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Suitability of atomicscribbler for short stories


My impression of Atomic Scribbler is that while it is suitable for novel writing, I’m not sure about its use for short stories where chapter divisions don’t apply.


What does it mean “short stories”?
My short stories (or articles) usually are between 20 and 40 thousand characters (i.e. from 10 to 20 pages).
Certainly, both Page Four or Atomic Scribbler (even better!) let you easily switch between the different parts of your work, which saves time and helps enormously.
If your story is up to 2-3 pages, MS Word is all right though.


It very much depends how you work and how much prep or research goes into a short story for you, or a book of short stories. I see an Atomic Scribbler project as a perfect place to store a collection of short stories and their accompanying material, but that’s a personal preference.


I write a lot of short stories, and I find Atomic provides helpful structural tools in two ways.

First, since most of my stories are very short, they have little, if any, internal structure, but it’s often essential to keep groups of these very short stories together. I like being able to have a “chapter” element serve as a story – at the top level – and then work on 6-10 stories in one Project.

Second, even my shortest stories often require some structural thinking, even if the writing lacks structural complexity. The ability to organize thoughts and relationships and issues, etc., all under the single “chapter” that is a story, is very helpful. I use both Notes and sub-sections in the Tree to handle these kinds of things. And the Research view serves as a kind of transcendent domain for wild digressions that might turn into future stories. But the top level always remains the current version of the story itself. It’s like the lower levels in the tree are a story’s viscera, or relatives, or contextual themes, etc.

At first, as with Scrivener, I was put off by the terminology of Chapters (which Scrivener calls Documents). I prefer to name these structural components my own way, but it would be a lot of trouble to make them user-definable for each project, so I’ve just come to accept (and largely ignore) the jargon of the program itself, and use them as just “parts” or “things” – maybe a chapter, maybe a page, or sometimes (in a novel) a large section with 15 actual chapters inside.

With a hierarchical system this flexible, it’s difficult to decide what terminology to use for any given level. If this has any bearing on your view of AS for short stories, then I encourage you to just give it some time – the in-built jargon will soon fade to irrelevance.

If you meant something completely different, then I apologize for going so far afield in the wrong direction! <g>