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Scrivener Update

I’ve blogged before about my struggle on switching over to Scrivener.  I’ve always loved the idea of what I could do, but I was having a seemingly hard time embracing the reality.  Every project I started in Scrivener stalled and I wasn’t sure if it was the project…or Scrivener itself.

I finally drafted Lord Regret’s Price wholly in Scrivener.  It was a very slow project, taking me months longer than I wanted to finish.  But I don’t think it was wholly Scrivener’s fault.  I didn’t skip around with the plot but wrote mostly linearly all the way through.  I had the whole thing fairly well plotted out, using folders Act 1, Act 2, etc. to split things out and high-level scene notes for where I wanted to go.  I even used color-coded index cards to mark expected POV shifts.  It was great for holding all the research and worldbuilding notes in one place.

Drafting was very slow, though I think it was mostly a mental thing I just had to work through.  I would have had the same issue in Word.

I also drafted The Billionaire Submissive wholly in Scrivener – and it went lightning fast.  This time I didn’t have a plot at all and I did skip around a little.  I didn’t use any color coding, synopsis notes, or character/research notes.  But Scrivener makes skipping around VERY easy.  I could see my files at a glance and shift them around into a new order if I wanted.  Renaming them to agree with a new order (I named them 001, 002, etc.) was also very easy.  In this kind of writing, Scrivener definitely shines.

What I still haven’t been able to really get the hang of, though, is EDITING in Scrivener.  I can reread the previous scene easily, but I don’t get the overall “feel” of the piece as easily as when it’s a single Word file.  I think I probably need to use a different view if I’m trying to edit inside Scrivener, rather than a file by file view via the outline.  I’ll play with that next time.

For now, I use the compile feature to build the .doc file, and then I use Word to actually do the read through and edits.  Of course that means if I’m not completely done, I have to flip over to Scrivener, locate the individual file, and make the change there.  So editing is definitely much easier to do in one pass rather than daily.  Again, I’m sure there’s a view inside Scrivener that will create a seamless single “file” that would make this a lot easier.  I just need to play around with it.

In my free time.


2 thoughts on “Scrivener Update

  1. I have loved Scrivener, but I’m also not a “working writer,” so to speak. I dabble in it. And Scrivener is a fun tool (toy?) that I play with during NaNo. Will it work when I finally sit down to the actual business of writing? I hope so.

    I know there is a “compile draft” feature that will give you the whole doc in one file. That’s what we use for NaNo word count validation. 😉

  2. There is a way to read the whole thing as one doc, and there maybe an easier way to do it, but what I do is

    1) click on the main file (the one in which all your chapter folders/text docs live)
    2) in the center of the toolbar are three buttons (1st shows some pages, 2nd shows the cork board, and 3rd shows the outline) — click on that first button

    You’ll see your page breaks and everything. If you have that sidebar on the right open, you can even see what chapter/scene you’re working on if you need to make notes or whatnot for later.

    Of course, I have yet to succeed at a serious editing in Scrivener :shrug:

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