Preparing for NaNoWriMo with Scrivener

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.

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NanowrimoAs I recently wrote, I’m on time to be ready for NaNoWriMo this year and, of course, I’ll be using Scrivener as my development and writing platform. As many current users know who have also written in NaNoWritMo, when it comes to the upcoming month Scrivener is the ideal tool to have.

NaNoWriMo takes some preparation since you need to do what it takes to develop your upcoming book so you can write on day 1 without hesitation. Need to outline? Scrivener makes that easy since development is one of the main strengths. Developing characters? The novel template has pre-set folders to write character sketches. In fact, the Research folder is chocked full of resources to help you get jump started.

If you are new to Scrivener and think you don’t have time to learn it and be effective, never fear. Scrivener has some great video resources for learning the software. But today is the day to start using Scrivener so you can get ready for day 1. It’s just essential for a writer.

Are you a steady user of Scrivener but this is your first time to write in NaNoWriMo (like me)? Here are some tips on some features that you can use to be more efficient:

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1Scriv Button 2. The Layout Manager is important to use. You can set the appearance of your Scrivener application just how you want it to best suit your writing style. And remember, it’s time to write so stick to your layout day after day.

2. Use document templates – this is important as you develop your book. Before creating your documents, make a document template once by configuring a template folder. Then create all your planned document containers from your template before you get started. Don’t know what to include in a document template? Here are some suggestions.

3. Use the Outliner and Binder as part of your development process. These are great tools to prepare for your month of book writing. When it comes to the binder you can re-organize those document containers to best suit the structure you want. Move them around as part of your preparation to get to the best order of scenes and chapters.

4. Need to keep your muse going? Set a writing background each day that helps you stay creatively focused.

5. Track your overall and daily progress – it’s simple, use the Project Targets tool to help you.

Typing6. Use the Inspector bar to see the Index card while you write. There are other tools that can be handy on the Inspector bar. The Notes tool can be handy to remind yourself of ideas you thought of to use for the next day or thoughts about what you were doing and thinking when you stopped. Hey, things are a blur when you’re writing this much so help yourself out!

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7. Make sure to keep your novel project in development open even if your writing in a journal. If you start having developmental ideas, keep writing where you are rather than breaking your concentration. Then use the Scratchpad to transfer your idea(s) to the project wherever you want it to land.

I’m beginning my organization of the final book in my fantasy series, The Bow of Hart Saga. I already have much of my work organized since it’s part of a series. However, I will be doing a creative outline using Scrivener as well as getting my Scrivener skills honed for optimum usage each day. I’ll write several more posts related to my preparation and project development in the coming weeks. As I have time, I’ll share my experiences in short snippets during the November. After it’s all over, good or bad, I’ll share more of my thoughts during December about using Scrivener for NaNoWriMo as well as how I critique myself on the usage. Don’t wait! Get your Scrivener on!

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section.

IMG_4154-EditAbout the Author

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

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      1. My pleasure, PHS! Thank you for reminding me nanowrimo. I just signed up. I plan to start a new book for nanowrimo and start using Scrivener at the same time. Hopefully I’ll be done with the book I’m writing now.

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