Update: Scrivener and Me


I have a brief update on my working with Scrivener to share. I wanted to blame Scrivener for the lack of progress I had with my crime novel. I was writing scene by scene according to the outline. Trying to keep it all organized and fit into the binder as I had set it up, I thought, was stifling my progress, but that’s not true.

I have my new WIP in Scrivener and it is flowing very well. I have a steady pace and there are a couple of tiny features that I am thrilled with. They may not seem like much, trivial in the greater scope of things, but they are a huge asset to me in time management.

First, this little box pops up in the middle of your document when you click a small button at the bottom of your page. You can set your word count for a writing session, or for the document length.


If I want to assure 1000 words in a session, it is easy to monitor. See how the little bar at the bottom of the page turns from red, to orange, to yellow to green as you meet your goal. It is small thing, but really useful to me.  I am a very visual person and the color is in my peripheral vision as I type.

The word and character count for each scene/chapter document is also at the bottom center of the page.


I have set up my binder different from how I had it with the crime novel. Instead of setting up chapter folders and moving between each scene, I have it set up to do a full chapter as a scene.  That is more comfortable to me with a linear writing style, since I prefer it over plotting. It will still set up an outline in my outliner as I move along.


I can move chapters around in the binder above, break the chapters into scenes if need be, move them around, and edit easily with the split screen as below.


Gwen Hernandez, author of “Scrivener for Dummies”, has her awesome online classes coming up in February. These are terrific whether you are a novice or a seasoned pro. There is still time to register:


The most exciting thing to me is that when I am all done, I make some adjustments, punch a button and compile a .mobi or .epub for my beta readers.

Funny what excites us, huh?

16 thoughts on “Update: Scrivener and Me

    1. Gwen is fantastic! The software was forty bucks, and her classes are forty bucks for 6 weeks. She takes you in baby steps all the way through and she is tremendously supportive. Learned so much more than I did from the tutorial. I haven’t done character profiles or sketches for this work yet. But I will.


    1. So true! The most trivial features are the ones that please me most…I may get to the point where I am breaking up scenes and moving and shifting, but I am glad to have it here writing the first draft.


  1. I had a boo at a sample Scrivener but hadn’t spent enough time playing with it. It seems restricting and had a learning curve. I love what it promises and maybe I’ll give it another good try. Thanks for sharing.


    1. It felt restrictive to me when I used it for my crime novel. I don’t think my linear style appreciated all that chopping up into bits, it impeded the flow, but I am learning which features I like and which ones I don’t.


      1. Yes, I felt compartmentalized, restricted. Nothing wrong with trying new things. I’m surprised how much praise this product gets. So many writers able to organize this way.
        I’m more seat-of-my-pants but that doesn’t mean I can’t learn something new. Thanks for the heads up.


  2. I’ll be starting the outline for my new novel soon, but it will be before I take Gwen’s class. I look forward to her instruction, because I know I could be getting so much more out of the program. Nice to see that you’re using many of the different functions.


    1. I really went all out with the crime novel with the character sketches and profiles, using keywords and an outline, status labels, the whole works.

      This time, I am getting the first draft done, then seeing how the features can be used for editing. I spent less time preparing, but I know so many of the other features will become more useful as I progress.

      At least I know they are there and how and when i’ll use them. I also love the full screen mode doing the first draft. It’s nice to close off from everything else and just write.


  3. S.K.: Thanks for sharing the mention/link! I’m glad to see you’re still using Scrivener and figuring out how to make it work for you. The best part of the program is how it flexes for the way each writer works. You just have to sort out what you do and don’t need first. 😉 Good luck with the new manuscript!


    1. Thanks Gwen. The pleasure was mine. The classes were awesome.I know Carrie Rubin and Maybe Chris McMullen have signed up. I am still learning how best to use it for my writing style. As I get deeper into this MS, more will come apparent. I had about 20,000 words into my crime novel when I gave up on it, but it wasn’t Scrivener’s fault. I was setting it up in a way that did not work for me.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s