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Starting With Scrivener Pt. 2: Expanding Your Tool-Set

Tech Tips 3Scrivener 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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Last week’s post addressed the question, “Where do I start?” Hopefully, you’ve taken the plunge and started you first project. By now you probably feel more comfortable with what you are doing in Scrivener just by using the Editor since it isn’t very different from other such products.

You may have toyed with the Binder and found that it’s useful in arranging your project. If you haven’t yet worked in it, take some time to create some folders and documents and move them around. The Binder is very easy to use and is an excellent, graphical feature for organizing your writing.

There are several other features you can begin using in addition to the Binder and Editor. First, you can familiarize yourself with the Format menu which will help you get your document just right. Next, you can write with a customized background rather than seeing all the boring stuff – it’s easy to choose a background and toggle the feature on/off.

Multi-Function Tool - photo licensed via iStockPhoto

Multi-Function Tool – photo licensed via iStockPhoto

Now onto some really good tools you’ll find useful. You can create document templates for your project. This will help you create new documents and quickly jump into your creative work rather than wasting time configuring all the details each time.

Also, learn how to turn on the Inspector bar on the right side and access more tools. You’ll begin to use Notes, References, Keywords, customize Meta-Data, work with Snapshots as well as add Footnotes and Comments.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section.

 

To find out more about The Bow of Destiny, click over to one of these online retailers:

the-bow-of-destiny-by-p-h-solomon

Amazon   BarnesandNoble      Smashwords  ibooksdownload      Kobo

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.

Sign-up to receive my free ebooks today.

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Just as a note: I now have a marketing affiliation with Scrivener. For support questions, pricing, licensing and other concerns please contact the vendor. As such a buy ad for Scrivener appears on the sidebar. I’ve started this program since I like the product so much and want to offer readers the chance to obtain this software. I’m not required to write about Scrivener to be an affiliate; I just like it that much. You can also find my FTC statement on this site’s sidebar.

 

8 More Ways Scrivener Aids My Writing

LeftHandScrivener 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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There are so many ways that Scrivener helps me as a writer and it’s hard to narrow down the most important. I’ve already shared 8 ways it improves my writing experience on a daily basis. But since the time I wrote that post I’ve begun using Scrivener more heavily. Here are 8 features of Scrivener that have dramatically impacted my writing.

1. The Binder – it’s an obvious choice but the Binder is so incredibly effective a feature in Scrivener. The ability to re-structure a large project is huge. Just grasping this in other software like Word used to be monumental, if no monolithic. Now I just drag as many folders or document-scenes around to a new location as necessary within a few minutes. Then I only have to do some re-writing to smooth out the changes.

2. The Inspector bar is laden with so many useful tools it’s hard to cover them all in one blog post. The list is long for the all the tasks that can be addressed in this feature. They are all meant to help a writer track, document, reference and enhance the writing process.

3. Snapshots – this is actually part of the Inspector but I single it out as an important way to manage different versions of content. Do a snapshot before you make major changes and you can easily revert back to another version you prefer or need. I recommend using it before making any large-scale change in a project in case you make mistakes or delete something.

Scriv Collection Save Search Tab4. Collections – I recently wrote a series of posts on this multi-function tool. It has been a useful aspect of Scrivener for making structural changes where I need to write more scenes or edit for style. I can select specific folder or documents to add to the collection, work with it and remove each part as I complete them until I’m done with the mini-project. Very handy, especially when you consider you can use it in other ways – like compiling a manuscript.

5. Document templates – I find this most useful for my year-long blog project. I have different types of posts so I have a different templates to use for each one. I can update each template as changes occur throughout the year and all my new posts will have that without having to add the content by other means (by typing it out or doing a copy paste).

6. Project Templates – I can create a template for projects like short stories, my year-long blogging, a book, book reviews, newsletters, my blog tours and promotions as well as managing my overall writing. Each template is specialized to what the project is and they can be updated as necessary to reflect my changing needs.

7. The Layout Manager – this is really a cool feature to me. I can setup specific layouts for different types of writing tasks based on the stage of my project. If the project is new and in development, then I can have certain features turned on. Once I move to a new stage all I have to do is change to a different layout that I’ve created and transition into the new phase seamlessly where some parts of Scrivener are turned off and others are visible.

Scriv Scratch Pad8. The Scratchpad – you don’t hear a lot about this feature but I’ve written about it before. It’s found on the Tools menu and lets you write notes and insert the test to other parts of the project within which you are working or even to another project you may have open. For instance, I often have several projects open at a time and I may come up with an idea for another in which I’m not currently working. I can use the Scratchpad to write the note and insert it into a specific folder or document in the same project or another open project. I especially do this while journaling since that’s where I may generate a variety of ideas. I can journal it and then transfer the notion elsewhere using the Scratchpad.

That’s all for this list but I think these cover the bases well. Everything in Scrivener is designed to help writers write intuitively, fluidly and effectively. There’s no wasted effort once you’ve learned the software to any degree. You don’t waste time creating all the environment you need to write – you set it up and then you are able to start writing without worrying about all the details – and that’s the best feature of all.

Just as a reminder – my Scrivener posting schedule is changing to Friday’s to accommodate several writing events during September as well as the release – most of which occur on a Mondays. So I’ll be back next Friday with more Scrivener goodness. Until then, you are welcome to check back on other posts here as well as my writing news.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section.

