Creativity

Scrivener Tips Pt. 7: Elements For Your Document Template

A few weeks ago, I shared about using the document template feature of Scrivener. It allows you to create a template internal to your project with differing features and content so you can start writing more quickly without forgetting your commonly used elements for your documents. It makes the process of writing approachable.

But what should you include in a document template? How much should you include? What’s the benefit of this bit of work? Let’s take the last two questions first.

Scrivener Set As Template Folder

As to how much you should put into a document template, this depends on your needs. If you need a simple template with all the common formatting for your project then it’s a straightforward process. If the nature of your project requires more information then you should include that. For instance, with a blog or newsletter project (assuming you are using a year-long project for these), you can use the document template to include common content that appears in all your posts or newsletters.

As to the benefits, it’s a time-saver. You won’t waste time re-creating the same document conditions every time you start a new chapter, blog, newsletter, etc. Also, this template usage eliminates forgetting to include common content such as those used on blog posts and newsletters.

But what should you include in your Scrivener document template? Here are a some suggestions:

Scriv Tip 7 Doc temps1. You may want to create several templates depending on what your project is. As an example, I’m using a year-long project for my blog posts and newsletters so I may need multiple templates for these. This is especially true of my blog project where I develop different kinds of posts. I can make different templates for Scrivener posts, interview posts, serial posts and general category posts.

2. Include your ending content for blog posts. Again, these may differ based on the type of post.

3. Include introductory content. Again this may differ depending on usage but it sure helps you jump into writing without much worry with getting everything correct.

4. Regarding formatting, do you have special formatting that will be used in your project several times? Then you should consider creating a template that incorporates this formatting. There’s nothing so time consuming than trying to re-create formatting to match earlier content. With the document template you can re-create that formatting by choosing to use the template.

Scrivener New From Template Cork

The main take-away is to include as much as necessary to simplify your writing process rather than get bogged down with unnecessary details. As I run across a repetition of form in projects I’m creating a new document template or adding necessities to existing ones. That way I will spend less time on continuity and complete my writing faster.

Book Cover Green Top & Bottom Cover - CopyHow can you use document templates in your Scrivener projects to streamline your writing? If you’re already using this feature, what elements of your writing do you include in your document templates? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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Screenshots from my blog project

Just as a note: I am not affliated with Scrivener in any official capacity. For support questions, pricing and other concerns please contact the vendor.

 

Scrivener Tips Pt. 2: Compiling

Compiling Conundrums

I’ve recently begun preparations for sending the manuscript of The Bow of Destiny to my editor. The manuscript needed compiling which I had never done for a book. I had compiled for a short story so that was rather easy. For a book there were a few more details required than I had previously experienced.

Manuscript Expectations

I wasn’t concerned with the format of my manuscript since it was consistent. However, I did want chapters without titles and a header. My first attempt did not work as I expected. The folder names became chapter titles and labeled scenes appeared in the text. This is likely because I originally used a general template rather than one specific to a novel. But no biggie, I started poking around and found settings in the compiler to help me get the manuscript to the appearance I wanted.

Custom Compiling

First, click on File and then Compile to open the Compiler:

Scrivener Compiler

Compiler MenuNote all the different categories on the left menu. Click on Contents and verify that everything for your manuscript is selected. You can use these to change settings in the compiler. When you start making changes it will change the “Format As:” to Custom.

For my purposes, the necessary changes were made by first clicking on Formatting and turning off all the check marks for title. This removed folder titles being used as chapter names so that only the chapter numbers remain.

To change the layout of a section click on a level to highlight it and then on the Selection Layout button.

Selection LayoutHere you can edit the beginning layout of a section. In my case I removed any text I didn’t want and added a few details.

Next I wanted to change my header. To do this click on Page Settings from the left menu of the Compiler and then type in or change the header settings. My screen shot above also shows an example. Not that “Not on Page 1” is not checked by default. I checked that and made sure that page one was counter by checking the second box.

 

Saving and Presets

Choose Compile FormatTo save these custom settings click Save and Close on the lower right. When you re-open the Compiler and choose Custom from the menu these will remain. However, you can also save your custom presets by clicking Save Presets in the lower left.

Choose Compile Preset

Once you’ve saved a preset you can load it by clicking on the Load Preset button in the lower left and scrolling down the list of standard presets to My Presets and choosing the one you want based on your needs.

Load Compile Presets

I hope this helps when you compile a manuscript. There are many other settings so take time to learn those according to your project parameters. Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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Scrivener Tips Pt. 6: Using Project Stats

Scrivener is a powerful writing tool. I write about it weekly with tips and usage ideas. To read more of my posts click the Scrivener tag or category at the end of the page.

Frustration stress and writers blockThe Conundrum

My book, The Bow of Destiny, has been with an editor for a structural edit. I’ve received the manuscript back with a list of changes to address. But I need to make some regular decisions on where to make additions and how.

One of the beauties of Scrivener is that I can use the Binder to easily find places where specific changes should be made. I’m using this feature heavily as I revise The Bow of Destiny for its next round of editing.

However, one of the first things which I found to be a quandary was where to add a particular, short scene. I knew I could add it to the end of chapter 9 or the beginning of chapter 10 without any effect on continuity. However, I didn’t know which to choose as the best.

The Answer

Then it occurred to me: which one is longer? This would likely be a determining factor since I didn’t want to make one chapter inordinately long. That’s where another feature of Scrivener came into play.

To determine the length of each chapter I clicked onto each folder and obtained the project statistics. The comparison allowed me to quickly decide on the end of chapter 9 as the place to add the scene. I created a new document container and wrote the scene without hesitation.

How-to

If you need to make such quick determinations about pieces of a project you can do so easily just like I did using Scrivener. While in the section of your project in question, click on Project and then on Project Stastics:

Scirvener Tip ProjMenu 2_16

What’s displayed in the following is a window that indicates the totals for the whole project and then for the specific selection. For my purposes, I looked at the selection statistics for each chapter, comparing the number of words and pages and found chapter 9 to be the shorter of the two and my choice was easily made.

ScrivTipProjStats

With Scrivener, the question at hand was easily answered so that I didn’t waste time on it. I finished my scene addition in less than forty-five minutes – and in the process got the idea for this tip. Once again, Scrivener has proved to be invaluable as a writing tool.

Book Cover Green Top & Bottom Cover - CopyWhat decisions hold you up while editing? What are your favorite features to use in Scrivener? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Just as a note: I am not affliated with Scrivener in any official capacity. For support questions, pricing and other concerns please contact the vendor.