Scrivener days

I’m feeling like being stupid, so I went ahead and upgraded my Scrivener license to the Windows 3.0 version after doing some alpha, beta, release candidate, and final release trials. I like Scrivener for what it does well and it seems to now have parity (from what I can see) across platforms. The stupid part is not upgrading my version of Scrivener, but I’m going to backslide on my sworn oath not to attempt longer fiction and give it a whirl on the new version of the software. Not that I expect it to go anywhere, which is the stupid part…

And, now that I have a decent bit of software that allows for nonlinear writing and shared reference, I feel compelled to give it a good old test. Maybe it will make me a successful writer? LOL. I’m purposefully ignoring the tiny voice that tells me to stick to poetry, as I’ve managed to be not-terrible at poetry.

Anyway —

One of the things I was toying around with before I begin is getting the workspace set up ahead of time instead of on the fly. While Scrivener is a powerful tool, I’ve never been 100% happy with the templates they have to use or, like everyone else, it seems, a fondness for itty bitty teeny weeny fonts all over the place. So, instead of starting writing and trying to correct all the things that annoy the shit out of me, I am creating a personal workplace that reflects my needs and desires.

So I went through, switched to night mode, bumped up the font size 2-4 pixels so you can actually read the menus, notes and window headers. Then I got rid of the old novel template that has been the bane of my existence (I get overwhelmed by the super-simple organization and it freaks me out). And then, I decided I didn’t much care for most of the free templates out there and wanted to go back to exploring the “Save the Cat Writes a Novel” scheme, so I came up with a binder structure to capture some of those concepts. And, while I know lots of story-writers like to have really fleshed out character sheets, I often don’t really get to know my characters until I start writing about them, so I came up with a simplified character sheet that gets to the bare bones of the character. And I mean, just the facts. I figure I can fill in other details as I discover them.

It is still a work in progress, however. Even as I write this post I am thinking of tweaks that I want to add: Chapters under plot sections, with scenes under those; “Notes” section to the character sheet for those things you think of after the fact; Color schemas for primary characters (and another color for minor characters); etc. But here is the binder section and workspace as it currently stands:

A bit closer to the binder and focused on the character section:

It’s a bit fun designing this template and it might even help me actually write something to completion if I’m not dithering around with settings as I go.

No promises, however.

But at least I’m having fun with template design…

2 thoughts on “Scrivener days

  1. Lol yeah, I tinkered with Scrivener for a bit, and it was fun writing each chapter in isolation, but in the end, I found it a bit tedious to export it into different formats (file types) while maintaining the actual formatting (margins and stuff), so I just went back to Google Docs, lol.

    Anyway, thanks for this post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Scrivener definitely has its quirks, and I am not the fanatical advocate for its use that it might seem — I think the main issue you experienced is that some of formatting elements are buried in various settings and dialogs, and that those settings are neither called out all that well, nor intuitive.

      Docs is a great way to draft out a work. There are also some great Markdown tools that work great for drafting. The key thing about Scrivener that intrigues me (I’m not sold on the actual utility), is the ability to not only write chapters ad hoc, but to drill down to the scene level within chapters and then the ability to drag and drop the scenes to suit your particular needs. And then be able to label and track and organize the story on the fly.

      Thanks for your comments!

      Liked by 1 person

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