can select the language. Scroll through the list and you’ll find one called ‘Science Fiction’. Select that.
  • A pop up will let you know you need to restart Scrivener before you see the changes. So… restart!

When you re-open Scrivener, you are faced with your new environment. I won’t go through everything and ruin the fun, but the basic principles are as follows:

  • The Scrivener program is the Bridge of your spaceship, consisting of a number of different consoles such as Navigation (Binder), Intelligence (Inspector), and Science (Scratch Pad) plus the main Helm (Editor) which has Operational (Scrivenings), Tactical (Corkboard) and Strategic (Outline) views. If you need to focus on piloting without distractions for a bit you can enter the Flight Deck (Full Screen).
  • Each writing project is a new Mission, and you can run a Holodeck simulation of (Compile) that Mission at any time to a number of formats.

The interface is sprinkled liberally with nods to classics of Sci Fi from movies, tv and of course literature for you to track down. Although, you are having a very bad day if you’ve seen them all. The text database for the Scrivener interface is huge, covering not just what you can see on screen, but all the different dialogue boxes and pop-ups as well, and you’ll need a lot to go wrong to catch all the references in the error messages!

Frankly, I don’t know why people would bother writing Science Fiction with anything else.