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On Your Mark! Get Set! Start Using 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. Just as a note, I’ll be changing the schedule of my Scrivener posts to Friday in the near future to accommodate my novel’s release in September as well as several events that will occur on Mondays. Expect 2 posts next week and thereafter they will appear on Friday!

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Starting LineIf you’ve ever run a race you know what happens. You get to the line, wait for the signal to start and your off! You don’t think what to do you just run – you just have to be aware of your starting pace.

However, when it comes to other tasks it may not be so obvious how to begin.  In fact, it’s often difficult to begin using something new like Scrivener when you don’t even know where to begin. You can easily just stare at the open screen and do nothing or even give up on using it altogether. I recently received just such a question and here’s my answer with more details.

I do suggest that anyone starting with Scrivener clear time to work through the tutorial. It’s a lot of information but it gives you some experience working with the software interface. The tutorial will give anyone starting out a sense of Scrivener’s flexible design power.

But what should you do after you’ve completed the tutorial? Well, start a project. It’s easy enough to begin – choose File and click on New Project. You’ll choose what project template to use, name your project and then browse to the location where you want to save it all.

Scriv New Project

After that, start using some of what you learned in the tutorial to organize and customize your project. Use the Binder to organize you folders and documents into an a working structure – don’t worry if you need to make changes with this later, it’s quite easy with Scrivener. Next use the editor to configure the format of your documents. This is much like using any other editor in that you need to choose the details of your font and spacing – just be aware that Scrivener doesn’t wrap pictures.

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Next week, I’ll dig a little deeper into beginning your Scrivener usage and other features you may want to use soon to take advantage of Scrivener’s development power. In the meantime, you may find some of my other posts and a few of these links from Literature and Latte helpful as well:

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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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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.

Privacy Policy

This blog does not share personal information – including email addresses – with third parties nor do I store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyze and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies (which is a WordPress.com function and not mine).

You can turn off the use of cookies at any time by changing your specific browser settings.

I am not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without our permission.

This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on July 2nd, 2015. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly here: ph at phsolomon.com (replace the “at” with @, it’s written that way to avoid spammers).

 

Scrivener Project Management: Don’t Let the Beast Loose

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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Keep a Lid On ItKeep track of a project at any time can be difficult. If your not able to do so things can become a monstrous mess that can consume the good intentions behind your goals. The same is true of managing a project in Scrivener.  So let’s take a look at one way to keep a lid on the beast of disorganization and it consequences.

I got an interesting question a while back so I’m addressing it today. A follower on Twitter asked about performance issues with Scrivener. It was a rather general question so I followed up by asking for more details.

The answer I got went something like this: the person asking about performance issues had a project that was opening/closing very slowly. A little further explanation indicated that the project was one that had been in use for several years with daily input during that time.

Options MenuIt wasn’t hard to imagine how large the project had gotten and there’s the rub. If you still have auto backup enabled on closing a project (recommended) then the project will backup and close once you exit. The larger the project, the longer the backup will take. Opening is a similar story sans the backup. Also, the larger the project the more computer resources will be used.

Here’s a personal feeling about this issue so take it for it’s worth. I wouldn’t recommend using a project for daily work that stretches for years – it will just get too big to open and I can imagine it would be cumbersome to manage as well. Personally, I have a few projects that I’m using throughout the year such as those for blog posts and newsletters. However, I intend to close these out at the end of the year and create new projects for these purposes in 2016. That way they are easy to manage and don’t get too large. Most projects aren’t used this way – such as a book – which will eventually be completed.

So what do you do if you have such a problem? Easy! Export older or new content (depends on how you want to do it) out of the project and then import said data back into a new project. This means that you are essentially going to split the project. Make sure to take a snapshot beforehand as well as having a backup to which you can revert (check your backup folder which is in your Options by clicking on Tools => Options => Backup, click the button to open the backup folder). Once you’ve confirmed you’ve exported and imported the data successfully you can trash what you exported out of the old project. After that, if you’re still having performance issues, contact Literature and Latte for more assistance.

