1. arkadia
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    arkadia Member

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    Best way getting up to scratch with Scrivener (Windows)?

    Discussion in 'Software' started by arkadia, Jan 17, 2016.

    Hi all! I just installed Scrivener after doing some research. I understand the overall principle behind its' design, but what's the most efficient (fastest!) way to get started with Scrivener?

    Just start and learn as you go?
    Or work through the tutorial first, in the interest of not starting off badly?
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Hi, welcome to the forum.:superhello:

    It depends on your own style with learning new software. I just started using it and learned as I went. The templates for novels are fine to start with.

    I made a few errors, had to move the trash icon to the right on the menu bar because I kept hitting it by accident. And it took me a while to find the trash file because it wasn't where the main trash files were on my computer.

    It took me a while to figure out how to add "new files" (chapters) instead of "new text" which looks like a chapter but is actually a sub-chapter. I couldn't move subchapters up and down into new chapters but you can move chapters up and down.

    But I imagine some people do better watching the tutorial. There's also a Scrivener guide book out. I got it from the library but didn't use it much.

    I think if you just start using it, you'll know if you need the tutorial or not.
     
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  3. LinnyV
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    LinnyV Contributing Member

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    Hmmm....never read a tutorial for scrivener. Maybe it's because I work with software but one of the things I love about the program is that it is intuitive to me, so I just went with start writing with it and learn as you go. As long as you understand how to load a new project and save a new project, it's mostly point and click and the basics are pretty much obvious (at least to me).

    When I open scrivener, I'm too excited with getting on with the writing to care about learning how to use a program. If I felt I had to jump through hoops to do the basics, I wouldn't be using it.
     
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  4. arkadia
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    arkadia Member

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    Actually, I completely resonate with that answer.
    I work with software too, and frankly; I've read too many manuals and software books in my life.

    The reason I asked was because many people were saying how complex it is, and how much functionality it's got. I was thinking about packages like Dreamweaver, Photoshop and Microsoft project...

    I'll go with the "learn-as-you-go" approach then...
     
  5. LinnyV
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    LinnyV Contributing Member

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    If you work with software, you will have NO problems. I love opening it and just tapping away...I have way too many projects but that's fine. As far as usability I often think, if only the software I work with for a living could be so good. :)
     
  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I would add that if you happen to be writing a novel, at least open and look at the Novel (with parts) template under the Fiction templates. As regards writing a fiction novel, that template has all the bells and whistles one could ask for in the Binder area. You may look at it and think "Oh, no. My process is much simpler than that. Don't need all that action", but you may in fact dig everything you see there and it's much easier to delete (or just ignore) the Binder "extras" you may not want to fiddle with than it is to look for them and add them to a bare-bones Binder, like the one in the Blank template.

    My avatar should tell you how I feel about Scrivener. :love:

    ETA: It may all seem perfectly intuitive to some (as it did to me), but for others who have not engaged a software like Scrivener in the past (I first used Liquid Story Binder a zillion years ago), it may seem a little daunting. If you use the Novel (with parts) template you are shown exactly how Scrivener's Binder organizes Parts, Chapters, and scenes within the chapters. It shows you from the get-go which icons in the Binder equal what, how they are organized and subordinated.

    Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 11.58.50 AM.png
     
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  7. LinnyV
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    LinnyV Contributing Member

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    Thank you Wreybies, I've always stuck with just the "Novel". Never felt like I needed more. I'll give "Novel (with Parts)" a go, if only to try something different when I launch yet another one of my never to be completed projects. ;-)
     
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  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    That's the one I use too, to be honest. I mention the Novel (with parts) for anyone who is a newbie to Scrivener just as example of the Binder in its "full bloom", so to speak. :) It shows pretty much everything. Other members who use Scrivener and have started with simpler templates have mentioned some amount of struggle when they find they need to nest the chapters and scenes and don't know how to scale up the complexity of the Binder.
     
