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Closed captioning now on all ScrivenerClasses.com videos

CC-closed captioning logo

I’m excited to announce that all of the course videos at ScrivenerClasses.com now include closed captioning in English (as do all videos* on this website). I’ve been working on improving the accessibility of my author and course websites, and this was an important next step.

To access the captions, simply click the CC button at the bottom right of the video player and choose English CC.

video player with CC button highlighted

If you have any other suggestions for improving the accessibility of either website, please let me know. Thanks!

*Except the videos of monkeys in Costa Rica. 😉

Scrivener project setup best practices, and SIWC

One of the Scrivener questions I get asked frequently is, “What’s the correct way to set up my project?” Check out my answer over at Writer Unboxed.

By the way, if you’ve missed any of my old Scrivener posts—or just want to go through the archives—they’re all available on my website under the Scrivener Help tab. Or you can click here.

Anyone going to the Surrey International Writers Conference in British Columbia, Canada in October? I’ll be there! I’m excited. Not only have I heard good things about SIWC, but it’ll be my first international speaking engagement.

Happy May Day!

Working with projects in Scrivener for iOS (w/videos)

Here’s a little primer (complete with videos) I created to get you started with Scrivener for iOS. If you’re looking for a full class on the app, use this link for a sweet deal on Steve Shipley’s Udemy course.

Creating a New Project

Scrivener for iOS can be used as a standalone program without the Mac or Windows version. As such, you can create a new project within the iOS app. This also means that if you’re on the road and want to start something new, there’s no need to set it up on your computer first. In a minute, I’ll tell you how to move the project to Dropbox, if desired. Here’s how to get started.

  1. Tap the + Create Project button on the right side of the screen. Alternatively, you can tap the “Tap to create a project” button under On My iPad at the left. create a new project
  2. In the New Project dialog box that appears, tap in the text box and type the name of your project. enter the project name
  3. Click Create.
  4. Choose whether to save the project on your iPad or Dropbox. If you’re not working with the Mac or Windows version and don’t need to sync with Dropbox, choose “On my iPad.” If you’ve already set up Dropbox for syncing, and would like this project to be available on your other devices, select Dropbox. NOTE: Remember, you can always move an iPad project to Dropbox later. I discuss this in the next section. choose where to save it The project is created using Scrivener’s basic Blank template, and the project is opened. new project

Video review – 50 secs

Closing a Project

When you’re ready to close a project, simply tap the left arrow button in the upper left corner until you reach the Projects screen.

Back to projects button

Sometimes, if you’re in a document in a folder in a project, you may have to tap it several times to back up through the layers.

back from document button

NOTE: If you tap your iPad’s home button to exit Scrivener, the project doesn’t close. If you plan to work on that project on another computer/device, be sure to return to the Projects screen and sync before exiting.

Moving a Project

On the main Projects screen, projects are organized in two ways. Under the Projects column on the left, they are grouped by location and sorted alphabetically. The project tiles on the right side of the Projects screen display the projects by “last viewed” date/time.

You cannot adjust the order of display in either list, but you can move them between your iPad and Dropbox to change their location. Here’s how.

  1. In the Projects column, tap Edit.
    edit buttonThe Projects column enters Edit mode.edit mode
  2. Press and hold the three lines icon to the right of the project you’d like to move until the project box turns gray.
  3. Drag the project to the desired location. moving a projectThe project is now shown in its new location. NOTE: If you moved a project from your iPad to Dropbox, a blue triangle appears to alert you that the project has not been synced to Dropbox.
  4. Tap Done to exit Edit mode.

Duplicating a Project

To duplicate a project (same as File—>Save As on the Mac or Windows version), do the following.

  1. In the Projects column, tap Edit.
  2. Tap the circle to the left of the project to duplicate. selecting a project to duplicate
  3. Tap the Duplicate button (squares with + inside) at the bottom of the Projects screen. Scrivener creates a complete copy of the project in the same location as the selected project and adds a number to the end of the new project’s name. duplicate project
  4. Tap Done to exit Edit mode.

Deleting a Project

Here’s how to delete a project.

  1. In the Projects column, tap Edit.
  2. Tap the circle to the left of the project to delete.
  3. Tap Delete at the bottom of the screen. When the confirmation message appears, tap Delete. The project is removed from your list. NOTE: If the project is stored in Dropbox, it won’t disappear from Dropbox until you sync Scrivener, even though the file no longer appears in your list.
  4. Tap Done to exit Edit mode.

Renaming a Project

To rename a project, do the following.

  1. Press and hold the project name (in either list) until the Project Title dialog box appears. renaming a project
  2. Type the new name and tap OK.

Video review – 3:39 mins

Need more help? Sign up for an online class, check out Scrivener For Dummies, read more Scrivener articles, or schedule a private training session.


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A Scrivener Story Genius template and an iOS course

Story Genius and Scrivener

Story Genius book and Scrivener logo

If you’re a fan of Story Genius by Lisa Cron, I published an article at Writer Unboxed on Sunday about how to use Scrivener to work through the Story Genius process. I also included a Scrivener template—reviewed and approved by Lisa Cron—that I created to go with it.

Even if you aren’t familiar with Lisa’s book—which I highly recommend for all types of fiction writers—you might find the discussion of how to set up a project useful/interesting. 😀

Scrivener for iOS Training

iOS Welcome Screen

Love the idea of using Scrivener on your iPad or iPhone, but need help? I offer private training on the iOS version, but if you’re looking for a budget-friendly and incredibly thorough online course, you can’t go wrong with Steve Shipley’s new Udemy course.

