Tag Archives: Scrivener update

Played With Scrivener Today In My Revised Crime Novel

I have been writing in my WIP for a few days and playing around in Scrivener so I thought I would pop in and do a quick progress report. I have 8593 words on the revised crime novel and things are going very well. I did not write today but reviewed and worked on typing up the synopses. I am not outlining in advance, but keeping notes on what I have already written. This is a fast paced story with a lot of twists and turns, so I need notes that I can refer to easily to recall who did what when. (You can click the images for a close up view w/o leaving the page. It opens in another window.)

A quick overview: This is in editor mode. You can also type in full screen mode where EVERYTHING on either side, above and below the editor panel is blacked out for zero distractions. The binder is on the left and you can move chapters and scenes around in there easily. I don’t have folders set up with several scenes. I have the entire chapter set up as the scene in the chapter folder. Less complicated for me that way. As you can see down at the bottom, your chapter word count is in the center, the little orange bar indicates that I am not quite half way to my target word count. I am not really worrying about word counts as I go. You’ll see that in the outline. This chapter is in Brandi’s POV as you can see from the purple dot on the Inspector panel on the right.


In this next shot, you see the POV (marked by the red X) is in Richard’s. All of the other main characters in this chapter show up as colored keywords below. Above, (circled in red) is the synopsis. Many people write this in advance to cue them along. I wait until the chapter is done and then make notes of highlights in the chapter to help me keep facts straight. It is easier to see it listed here than to try to pick through a whole chapter to find details. The target progress indicator at the bottom is green because this chapter is complete.


In the corkboard mode you can set up index cards with your synopses or, like I did here, character sketch images. It’s just a fun way to see them at a glance if you need that visual reminder. With your synopsis as index cards, you can move them around on the corkboard and that changes their order in the binder if you need to shift scenes around.



In the binder to your left the character profiles are listed for a quick click to review details and have reminders of specific traits you don’t want to violate in character development. Brandi’s profile is shown, and as you can see in the binder it highlights in blue (see the text page is blue at the red X) whenever anything in the binder is selected so you know exactly where you are. That’s true for the editor mode also.


Finally, the outliner mode. Again, you can set this up in advance and follow it or just let it happen as you go along like I am. You can see all your word counts here or click on your manuscript button in your binder for the complete word count. The synopses also show here and, again, you can move scenes or chapters around in here, which will also move them in the binder.


When I am all done with the first draft, I can edit with split screens if I need to. I can compile into a number of files; .epub, .mobi, .pdf, .txt, .doc, and a number of other text files I have no idea what to do with. Then, they can be sent off easily for beta readers, editors, or even publishing. There are all sorts of formatting features and compile features that I will show later. There are also some very cool features in tools and options.

That’s all folks! This is what I did today. What are you doing?

Back to writing!

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?