OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
Discovering Scrivener really did change my writing life. It helped me to organize my writing by scenes and also enables me to publish in Kindle & ePub formats easily. Today I talk to Gwen Hernandez, author of Scrivener for Dummies and we have a love-in about Scrivener!
Watch the video below or here on YouTube. You can also download the audio or read the show notes below.
- Gwen got the opportunity to write Scrivener For Dummies because Wiley asked for recommendations on Twitter. We also talk about how the popularity of Scrivener spreads by word of mouth, like any great product.
- Scrivener is writing software, but it is much easier for writers than using a word processing software like MS Word. The core of Scrivener is the different documents that you can reorder easily, especially if you don't write in order
- Scrivener can be used for any type of book project, or even any writing project as Gwen uses it for blog posts as well. She explains about keeping research notes, versions, templates and the ability to use end notes and other important aspects for non-fiction writers.
- Gwen explains the epiphany of the Binder, which helps you see the entire project laid out, in scenes, parts of chapters – however you want to organize it. However, you can still be a ‘pantser' as well as a plotter but it will help you organize.
- Using the label field for color coding your scenes. You can edit the label field to be anything you like e.g. point of view, and then you can easily check the balance of the scenes. You can also use the Composition mode, which blanks everything else out so you can create (this is where I spend a lot of my writing time!) We also mention Project Targets which is great for individual writing sessions and whole projects. It keeps you motivated!
- For series writers, it's a matter of preference whether you use one mega-project or one project per book (which I do). You can open up 2 projects and drag material across though so it's easy to do either. You could even have a project for the series background material, the series Bible.
- On the magic of the Compile function, which will create Kindle .mobi files as well as ePub and Word/PDF or other formats. You can recreate the file every time you edit or change the order of the scenes. It's fantastic for re-editing back-matter when you release a new book and you need to change all the old files. It can truly make you an independent ebook publisher!
- You can work collaboratively on the same project by using Dropbox to sync to. You can't work on the same file at the same time, but all you need to do is coordinate who has the file open.
- You can use snapshots to save versions of your file, so you never lose anything. Definitely a great thing to do before you make changes from an edit.
You can try a free trial of Scrivener here (and it's only $45 anyway – available for Mac and Windows – yes, I am an affiliate!)
You can buy Scrivener for Dummies here on Amazon
You can find Gwen at her site GwenHernandez.com and on twitter @gwen_hernandez