Monthly Archives: November 2013

Starting a New Project in Scrivener

You’ve downloaded Scrivener to give it a trial spin or you simply cut to the chase and purchased it. Now you’re chomping at the bit, ready to get set and write! But not so fast, let’s just go over the very basics opening the program and creating a project.

Your first obvious action will be to click on the Scrivener icon that was downloaded. Once the program opens, you’ll see the Project Templates window. The first tab on top  is the Getting Started section that includes an interactive tutorial, which was created by the folks at Literature and Latte, the User Manual, and instructional video that can be viewed on YouTube.

Project Templates: Getting Started

Project Templates: Getting Started

Below the “Getting Started,” you’ll see the different categories and templates. Point your curser on each category, click your mouse, and you’ll see the different types of templates that Scrivener provides. Below is the Fiction category and its associated templates.

Project Template: Fiction, Novel

Project Template: Fiction, Novel

Once you’ve selected the category and the template, you’ll see right below in a window pane the description of the template. In this case, “Novel” has been highlighted, and we see that it uses a standard submission format and includes location and character sketch sheets.

For the purpose of this tutorial, I am selecting the blank category and template because I want to create my own settings.

Project Templates: Blank, Blank

Project Templates: Blank, Blank

Select “Choose.” A window will appear. In the Save As field, you will name your project. I named mine “Under the Hazelnut Tree.” If you are on a Mac and recently downloaded Mavericks, you have the option of including tags. I typed in “Scrivener Tutorial” and “Short Story” In the Where field from the dropdown menu, select where you want this file to be saved. I chose my desktop.

Saving Project on to Desktop

Saving Project onto Desktop

If a certain location where you want to save your project isn’t listed, don’t worry. Just click on the expansion arrow to the right of Save As, select the new location from the list of folders on the left. For Window users: click Browse in the New Project window to choose a location. Hit Create, and your project will open to your new writing workspace.

Saving to another location using the expansion button.

Saving to another location using the expansion button.


To see how this all works, you can watch this video:

Next time I’ll go over the Scrivener interface, which includes the menu bar, the tool bar, the Binder, the Editor, and the Inspector.


A New Generation of Scrivener Users

Scrivener: The Infinite Desk. Image courtesy of Literature and Latte.

After tomorrow’s big feast, many NANOWRIMO participants will loosen the buttons on their jeans and drag themselves back to their desks to write that day’s allotment of 1,667 words. If all goes well, by November 30, 2013 at 11:59 PM, many writers will have completed their 50,000 word draft. Just as Literature and Latte* has done in previous years, the company is offering all NANOWRIMO winners the opportunity to purchase Scrivener for only 50% off its regular price for both the Mac and Windows version. This is a terrific offer. Get it. Believe me, it will change your writing life.

For writers who downloaded the program and only used the very basics (essentially pantsing in the Editor) and now want to learn more than just typing in a wide white space, you’ve come to the right place. If you haven’t downloaded the 30 day trial (and it’s actually not 30 straight calendar days, but 30 days of actual use) and want to get a better handle of how to use the program from someone who uses it on a daily basis, you’ve also come to the right spot.

My goal with this blog is to be your point of reference when you get stuck, frustrated, or simply can’t figure out how to use one of its many features. I’ll start with the very basics from opening the program, selecting the right template, and reviewing the main features of Scrivener to more sophisticated features that include collections, snapshots, metadata, syncing with other programs like Dropbox and teaching how to format and compile your future best-selling novel.

My tutorials are detailed and I provide many images so you can see everything step-by-step. For those who rather watch than read long tutorials, I’ll have videos for you to view. So my work is cut out—a lot of writing and filming, but working in Scrivener and teaching others how to get the most out of it is a lot of fun.

Stay tuned because on December 1, we start the first of many tutorials.

*Note: I’d like to thank David at Literature and Latte for use of the Scrivener Tile logo and images in the header of this blog. I think it looks kinda pretty.