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Johne

Scrivener Fundamentals

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So you've wanted to try Scrivener but was waiting for someone to show you how? I've got your back.
https://chrisrosser.net/posts/2019/07/21/scrivener-fundamentals/

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Chunking

Scrivener's strength is that you can break your manuscript up into smaller, more manageable chunks of text. I learnt this practice early in my career as a professional technical writer, and it's just as invaluable -- perhaps more so -- for writing fiction.

Consider that a user of Google Docs or Microsoft Word might reasonably have one document per chapter. Scrivener's binder allows you to break down a manuscript into individual scenes, or even into their constituent beats for you Save the Cat types.

Nothing is stopping you doing this in Word or Docs. However, managing this complexity in the file system is much harder. Typically it involves creating a complex folder structure and establishing a naming convention to keep documents in their place.

The critical flaw of this file-system based approach is when you want to move a scene or chapter. With Scrivener's Binder, that limitation doesn't exist. You can reorganise documents and folders as quickly as dragging them from one position to another. This simple act changes the structure of your manuscript on the fly -- no messy cut-n-paste, no worrying about file names and numbers, no renumbering chapters, or captions.

Powerful stuff!

 

 

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I am using the trial at the moment and have watched a tutorial on it but still finding it difficult to navigate. It might just be my brain but still haven't got the hang of it.

 

I have a system in Word where by I do the chapters individually, have a file for odd scenes which I insert when I know where I go and sub-folders for each draft but a research folder. This seems to work well. I can see why Scrivener appeals though and if I can work it out it might tempt me to convert - but not at the moment.

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2 hours ago, Shamrock said:

if I can work it out it might tempt me to convert - but not at the moment.

I've been trying to work it out for several months. I'm still in Word. 

 

I remember trying to learn Word Perfect (many years ago). When I took a class, then I switched. I've been bemoaning its loss ever since. (Switched to Mac, which didn't have WP at the time. Can't afford to make the change back now.)

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I 100% agree with his assessment that Microsoft Word is an exceptionally difficult tool to try to write a novel in. It's so bad I can't believe anyone seriously tries. Word is THE WORST tool (in my opinion) to try to write a novel in.

 

Try Scrivener. Try Writeway. Try Liquid Story Binder. Try SmartEditWriter. Try yWriter. Try them all and you'll see how before you struggled for 600 words, and now you're doubling that per day.

 

Try. You've got everything to gain and nothing to lose.

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I use MS Word and can't see a problem with it.

YOu can create a file and sub-files for your research, characters, odd scenes etc.  Bysimply numbering each draft as you go you can keep each version. If you easily search and replace or find specific things. ie.e if you decide to change a character's name the find and replace facility does it in seconds.

 

Maybe I have a simple approach to  my writing but I actually find these specialist software package more cumbersome. to use. It is probably partly because I am not familiar with them but I am happy to stick with MS Word.

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Hey, I've been writing in Scrivener and I have a dumb question.  Does Scrivener compile the scenes or just the chapters.  That is the only thing I've got left to master to become a devoted Scrivener user!

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19 minutes ago, suspensewriter said:

Does Scrivener compile the scenes or just the chapters. 

 

As I understand it, chapters are just folders which contain scenes.
image.png.0043d5ec7ac3a7aa09fa828441a43d34.png

 

When I compile, I have Scrivener automatically insert a scene separator.
image.png.fc1bc6d4eb740277478f724bff023940.png

 

The scenes look just as you'd think they should after I compile.

image.png.19150a73077f2f198455b36b6012b395.png

 

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Scrivener can be a bit of a learning curve, but I went through the tutorials that come with it (Go to Help>Interactive Tutorial in the program) and haven't had a problem. 

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3 hours ago, Johne said:

 

As I understand it, chapters are just folders which contain scenes.
image.png.0043d5ec7ac3a7aa09fa828441a43d34.png

 

When I compile, I have Scrivener automatically insert a scene separator.
image.png.fc1bc6d4eb740277478f724bff023940.png

 

The scenes look just as you'd think they should after I compile.

image.png.19150a73077f2f198455b36b6012b395.png

 

Hey! This looks familiar!

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3 hours ago, Nicholas Reicher said:

Hey! This looks familiar!


I'm gearing up to send out a version to my second set of readers. I'll post when I'm looking for Beta readers to help hone this up for publication.

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With yWriter, I can compile groups of scenes into chapters and track the characters, times, and settings for each scene. Individual character goals for each scene can be tracked as well.

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On 8/13/2019 at 6:40 PM, EClayRowe said:

With yWriter, I can compile groups of scenes into chapters and track the characters, times, and settings for each scene. Individual character goals for each scene can be tracked as well.

You can do that in Scrivener too - you just have to create metadata for each one - *cough* I mean for $1000 a week in my EXCLUSIVE Scrivener Academy, I'll show you how to win enemies and influence friends!

 

Seriously... here's how to do it....

5a67c5c62b3f7_MetaData.jpg.fd43559caac0008095affb6a2b71d918.jpg5a67c5c6d7549_MetaTagButton.jpg.e2cf627da623739aa7035e846a32be5a.jpg5a67c5e1b4e80_MetaDataAdded.thumb.jpg.1d9d9c4a1c879e90b1c1b8aa0641b680.jpg

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Last steps... add keywords, and now you can spot in your scene which protagonists are in each scene. See the color for each character keyword?  then look at the cards on your corkboard - they'll have the colors on the right hand side of each card!

 

5a67c5f7cb785_ScrivenerKeywords.jpg.5ba4d49c84a57053bd76bd66c052fbae.jpg5a67c60ec7bce_Scrivener3.jpg.8f7c52f951b339c84dc7481819dd1edc.jpg

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On 8/28/2019 at 2:25 AM, Nicholas Reicher said:

you just have to create metadata for each one

So that's what that fancy little word means!

 

*goes to face-palm in the corner for not trying to find out sooner*

 

Thank you, Nicholas :) 

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I'm kind of in the middle at the moment. I'm using Scrivener for a book  I'm writing with a couple of friends, and I'm using Word for my penguins. I may get there yet, Johne and Nicholas.

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Scrivener, unlike Word or Google Docs, is a highly malleable app. Scrivener has more features than you will ever need because it caters not only to novelists but also non-fiction writers and academics. Scrivener does not impose upon you a particular workflow or structure. You are free to use as little or as much as it as you need or want. For example, I don't use its famed corkboard view, while other writers swear by it. I often use the product differently as I move through the stages of my manuscript's life. For planning, I love Scrivener's outliner. While drafting, I dial everything back to just the full-screen composition view. Then when I revise a story, I'm deep in Collections, and typically have multiple documents open at the same time.

It's like the Bible. Not everything applies to my life all at the same time.  There are parts I'll never understand topside of this earth, but the parts that do apply and that I do understand, I'm all over!  

Thank you for writing this!  I've subscribed and I look forward to more!

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