Collections

Scrivener’s Multi-Function Feature & How You Can Start Using It

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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Multi-Function Tool - photo licensed via iStockPhoto

Multi-Function Tool – photo licensed via iStockPhoto

Introduction

If you do any work around the house with tools you may have used a multi-function one before. These often have small versions of larger tools built into one handy gadget. These often include a few knife blades was well standard and Phillips screwdrivers among the many variations. It’s much like a Swiss Army knife but adapted more toward small fix-it tasks. Scrivener has one such feature that teams with the Binder to help you in any number of ways to organize all of the project content.

Scrivener’s Binder is a fantastic visual tool to organize your project. But suppose you wanted to play around with that organization without changing everything. Or maybe you have other ways you need to group the project content. Let’s say you wanted to change the order of several scenes. You could take snapshots and make the changes so you could revert back. But there’s a more efficient way to handle structural changes within Scrivener.

Collections are a way of re-organizing the binder without actually making changes to the current order in the binder. There are several ways to use collections so I’ll this topic in a series to cover the details well and let this post suffice as an introduction.

Collections

Think of the Binder as the main collection by which your project is organized. But if you need to consider different options for your structure then creating collections can be very useful. Items within a collection are like shortcuts to that in the Binder. What changes you make to the item are made in the Binder too. So be aware of what you are changing and make snapshots if you believe you may need to revert back to an earlier version.

However, a collection is really used for addressing structural issues, searches, saved searches, compiling, scheduling, sorting scenes that need work or even organizing for use with another author. So mainly think in broad terms when working with collections.

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Usage

Scriv Collections ManagementSo let’s take a look at applying the flexibility of collections to a real-life fiction project. I’ll soon begin editing my second novel, An Arrow Against the Wind. The first task that I’ll have is a structural edit. I’ve already identified what scenes and chapters I’ll need to edit. These can be added to a collection so that I can write each one and then remove it from the collection when completed.

Next, I’ll do an edit for deep POV style. For this kind of edit I could use two collections – one for all the chapters that need this stylistic attention, plus one that assigns a schedule for the work (I could also use this for the previous edit as well as subsequent ones).

After these more general edits, I’ll get into a deeper editing where I may need to search the content. For this I can create a collection for searches that cover overused words, searches for names that are misspelled, etc (it’s a fantasy so unique names can be a problem). Likewise, when doing line editing, I can also collect the chapters and scenes involved and use another one for scheduling the work.

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Scriv Add CollectionThe Basic Interface

As already shown in the screen-shots, you can access the collections manager from the Project menu. You can add or remove tabs for sections of your project and click on the Binder tab to return to the Binder. You can then re-order the tabs for structural purposes or use them in the different ways already described. You’ll notice that you can name the collection and use searches.

Conclusion

080916_1940_AWildNightR1.jpgIf you find that you are using collections regularly with your projects, then you might consider adding your own set of them to your project template. Again, I’ll discuss the many variations over the next several weeks in depth, especially as I’m using them with the book I’m completing. Regardless, collections can be the all-purpose tool that improves your editing process.

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:

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).

 

Scrivener Collections Pt. 3: Getting at the Facets of Your Writing

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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Diamond photo courtesy Morguefile.com free section.

Diamond photo courtesy Morguefile.com free section.

Just as a gemstone must be cut, so it is with a writing project. There are a variety of ways to approach editing any book. Fortunately, Scrivener’s Collections allow you to organize the various stages of your editing and help you get to the final version of your writing project that is your diamond.

If you’ve been reading my Scrivener posts the last few weeks you’ll know I’ve been discussing the use of collections. For those who may have missed the other posts they are here & here. Today, I continue with collection usage and approaching my current edits for my second novel in The Bow of Hart Saga, An Arrow Against the Wind.

My first round of editing covers structure whereby I’m adding necessary chapters and scenes to the book. To that end, last week’s post covered creating a collection and schedule for this editing. While I’m certainly not finished with that round of editing, I’m going to discuss the next type of structural editing that I can schedule now using collections.

For those who are wondering, yes, multiple collections can be created for any number of reasons. So my next collection will cover style. The chapters and scenes will address different ones to those added last week as well as some saved searches I expect to use during this editing phase.

If you need instructions on creating collections, please refer to the last 2 Scrivener posts linked above in this post. From this point, I’ll assume if you’re reading you understand what I’m doing. In the following screen-shot, you’ll note that I’ve create a second collection named Structural Edit – Style as it appears in the list of collections.

Scriv Struct Edit_Style 1

As I mentioned earlier, the chapters and scenes for this collection are different since I switched to deep POV during the time I wrote this draft. So I’ve identified the chapters that need to be edited to deep POV style. Note the chapters are different between the two collections.

Scriv Struct Edit_Style 2

Similar to the first collection, I’ve edited the meta-data for Status and Labels and I’ve applied them in similar fashion to the first one. I’ve learned to edit for these changes previously, so I’ve created some searches based on these so I can use them in the chapters to I can quickly make basic changes before making more specific ones. This makes editing the chapter or scene in question much quicker.

Scriv Struct Edit_Style 3

Now when I’m ready to proceed to this phase of my structural editing, I’m ready with a schedule and expected searches. If I need anything new, I’ll be able to add the necessary elements to the collection.

the-bow-of-destiny-by-p-h-solomonPlease share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Interested in more of my writing? Just click one of the retailer banners on the sidebar to see more.

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 am not affiliated with Scrivener in any official capacity. For support questions, pricing and other concerns please contact the vendor. However, I am working on becoming an affiliate for Scrivener ads since I like the product so much. I’m not required to write about Scrivener to be an affiliate; I just like it that much. For more about my FTC statement see my sidebar.

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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).

 

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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