Thanks #Ulysses! Short Story Finished! & #Scrivener #Review #amwriting #scifi

Screen Shot 2016-10-17 at 1.25.15 AM.png
Opening paragraphs of the short story I  just finished. Check out that word count!!

It’s kind of a bragging slash review update post. I just finished a 8.000 word short story in the Ulysses and wanted to update you on my experience with  the app. In short, the Ulysses app so far still rocks. It crashed once for an unknown reason, but  I suspect it is more of my  old laptop issue that the app itself. I was in the middle of writing and lost only a few words. The autosave works great. I found a bunch of useful features too – little optimization tools that just make the whole app experience even better.

What could improve the app?

MOBI file export option. It has the ePUB and adding MOBI seems to make a lot of sense.

That being said,  I downloaded the Scrivener as well. And the first minute impression could not be starker. One word – complicated. Lots of instructions. But! If you persevere  through it, it has definite benefits over the Ulysses.

Benefits of the Scrivener over the Ulysses:

  1. Has more export options, including MOBI, and they are more robust.
  2. Has more templates – the ‘looks’ of how your files come out, and all geared toward writers, all the useful stuff.
  3. Has the option of non-linear writing. This is an option that is useful for long-form writing. You can start chapters and pieces of writing in separate ‘files’ or ‘cards’, and you can shuffle them however you want, and when you export they will seamlessly come out as a single document.
  4. Offers the Screenplay format.
  5. It has the option of virtual pin-up board for outlining scene by scene. If you are that type of a person – Scrivener is your choice.

But! And there is a big but.

Benefits of the Ulysses over the Scrivener

I feel reluctant to really explore Scrivener yet because it is so robust. I probably need to study it. Like, read the actual instructions. Also, the interface is not as clean and not as nice. The interface font is so small. It’s kind of the difference between artsy and less functional mac and less artsy and more functional microsoft that has loads of stuff you never use, if this makes sense. Also, the Scrivener takes up more space, it’s the bigger file. Also, Ulysses notes management sidebar is absolutely superior. This may be just my subjective opinion, but I feel pretty strong about it.


If you can, and finances allow, perhaps use both. If you have to pick:

  1. Scrivener – if you want a robust all-inclusive option. If you need to write screenplays. If you need PDF, WORD, MOBI and EPUB files as the result.
  2. Ulysses – if you want a distraction-free simple writing environment well integrated with the main social media. If you can get away without the MOBI format.

In terms of price they are identical.

As for my story, I am really psyched about it. It’s different, its speculative fiction heavy on the mix of history and  fiction. I think it’s an exciting story. And it’s about alien abductions!   I’ll keep you posted when and where you can read it.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to comment. Anyone else is a fan of the Scrivener? I’d like to hear from you.

Copyright 2016 Ellie Maloney


Leave a Reply