Planning

Tech Tips for Writers – Scrivener

Screenshot of My Novel WIP - The Bow of Destiny

Screenshot of My Novel WIP – The Bow of Destiny

Many writers are using Scrivener to develop projects ranging from fiction to non-fiction varying in length from articles, blogs, short stories to books. So understanding that usage is high for this software, I wanted to share insights on usage in a short post.

Why you should use Scrivener if you aren’t already? Isn’t is just another writing editor with some tools geared toward writers? Is it a waste of money? The main reason you should put it in the budget or at least give it a try for free is one word: development (and here are additional reasons). Scrivener is a great tool to use for developing almost any kind of writing project. It is organized so that you can store all kinds of information related to the project all in one location. Likewise, you no longer need an outline since you can use the folders in the software as the outline. Using this method you can easily move pieces of your work around until you are satisfied. I’ve been using it for just this kind of structural re-organization of my novel, The Bow of Destiny, duing my current revision. Michael Sullivan discusses how he realized he could make use of Scrivener and even further developed his fantasy world. Troll River Publications posted a useful video for using Scrivener’s tools for outlining.

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Editing for Deep POV

Editing for Deep POV

I especially like using this software for developing shorter projects like a blog post, article, paper, or even a short story. I used Scrivener to develop my blog serial – What is Needed and will use it in developing my longer projects. It has helped me re-organize my current novel but I’m still learning all the features for editing purposes. If I have trouble editing I get around this by doing a copy/paste from my novel into a temporary file in Microsoft Word to do my heavy editing and then copy/past back into Scrivener. Why do this? Because the whole book is organized in Scrivener which also allows you to compile the manuscript into a single Word document, PDF document or even an e-book. I look forward to expanding my skill with Scrivener and sharing more details about the features as I do. Regardless, I done with organizing and editing the “old-fashioned way” – perhaps you should consider doing the same if you haven’t already.

If you aren’t using Scrivener, why haven’t you tried it?

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:

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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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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.

 

 

Lost Your Scratchpad? Here It Is In 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.

If you read this blog very much then you know I like finding and figuring out how to use the various tools and settings in Scrivener so I can write more efficiently. I also like to share these usage tips so other authors also benefit from Scrivener . With that in mind, I’m sharing another tool in Scrivener that you may not know about: the Scratchpad.

Scriv Scratchpad

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First let’s find out how to open this tool. Click on Tools and then on Scratchpad (from the keyboard that’s CTR + Shift + 0 (that the numerical zero not the letter O).

Opening Scratchpad gives you this basic window.

Scriv Scratch Pad

But what’s the purpose of this tool? If you use the Inspector you may already use the Document Notes to add various details to a document in progress. But Scratchpad is just what is sounds like – that scratchpad you keep by your computer and take ad hoc notes. Guess what? Scratchpad in Scrivener acts the same way but you can do more like send it directly to a project that you currently have open.

So here’s how it goes – say you are like me and have several projects open. I might be journaling or revising or whatever and a stray thought hits me about something else I’ve got open. This happens to me especially while I’m journaling. I might write the thought down in my journal and there it stays until I want to put it in the appropriate project. Then I have to go searching through my journal trying to remember what day I wrote the note. The same thing happens with that scratchpad by your computer.

With the Scrivener Scratchpad you can just open it and put the note there. If you have the project open that relates to the note you can send it to that project. Here’s how – at the bottom-center of the Scratchpad is the “Send file to Scrivener” button. Click on this and you are shown all the projects you have open. From there you get a series of fly-out menus that allows you to drill as far down as necessary in your project and send the note to the chosen location. There are 2 choices – sending the note to the location you choose or appending the text to the location you choose. In other words it will either copy the note directly to the chosen location or place the content directly in that location.

Scriv Scratchpad CopyHow does that work? I just wrote an example note and sent the copy to this post in my Blogs 2015 project. It creates a sub-document to the document in which the text is located. No more lost notes, now it’s in a specific location.

When I choose to append, it puts the text at the very end of the document. This is handy for something like what I was doing last night and should have used the Scratchpad for instead of bouncing around between projects to do. I had placed some notes in my journal about my novella, What Is Needed, regarding a change to the ending. I could have easily used Scratchpad to write that ending and, as long as the project was open, append that content to What Is Needed.

Scriv Scratchpad Appended

You can write in a document while the Scratchpad is open so if you work on a large screen or multiple montiors you can drag it around and leave it open. Also, there’s a feature to print contents of your screen and save it or even choose part of a document to print to screen like this:

Scriv Scratchpad Printscreen

So Scrivener’s Scretchpad is a simple tool for making notes and inserting them into documents or making screenshots that you can save or insert as a note somewhere else. It’s a handy tool I plan to use more often. Since you can use the keyword to turn it on quickly, you can use the same keyboard command to close it so you can toggle in and out of Scratchpad as needed. Give it a try and see what you can do to better track your odd notes, ideas and such and then insert them as necessary into other projects.

Book Cover Green Top & Bottom Cover - CopyDo you often lose track of your notes either on paper or in Scrivener? If you use Scratchpad, how do you make use of it?

Please 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).

 

Scrivener Collections Pt. 4: Cut Those MS Weeds with Searches

Photo courtesy Morguefile.com free photos section.

Photo courtesy Morguefile.com free photos section.

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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Just like with a garden, your manuscript needs to be weeded and using a collection in conjunction with searches. In my example from last week, I created a collection for my rough draft to structurally edit my book for style. Now I can add the specifics of what I want to do with this collection.

The last few weeks have been dedicated to the use of collections while editing a manuscript, using my ongoing rough draft, An Arrow Against the Wind, as an example. Part 1 was an introduction to collections. Part 2 covered creating a real-life collection from my manuscript complete with meta-data. Last week, part 3 scratched the surface of using multiple collections with the creation of a new one in my manuscript to edit style.

Scriv Collection SearchBut, it’s important to be clear on the types of collections there are. So far, I’ve used standard collections but there are two other kinds of collections – Search Result Collections and Saved Search Result Collections. The first is used most commonly when you do a search from the upper-right of Scrivener (yes, if you’ve doing searches you’ve been using a collection all along). The next is when you save the search results as a collection.

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Let’s take the Search Result Collection first in this discussion. Whenever you do a search it becomes part of the project in which you are working and can be recalled for future use. However, this collection cannot be edited. So in this instance, if you do a search it will return results specified such as finding all dialog tags using the word “said”. Every instance of said will be highlighted in the manuscript.

Scriv Collections Search Results

If I click on View, slide to collections and choose Search in the fly-out menu and the Search Results bar will appear (along with the results in the documents according to the criteria I’ve chosen). Also displayed are all the folders and scenes where the word appears. Incidentally, this also shows only one collection – to view them all in tabs click Collections in the fly-out menu.

Scriv Collection Search Results Bar

However, I want to save this search into my own collection so I can use this whenever I want. Here’s how to add such a search result: with the Search term still in the upper-right at the spyglass icon, click the down arrow and at the end of the menu click on “Save Search as Collection”.

Scriv Collection Save Search Results  Scriv Collection Save Search Results Dialog

You will see a dialog box appear that allows you to name it and providing information about how to see it. Here’s the final result as I view all my collection tabs with the “said” tab showing.

Scriv Collection Save Search Tab

I can also delete these tabs unlike the regular Search Results Collection tab. I can add as many of these as I need and remove them as I complete editing for them which makes my style editing much easier.

the-bow-of-destiny-by-p-h-solomonAre you using collections in Scrivener yet? How about searches and saved searches? Please 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.

Mailing List Artwork Mailchimp

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

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).