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Getting Creative: Secondary Uses for Scrivener

Scrivener is fast becoming a mainstay of my writing. I’ve written about this software several times now but for those who are not familiar with it, Scrivener is for developing writing projects. It’s a powerful tool that allows for a great deal of flexibility for any kind of writing project. I’m even using it for this post but especially a series of blogs.

Having An IdeaA Whole New Use

I recently started a newsletter for my blog which I send out to email followers. As part of this process I use Mailchimp to send the messages. I’ll be working on the upcoming edition for next week over several days but it hit me as I started thinking about it – write the newsletter in Scrivener.

My Newsletter Plan

I’m sure other people are doing this already but I haven’t seen anyone actually write about it. Here’s how I plan to use Scrivener.

1. Create a project for the year (since I just started the newsletter the one for 2014 will be short).

2. Use the Binder to create each newsletter volume in separate sub-folders so the project will grow throughout the year.

3. Use the Research folder to create separate sub-folders for each volume where I can put ideas, links, pictures, etc. that I want to use for that volume. When I start writing the volume I’ll have all my information ready to go.

4. Transfer the text to the template in Mailchimp when ready.

Other Related Ideas

Since I plan to use Scrivener for developing my newsletter I also realized there are other similar uses too:

  • I can use it to write my book-related email campaigns.
  • Other email templates such as those used for greetings, thank-you’s and giveaways
  • Goodreads templates for those who friend me
  • It can even be used to compose social media communications that may be used repetitively. Since you can copy all kinds of files into Scrivener, I imagine I can even use it for adding pictures to post on Pinterest such as upcoming cover reveals or additional artwork to be released at a particular time.

The Bow of DestinyAs you can see, the uses for Scrivener are many and varied. Have you tried Scrivener yet? If you have, what are other ways you use it? 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 on 11/10/14 so take a look.

Thanks for reading. I’m off to start my newsletter project in Scrivener!

P. H. Solomon

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Clip art licensed from Microsoft Office.

The Bow of Destiny cover art licensed by commission from Christopher Rawlins

8 Ways Scrivener Aids My Writing

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

When I originally gave Scrivener a whirl earlier this year I didn’t know how the software worked. But I read several articles and posts about how other writers put this writing tool to use. I took my time working through the provided tutorial after which I began using it with increasing regularity.

Over the last few months, I’ve begun using Scrivener for almost all of my writing. I’m so impressed with it’s usefulness, I’ve begun writing about this software to share my ideas. I’m getting lots of mileage out of blogging with it and I’ve begun using it for my newsletter and other email templates.

Here are 8 ways Scrivener boosts my efforts as a writer:

1. I’m better organized from the beginning of projects. Because Scrivener is an organizational tool, I’m able to develop structure from the beginning of the project.

2. I can easily make changes to structure. Even though I’m structuring my projects well at the beginning, if I find I need to make structural changes I can do so quickly and easily using the binder.

3. I can turn out short projects at a faster rate. As I’ve written, I’m using this software for blogging, newsletters and email templates.

4. I can use different media to assist my efforts. I can copy pictures, links, video and other forms of media into a project. This is very effective for visualizing aspects of a project like characters or locations. I place these in a sub-folder within the Research folder.

5. Since I’m more organized and faster with short projects I have more time for longer projects. It becomes a real time-saver so from this efficiency I can spend more time on my longer projects which have a higher importance over the long haul.

Scivener Binder6. In relation to number 5, I don’t waste time staring at a blank screen since all the preliminaries are out of the way. As a writer, it’s not a good thing to sit staring at you screen. For me, beginning with organizing the project and working with development tasks means my ideas are so developed that I’m more than ready to write the project when the time comes.

7. In relation to number 2, I can edit more effectively which is a plus for a novel. I don’t have the whole manuscript staring at me, just a piece that is manageable. I’ve found that trying to manage a whole manuscript in a single file structure means that I bog down with the entirety of editing. With Scrivener, the book is already segmented and ready for editing.

8. It’s my multi-function tool. As I’ve written in earlier posts, the software is so flexible I can use it for any type of work that I’m doing as a writer. And because it is so powerful a tool I can plan a project like a blog series with growth potential and conversion into a different format as a book – and let’s face it, bloggers like the idea of transforming their blog posts into an e-book.

Bonus Info: Here are links to some helpful templates:

Scrivener template designed for a year of blogs from AllIndieWriters.

Another template for blogging from Thaddeus Hunt.

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Upcoming News: Next week, I’m planning a post about Scrivener for another use.

If you use Scrivener, how has it improved your writing? If you haven’t started using Scrivener, what’s stopping you? What other usages can you share? 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 yesterday so take a look.

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Clip art licensed from Microsoft Office.

Under Construction

Deep POV Pt. 9: The Overhaul

This is an ongoing series about using the writing technique – deep point of view. The original posts began over last summer after I attended a webinar on the subject. Previous are listed at the end of this post.

I’ve written eight other posts about using deep POV as a fiction writing technique. Today, I want to share why I took on changing my technique and writing philosophy to this style of writing.

Under ConstructionSome of the benefits of deep POV are evident if you recognize it in a book. The style is more gripping and therefore readers are more engaged, turn pages and share their enthusiasm with other readers. This technique also eliminates the showing versus telling issues if done well (and trust me, I’m still learning). Also, if done well, deep POV is much easier to edit – when you lapse out of the POV when you shouldn’t it jarring to the point you what must be edited.

But why did I ever decide to use deep POV? How did I even transition from my old way of writing? Here are three answers to these questions:

1. I was fortunate enough to receive a critique last year that gave me clues to the nature of my writing and the direction it needed to go – deeper. At the time the suggestion was made I really was at a loss as to what to do with it and rather overwhelmed at the prospect of such a fundamental change to my manuscript. I sensed that this would require an extensive overhaul. However, I was fortunate to sit-in on a seminar by an editor at a conference I attend that addressed reasons why manuscripts are rejected. After discussing these many reasons, the editor strongly advised using deep POV and explained what it was. It got my attention and motivated me to begin using this writing style.

Writing2. At that point, I knew what I needed to do but not precisely how. Fortunately, I came across a free webinar on the subject through another writing group of which I’m a member. This webinar has been the basis of this series since last July, In it, I was provided better explanation about what deep POV is and how to use it.

3. Armed with this I was able to enact more decisive changes in my writing. With a clearer understanding of my path ahead, I began making increasingly substantial progress in my novel’s revision. As I progressed, I understood more of what needed to be done. Frankly, the last half of my most recent revision is better than the first half but that is being addressed through more editing. Now I’m to the point where I’m able write my current short fiction in this style and edit them better. I also expect to make faster progress through my long fiction drafts in the coming months.

Here are previous posts based on deep POV that may help:

3 Tips for Editing to Deep POV PT 1

Deep POV Tips Part 2

Deep POV Tips Part 3

Deep POV Tips Part 4: Of Sneaks and Shallow POV

Deep POV Tips Pt. 5: Eliminate Narrative Distance

Deep POV Pt. 6: Editing for Emotion

Deep POV Pt. 7: Editing Tips

Deep POV Pt. 8: How to Use Internalization

And of course here are more resources for deep POV and showing emotion rather than telling:

Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View

The Emotion Thesaurus

The Bow of DestinySo that’s why and how I’ve made the transition in my writing style over the last year. What have you learned about the writing craft in the last year? What tips do your have for deep POV or any other style? 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.

Clip art licensed from Microsoft Office.

Cover art provided on commission from Chris Rawlins