  9. arkadia
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    arkadia Member

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    Thanks Wreybies! What about moving over what I already have, from MS Word to Scrivener... Any tips for that?
     
  10. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Last bit of advice from me (that's a lie, I love Scrivener too much!)

    This is my toolbar:
    Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 12.20.23 PM.png

    Icons 7, 8, 9, and 10 (the arrows) are not in the basic toolbar. You can add them, or subtract others. I'm super non-linear in my writing and those arrows are shortcut keys to moving things around in the Binder, creating tiers of organization, etc. There are other ways to do it, but I find having those buttons in the toolbar to be the easiest way... for me. And that's what Scrivener is all about: make it be the best way for you. ;) If you go to View> Customize Tool Bar, you'll see all the things you can have in your toolbar. None of it is a requisite and all of it can be accessed through the drop downs at any time.

    Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 12.20.43 PM.png
     
  11. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I've never used the import function of Scrivener, to be honest, though it certainly does have one. I pulled everything over out of MS Word (bye, Felicia!) through simple copy/paste. It was a little tedious, yes, but it was so worth it in the end as regards the flexibility Scrivener ends up giving me playing with the scenes.

    ETA: I've been using Scrivener since a few months after its release for Mac (2008) so the whole import thing just hasn't been a thing I've had to deal with in forever.
     
  12. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I know I know!:superidea: It's not perfect but it saves having to cut and paste one at a time from Word to Scrivener.

    Start a novel template Copy/Paste your work into the "manuscript". That will give you the whole piece at once.

    Next, scroll down your work to where you want a chapter divide. (stay in manuscript). Create a new folder. You will see two lines with a space in between. Now highlight the chapter and drag it into that space. It will then be in a chapter folder.

    Do this over and over until all your chapters are in folders. Now when you open manuscript you'll see the whole thing, and when you open the folders you'll just see that chapter.

    You can do the same thing within chapters if you want scene breaks. [correction] Stay in the chapter folder [not the manuscript]. Add a scene where you want a scene break and drag the first scene into the space, then do it again for the next scene and so on.

    Then when you click on the folder you'll see the whole chapter and if you open the subfile (text) you'll just see the scene.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2016
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  13. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Do you place you work directly into the chapter folders themselves?
    Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 1.29.50 PM.png

    I never put anything in the chapter folders themselves save for the scene documents. All my writing is in the scene documents, not within the Chapter Folders.
    Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 1.29.57 PM.png

    Maybe we're saying the same thing in different ways?
     
  14. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I tried scene divides at first but had a hard time rearranging things which I've done a lot of because I have two parallel time frames woven together. When you move a scene all the way to the left, it doesn't turn into a folder. So you can't put it where you want it unless all you have are subfolders. Move a scene further to the left or try to drag it into another folder and it moves down past the last chapter/folder . You can't put it inside another folder unless you cut and paste it.

    That would be fine except when you want to compile at the end you'll see # between chapters instead of actual chapters. You'd have to go back and create a bunch of chapter folders.

    I also didn't notice at first (because I'm not a software person ;) ) when you hit 'add' in the menu bar you get a subchapter. It took me a while to see if I held cursor down I got the drop down menu for a 'folder' (chapter) or a 'text' (scene). Once I figured that out I just started using chapters. I have a couple of them that have a brief time jump so I have a couple subfolders.
     
  15. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Whoops! See my correction in post #12 about dividing chapters into scenes.
     
  16. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Once moved to the left, right-click and chose Convert to Folder...

    Nope. Mine stay right where I move them. If I drag a scene from one chapter folder to another, yes, it goes to the end of the line, but then the arrow keys are all you need to move it to the right position within the scenes in the destination chapter folder.

    I drag and drop all the time. It does let you simply do that.

    This part is true. Any scenes that are kept as seperate scenes prior to the compile will get the # in between unless you turn that feature off.

    I create mine from the start, but the folder itself doesn't get "written on", for lack of a better way to put it, it just holds the scenes that constitute the chapter.

    It has never done this to me.

