Scrivener has taken off as one of the most used writing tools in the world of writerdom, and I am a huge advocate. I use it for my outlines, for my character sheets, for my second/third/fourth/fifth drafts, and for major rewrites. I even use it as a first draft hub for every blog post I put up. Regardless, there are people who utilize this tool, and there are some who want to, but only use it for the bare minimum (there are also those who can’t see how to use it at all, but this is mainly for those who are using or planning on using it). I have been working on a guide for some time now, and it’s one that probably won’t be out for a while yet. In the mean time, I was recently questioned about what I use Scrivener for. The conversation went a bit like this:
“Hey Lissy, I just got Scrivener, and I saw you used it on tumblr. What do you use it for exactly?”
“Everything, absolutely everything. Love that program, and glad to see you joined the ranks.”
“Of course, especially rewrites.”
Well, I’m not sure how many people have this question or if they’d even be interested in knowing the answer, but I believe it deserves its own blog post for those of you who may be curious. So, I made up a list, as per usual. ONWARD WE GO!
- YOU CAN SEPARATE THE CONTENT INTO SCENES
Not everyone is like this, but I usually have a pretty good idea as to how many scenes I’ll have in a chapter, how many chapters I’ll have, etc. even before I begin the draft (I’m an outliner. It’s what I do). If you’re not like that, you can always move things around in Scrivener. Move chunks into separate text files within the chapter, move the chapters around to improve the flow, move the text files around for better flow, etc. Regardless, separating things into scenes is key to doing thorough rewrites, at least that’s the case for me. Either way, great way to utilize it. I have an example pic below. You may have to click on the pics to be able to see them better.
- YOU CAN ADD TEXT
Unlike Word, you don’t have to open multiple docs to go between drafts. Once you’ve finished the first draft and separated it out into the parts you’d like to have, you can simply add a new text file beneath the file you wish to rewrite. Then get to work. More on organizing everything as we go along. Pic below.
- YOU CAN RENAME TEXT FILES FOR ORGANIZATION
As you can see in my above examples, I have an odd set of names going for my scenes. Well, as always, there is a method to my madness. When I write the first draft, I leave the text under the default name “Scene.” This may be confusing for some, but it works for me, especially once I start my rewrites. I use a vague name because I want to make sure I have them all in the correct places before I start renaming them. It will throw off my order otherwise. Once I’ve organized everything properly, I go back and add a letter of the alphabet to the end of every scene. If I have more than 25 scenes, I start using double letters (AA, BB, CC, etc). Then, I add a dash with a number at the end of it, indicating that, that is the first draft of that particular scene. Then, when I add the text file for the rewrite, I name it the same exact way as the fist draft file, but instead of a “1,” I put a “2.” I’d do the same for each subsequent rewrite. Pic below for reference.
- YOU CAN CHANGE THE STATUS OF EVERY DRAFT FOR EVEN FURTHER ORGANIZATION
I don’t personally use this feature, just because I find my own organization sufficient enough for rewrites, but if you happened to have more drafts for some parts than you do for others (another great thing about this tool is you can choose which parts you want to rewrite, rather than have to just rewrite the whole thing or go through and skim the entire doc for a specific part you wish to rewrite), then you can change the “status” of the text doc. Pic for reference below.
I tried to make this post as simple as possible because Scrivener does have a terrible learning curve. If there is anything else anyone would like me to cover, then please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments or by email, which can be found at the very end of this blog post, as always. Now, time for some questions of my own. Did you find this useful? Did the pics help? What do you find useful about Scrivener? Anything you’d like to add to this? Have anymore tips? Let me know, and comment below!
Thanks for reading.