“Scrivener is a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft.” (from the Scrivener webpage)
Having just finished the first draft of a story on Scrivener, I thought I’d talk about my progress with the program. To recap my journey so far:
- In September, I purchased Scrivener and took the “how-to” course from Gwen Hernandez on-line (which I highly recommend)
- …Wrote several blog posts about Scrivener (see Scrivener Page on the sidebar)
- …And started writing with it.
- In January, I finished my draft and purchased Gwen Hernandez’s book, Scrivener for Dummies, because well, I’m a dummy and still have lots to learn.
I thought you might want to take a look.
The picture above shows a corner of my screen, set to the cork board view.
On the left is the Binder section which lists all my chapters. If I click on one, it will list the scenes within it. It also lists my characters.
The section to the right is called the Editor. Here it displays the cork board cards for scenes within Chapter 4. Notice they are color coded to indicate POV (pink is my heroine, blue my hero) and have tags which tell me at a glance the characters involved in that scene.With a click of a button, I can turn this section into a document view screen and type my story. I can also click it to full screen.
To the right of this section, but off-screen is the Inspector where I create synopses, make notes, add metadata, and label POV and settings.
It might sound confusing, but it’s not. It’s like a well-organized closet, with a place for everything and everything in it’s place.
At the top of the screen, above the work space are (going from top to bottom) the: Menu bar, Toolbar, and Format Bar. As you can see they contain familiar icons and are easy to use.
What else might you want to know?
Yes, for me drafting a story is easier on Scrivener because…
- it allows me to parachute into my manuscript easily
- move scenes and chapters around
- pull up character profiles
- work on my cork board
- view a detailed overview with word count and all the tags I’ve added
- color code POV, settings
- add notes, transfer notes
- make searches
- set daily and project targets (See below. This is the screen that comes up when I push the target button.) I can’t tell you how motivating this little screen can be.
What’s next for me?
I’m going to keep working on learning the intricacies of Scrivener.I fell in love with my first wordprocessing program (Wordstar). Then it died (That is it became obsolete). Since then, I made a point of learning only what I needed to know to make a program work. But I’m living with Scrivener, so I’d like to get to know him better.
I’d love to form a Scrivener study group to share the experience with others, but we’ll see how that goes.