    Well, I stick with what I said earlier that the beauty of the program is that you make it work as fits you best, and we seem to have pretty different processes. If in the end you get a sharp looking Schunn format MS, that's all that matters. ;)
     
  17. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I agree. I think it shows there are flexible ways to do the same thing but that might fit one writer better than another.

    I didn't know about right clicking to convert to a folder.

    I swear I tried everything to move a scene from one chapter into a different chapter and couldn't. Now when I try it, it moves. I have no clue what I was doing differently. It would have saved me a bit of hassle earlier on.

    There's still an issue in that when I move a scene to a different chapter it seems to move the subsequent folders to the right and I have to move them back.o_O

    I think I'll stick with using chapters and not scenes.

    So what you are saying is you create a chapter, then write in 'scene' folders within it. This doesn't do anything differently than I'm doing because I don't have a lot of scene changes within my chapters. For me it would just add an extra layer.

    It's nice to know how though, in case one did have chapters with scene divides.

    So if you click on 'add' without going to the drop down menu you get a folder? Weird, I get a 'text' file.
     
  18. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    No, I definitely get a text file, but you referred to it as a "subchapter" earlier, so I wasn't (and am still not) sure exactly how you nest your binder. Subfolders within folders or... something else.
     
  19. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Just to give a visual in case we're just using different terms, here's the binder of one of my WIP's. As far as layout, this is how all mine look.

    Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 2.48.40 PM.png
     
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  20. arkadia
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    arkadia Member

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    Thanks! Trying to follow this....

    Where does the title of the novel go?
    I renamed the top icon in the tree-view to the name of the novel - but it's now appearing like a blue warning sign. Not sure if I've done something wrong.
    Or is it the manuscript that should be changed to the name of the novel?

    What is an "Act"?
     
  21. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    The title of the novel will be the Project Name when you first create the project. ;)
     
  22. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Um... It's a way of structuring a story. In super simple terms, it's the Beginning, Middle, and End.

    In more explicative terms: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-act_structure
     
  23. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I renamed "manuscript" with my novel name as well. But the project page is like a title page: Title, author, et cetera

    That's what I meant. 'Folders' and 'text files' are not intuitive names for chapters and scenes. :)
     
  24. arkadia
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    arkadia Member

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    I'm trying to follow GingerCoffee's instruction for moving my existing MS Word text into Scrivener. It's not that intuitive.

    When I highlight the manuscript, I only see some cards. I've got 40 pages of text so far, so that's not going to be enough.
    I notice that I can use "Add" new sheets under "Chapter". Should I break all the novel's chapters out into a separate new sheet inside the corresponding chapter folder ?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2016
  25. datahound2u
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    I've only been using Scrivener for about a year, so I am far from being an expert. However, when I begin a new story, I typically give it a working title, and then come up with a better title later on. Instead of changing the filename of the story, I go into Project > Meta-Data Settings and put the new Project Title in there. Then it will print as the title in any compile.

    Also, regarding the OP's initial question, I think Scrivener has a tremendous amount of functionality, most of which I probably haven't used. However, the more I use it, the more I want to do with it. Thus, when I'm in a writing session, I typically have the Scrivener help manual open on my second monitor (or you could just minimize if you only have one monitor), and then when I want to see if Scrivener can do something, I just refer to it. I thought the manual was exceptionally well written, by the way. (It was written by a writer. Duh!)

    Sometimes, at the beginning of a chapter, I'll write a synopsis that incorporates all scenes in the chapter. I'll put this as the first document in the chapter folder, and then just mark it not to include in the compile. This will remove it from any compile, and if you have the settings proper, it will also remove it from any word counts.

    I have found the word count features in Scrivener to be incredibly useful, if you need or want to keep track of them.

    Have fun with Scrivener. It's an amazing piece of software for writers. I'm looking forward to a downsized version of it being available for iPad sometime this year. Literature and Latte has a pretty good forum for Scrivener, and that could possibly answer any questions you may have.
     
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