Scriv Export

To export, select all the folders or documents you want to export in the Binder. Next, click File, slide to Export and click Files on the fly-out menu. There are options to choose such as the location & name of the folder where you are putting your data. There are other options showing but for these purposes only choose “Export Notes” & “Export Meta-data” since the other check-boxes will exclude data/content that you will likely want to retain.

Scriv Export Box

Importing takes a bit more effort. Before importing, assess what you are doing to know how complex the work will be. You must import individual files into specific folders if you want to retain your folder structure. First, create your new project and duplicate your folder structure to your satisfaction.

To import, choose the folder into which you will import and click File, slide to Import and choose Files to navigate to the location where you just exported. You must navigate to individual files so select all the files in each folder and all the content will be imported into the specific folder you already selected. If you haven’t made your folder structure too complex it shouldn’t take forever, otherwise it may take some time.

I hope this helps you iron out any performance issues you may have as well as manage a project that has grown in size or complexity.

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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Using Scrivener Collections For Editing

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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In last week’s Scrivener post, I introduced the use of Collections as a multi-function tool. This week, I’d like to address the usage of this tool by focusing on my ongoing structural edit of my second novel, An Arrow Against the Wind.

First, let me define structural edit. This is the kind of editing where you might re-organize your draft so that flows better. It’s also the type of editing whereby you discover all the holes and inconsistencies within the draft and try to fill them. Another way of addressing the structure is to bring consistency to style as well as characterization, plot and other basic elements of the book.

Next let me describe the situation with my rough draft and how I’m approaching it. While writing An Arrow Against the Wind, I realized I had numerous holes to fill. This was due in large part to removing a sub-plot from the series to publish later as a parallel series. This left a need for more words for An Arrow Against the Wind. I’ve already made decisions about what needs to be added where.

My approach at this point, is to handle all the big structural issues of content. This means writing more in a number of places while I’ll handle style inconsistencies after the additions are completed. So at this point, I want to make a collection that includes all the planned additions and keeps something of a schedule at the same time – the latter so that I stay on-time for the first hand-over of the manuscript to the editor in a few months.

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For this Collection, all I need to do is choose all the empty documents that need content added and include them. So I highlighted the first chapter that needs more content and created the Collection using the instructions I mentioned from last week. I named it “Structural Edit – Additional Content”. From there I began to add all the empty documents that need work by clicking on the Binder tab in the Collection and right clicking on each targeted document and adding it from the context menu as pictured.

Adding to the collection

Adding to the collection

When finished, my collection looks like this:

Scriv Collection Added Folders

So now I have what I need to begin to set a schedule to complete each necessary document. I can assign a label and a status to each of these from the context menu – which is adding Scrivener meta-data. I chose to edit the standard status and label meta-data to fit my work. To do this go to either Label or Status to get a fly-out menu of available choices after right-clicking on a document. Choose edit and make your changes.

Scriv Collection Edit MD

First I edited the Labels to add deadline dates for each of the documents and assigned them successively to each one. Then I created a custom status for each category I need: “In Process”, “Overdue”, “Completed” and “Not Started”. I then set all the documents to the last one. Now I have my deadlines and can assign a status to each document as I progress, finally removing them from the collection once completed.

Scriv Collection Labels

Adding Labels

Scriv Collection Status Sched

Adding Status Schedule

So now my Collection is complete. I can choose to view only the Binder by toggling off the Collection (Ctrl+Shift+9) or clicking View, slide to Collections for the menu and click Collection. To toggle the Binder on go to the same menu and click Binder. To go back into my collection, I can use the same menu and click on the named Collection where it appears in the list below Binder – in this case I only have one Collection (though I’ll have several over the next several weeks).

Collection View

And that’s how I’m using Collections in Scrivener to begin editing An Arrow Against the Wind. Next week I’ll add another collection for my structural edit encompassing stylistic changes. After that, I’ll proceed onto other uses for Collections in my editing.

Have you tried using Collections yet 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.

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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Privacy Policy

This blog does not share personal information – including email addresses – with third parties nor do I store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyze and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies (which is a WordPress.com function and not mine).

You can turn off the use of cookies at any time by changing your specific browser settings.

I am not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without our permission.

This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on July 2nd, 2015. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly here: ph at phsolomon.com (replace the “at” with @, it’s written that way to avoid spammers).