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.