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Writing Fiction with Scrivener


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Learn both basics and little-known hacks for using the award-winning Scrivener software to stay organized and motivated during the novel-writing process.

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Writing Fiction with Scrivener

  1. 1. Scrivener for Fiction Writers Presented by Linda Fulkerson
  2. 2. Meet Scrivener
  3. 3. What is Scrivener? • Scrivener is an award-winning project management system for writers that serves several functions: – Word processing – Outlining – Structuring – Storage of Research Files/Reference Links – Exporting/Compiling into a variety of file formats • Scrivener is available for both Mac and PC
  4. 4. Benefits of Using Scrivener • Scrivener can be used as a distraction-free word processor • Scrivener can also be used to format and structure your writing • Scrivener enables you to store your writing, your research, your references, and your ideas all in one project • Scrivener can output your manuscript in a variety of formats • Scrivener is flexible and can be adapted to the work habits of individual writers • The Scrivener development team provides a large library of free tutorial videos on their website
  5. 5. Overview of Scrivener’s Features • Single- or multi-document editing (i.e. view/edit individual chapters & scenes or view/edit entire manuscript • Virtual index cards give you a quick view of entire manuscript and can aid in structuring • Fully featured outlining tool • Collections enable writers to call up an maintain specific documents within your manuscript (such as POV scenes of different characters) • Full-screen editing • Scriptwriting Mode
  6. 6. Overview of Scrivener’s Features (cont.) • Snapshots allow writers to save a specific point in their work and compare revisions to previous snapshots • QuickReference Panes display work side-by- side with other manuscript documents, including research documents • Synchronize work to iPad and iPhone app using file-sharing tools, such as DropBox • Compile for Export and Print lets you send your work to another program, such as MS Word, or compile it for eBook or Print publication
  7. 7. Getting Started with Scrivener • Get a FREE trial of Scrivener (30 days actual use) at • At the LiteratureandLatte website, you can purchase Scrivener for Mac ($45) or Windows ($40). Combination packages, the iOS app, and educational discounts are also available. • Scrivener also provides a special FREE edition that runs during NaNoWriMo
  8. 8. Planning with Scrivener • If you’re a Pantser, hang tight for a few minutes while I share a few ways I plan before I get started with the actual writing
  9. 9. Writing with Scrivener • Scrivener, at its core, is a word processor. You’ll find all the same word processing functions you’re used to with other word processing programs, such as MS Word • You can also create “presets” (think: Styles) for formatting text in a way you use frequently • You have the choice of distraction-free writing in full-screen mode or typing directly into the editor pane of the main window • Let’s get started with Writing with Scrivener!
  10. 10. Structuring with Scrivener • Scrivener makes it easy to structure your manuscript with its specialty display modes • The beauty of Scrivener is that it works well for both Plotters and Pantsers. If you love to write first and then make revisions, then you can do that and use the structuring tools within Scrivener to organize and revise your scenes. If you prefer to plot first, then start with the structuring tools, such as Index Cards, and then start writing your story.
  11. 11. Additional Scrivener Features • Some writers simply write in Scrivener. Others add the structuring features to their workflow. However, there are still some other powerful features within Scrivener to help you organize your work and reach your writing goals, including: – Custom Labels and Statuses – Project Notes – Document References – Keywords – Custom Meta-Data – Snapshots – Comments and Footnotes – Advanced Search Function – Revisions Mode – Project Word Count Targets – Collections
  12. 12. Compiling with Scrivener • As you can see, Scrivener is a powerful tool for writing, structuring, and organizing your work, but you can also compile your manuscript and export it for a variety of uses • You can choose to do a simple export or, if you’re publishing an eBook or preparing a manuscript for print directly from Scrivener, the Compile tool offers many options
  13. 13. Templates • Nonfiction Template Example • Fiction Template Example • How to make your own template
  14. 14. Creating a New Template • It’s super easy to make a template from a Scrivener project. Once you get your project set up the way you want, simply go to File > Save as Template • Then, name your Template and select the Template Category you want it to go into and click OK • When you open the New Project screen, you’ll see your new template among the others
  15. 15. Questions & Answers • I’ll do my best to answer any questions you may have, but my best suggestion is to get a free trial of Scrivener and play around with it. Every author I’ve spoken with or those whose blogs I’ve read has developed their own Scrivener work flow, which is one of the reasons Scrivener is so awesome – there’s no right or wrong way to use it.