I’ll make an appearance on 8/13 in RRBC’s Book & Blog Block Party. Then I’ll be on The Lost Bow Blog Tour from 8/14-20. I’ll post more news about the tour as it becomes available.

And one final tidbit – for those who might have seen it on my Twitter feed, I’ve been contacted by a teacher about including The Bow of Destiny in her curriculum. I don’t know much at this time other than it’s being considered. If it is, I’ll share more information ASAP. It’s interesting news at this point and another great reason to write!

To find out more about The Bow of Destiny, click over to one of these online retailers:

Amazon

  BarnesandNoble      Smashwords

ibooksdownload      Kobo

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.

Sign-up to receive my free ebooks today.

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Scrivener: The Essential Writing Tool

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. Sorry for the hiatus in writing a new post for several weeks but my efforts have been directed elsewhere. I hope to share more posts on this topic in the future.

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Scrivener LogoI was pleased to release my book, The Bow of Destiny, earlier this week. As you can imagine, Scrivener was a big help in self-publishing this fantasy novel. There are so many ways I’ve used the software to get to this point that it’s hard to imagine doing it all without Scrivener. It’s been a long hike – like doing the Appalachian Trail – and Scrivener has been in my pack the whole way. Here are some ways that Scrivener has helped me self-publish over the last year:

1. Newsletters – I used my newsletter template to write each volume this year and email it to mailing list followers. Scrivener has been instrumental in this since I have a project for all my newsletters for this year. I can open the project, write my content and transfer it to mail out easily. If I didn’t use Scrivener, I would have been hunting for all my information in separate files.

Multi-Function Tool - photo licensed via iStockPhoto

Multi-Function Tool – photo licensed via iStockPhoto

2. Editing the Book – The Bow of Destiny was largely completed when I really started using Scrivener so I imported it and completed my editing and development in a novel template. The same is true of the next book, An Arrow Against the Wind. However, with this second book, I still needed to complete the rough draft and do some structural editing. Scrivener was perfect for these tasks after I imported the book since I could use collections to organize my structural editing – see my posts on the topic: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4. However, the third book, The White Arrow, will be entirely developed in Scrivener and I’ll start that process in November with occasional, related posts about how I’m using Scrivener to do the development.

3. Project tracking – Scrivener allows me to do all kinds of project tracking. There are the built-in tools that track a project’s stats. Also, there’s meta-data to mark the status of sections and scenes in projects. However, I also used my Author Platform Manager, a custom project template I developed, to track what I’m doing overall as a writer. I can put anything necessary in it. If I develop an idea in it I can transfer it to an open project with the Scratchpad.

4. Blogging – Part of growing as an author includes blogging. I couldn’t have blogged near as much without Scrivener. It allowed me to put all my blog posts in one project for the year and create an ongoing schedule to follow. Without using Scrivener, I would have been lost and disorganized in the effort. It’s allowed me to often work ahead when I needed to and still keep the busy blogging schedule.

Writing5. Blog Tour Development – I developed a blog tour project template based on my blog template and what a big help Scrivener was there. I was able to work on my tour ideas and posts well in advance as I developed all of my author content. It’s been a major help just to keep all that in one place and work steadily at the release. I’m starting a new one with ideas within the week for the release of An Arrow Against the Wind 4/18/2016. With editing on this upcoming title ongoing, there’s no time like the present to organize the next release.

6. Developing & Writing Short Stories – Part of my release has involved using short fiction. I’ve also written some other short stories this year that are being submitted to magazine markets. Without Scrivener I would have floundered through developing these stories. The good thing is that with Scrivener, I can easily import these into another project to develop an anthology if I want to go that route. I’ve been able to manage and organize my short fiction with ease using Scrivener.

7. Document Templates – This feature in Scrivener has been very important to me all year. I’ve been able to use these templates to create my basic blog structure in my blog project. What a time-saver! I’ve also been able to use this feature to save more time writing my newsletters, short stories and more. By making document templates in my projects, I’m able to do repetitive writing without duplicating the same material repeatedly. If the material for the template needs an update that’s simple enough to change – one time.

Scrivener has been with me all the way during the last year. It’s been indispensable for me as a writer. I would not have done near as much as I have without it. I look forward to continuing my usage and expanding how I use it. As I develop an entire novel from it I expect to use the composition tools more than I have such as the lay-out manger as well as features for word searches and more.

BOD FinalIf you’ve published using Scrivener, how has it helped you get there? If you use it for other writing, how does Scrivener make you more effective as a writer?

I’ll make an appearance on 8/13 in RRBC’s Book & Blog Block Party. Then I’ll be on The Lost Bow Blog Tour from 8/14-20. I’ll post more news about the tour as it becomes available.

And one final tidbit – for those who might have seen it on my Twitter feed, I’ve been contacted by a teacher about including The Bow of Destiny in her curriculum. I don’t know much at this time other than it’s being considered. If it is, I’ll share more information ASAP. It’s interesting news at this point and another great reason to write!

To find out more about The Bow of Destiny, click over to one of these online retailers:

Amazon

  BarnesandNoble      Smashwords

ibooksdownload      Kobo

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.

Sign-up to receive my free ebooks today.

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