Steve is a Scrivener super user who built the course with Scrivener for Windows developer Lee Powell. The class is on sale now, with an extra discount through the end of March if you use the link above.

I hope your writing is going well, and that the groundhog is good to you tomorrow!

Choosing a Scrivener Project Template

windows project template screen

Windows Project Template screen

Which Scrivener template should you choose? That depends on what you’re trying to do and how you plan to set up your project. Here are some hints on picking a template for your next project.

(If you’re not sure how to create a new project, check out this post.)

What is a Project Template, Anyway?

A template is a framework on which something is based. A copy is made and then you can add your own elements. Most software works with templates. Even the blank document in Word or Pages is a template with properties like margins, font, font size, and spacing already set up.

All Scrivener project templates are based on the Blank template—which is nothing but the basics—and have additional files and folders, and different settings baked in.

The Blank Template

The Blank template is the most basic option for your project. Contrary to my examples in Scrivener For Dummies, I now think Blank is the best place to start for new users because there aren’t so many distractions and confusing files to figure out.

Blank comes loaded with the three core folders that can’t be deleted: Draft, Research, and Trash.

Blank project binder

To get you started, there’s an empty Document in the Draft folder. That’s it. Just click in the blank document and start typing.

The Compile format is initially set to “Original,” meaning that it will print everything as you have it formatted in the Editor.

I love starting here because it’s uncluttered, and I can add only what I need. (I’ve found that when people—especially less experienced users—choose other templates, they’re afraid to delete extraneous files which leads to a confusing mess.)

Other Templates

So, every other template is a Blank template with extra stuff in it. Like what? Things the developers thought might be handy for the type of work you’re doing.

For example, a renamed Draft folder (e.g. Manuscript, Screenplay, Short Story), additional folders like Characters and Front Matter and Notes and Template Sheets, each with their own special icon.

Scrivener project screen

A project based on the Novel template

Each template also comes with a format note, explaining how the project is set up, which compile preset is chosen by default, and how to make some key changes. There’s good stuff in here—worth the read—but when you’re done with it, you can delete it. Or move it somewhere else.

You can also delete the Sample Output documents in Research, if desired. They’re there to show you what you can create using the instructions in the format note.

Scrivener project screen

A project based on the Nonfiction template

Basically, you can move or rename anything you want, and you can delete anything except the three core folders.

The templates geared toward long-form writing are set up with the assumption that you’ll organize your work into chapter folders that contain scene/section subdocuments.

With or Without Parts

I see a lot of confusion around the templates that include “(with Parts)” in their name. Writers think, “My book has parts, I’ll choose this one.”

The only time I recommend choosing a template with parts is if you plan to organize your chapter folders into part folders (as shown below). It comes pre-loaded with that layout, and this often has writers thinking that they must work this way in Scrivener or they’re doing it wrong.

Binder

Project binder based on Novel with Parts

If you have Part folders, but every chapter is a single document (see below), don’t pick this template. Instead, choose the Novel or Nonfiction format and rename the Chapter folder to Part n, or use the Blank template.

Binder

What If You Pick the Wrong One?

There’s no way to change the template of a project once you’ve created it, so if you start writing and realize you’re unhappy, you can simply create a new project based on the template you want, and import your working project into it (File—>Import—>Scrivener Project).

Ultimately, It Doesn’t Matter

Once you get comfortable adding, moving, and deleting documents and folders, it doesn’t much matter which template you select. If you like the document templates in the Novel template but don’t use folders, simply delete the Chapter folder and start with a new document in Manuscript.

Or make your own document templates and Template Sheets folder.

If you want the project settings to be different, change them.

And when you have a better idea of what you like in a project template, you can create your own.

So, what’s your burning template question?

Need more help? Sign up for an online class, check out Scrivener For Dummies, read more Scrivener articles, or schedule a private training session.


Like this article?

tea mug and chocolate barIt takes a lot of mint green tea and dark chocolate to fuel these posts. If you found something helpful, please consider a small donation to my pantry. Thank you!

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Get unleashed for NaNoWriMo with Scrivener for iOS

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

Whether you’re stuck with a desktop computer, or don’t want to lug your laptop around, Scrivener for iOS can set you free. Since I expect many of you will be using it to lay down words for NaNoWriMo this year, here’s how to use my favorite features for NaNo (as covered in last week’s post for Mac and Windows) in Scrivener for iOS.

Before you start using the iOS version, I highly recommend you read—or at least skim—through the Tutorial. It will help you immensely, especially the parts about Working with Projects, Syncing, and The Main Interface. Okay, all of it, really. 😉

A few things to keep in mind about the iOS version.

  • If you return to the Projects list, you are closing the project you were working in.
  • Unlike the Mac and Windows versions, you can only have one project open at a time.
  • If you plan to work on both iOS and a Mac or PC, you need a Dropbox account (if you use this referral link, we both get an extra 500MB of storage) and must install Dropbox on all the computers/devices you plan to use with Scrivener. Then, move any laptop/desktop projects you want to work on into the correct Dropbox folder before you begin.
  • If necessary, sync your projects before you start writing.
  • Remember that when you finish working on a project on your iOS device, you must tap the sync button on the Projects page (see below) before trying to open the project on another computer. Likewise, ensure that a project on your desktop/laptop has synced to Dropbox before trying to open it on your iPad or iPhone.
  • If you don’t have Internet access, syncing won’t happen!

Sync button

Put New Ideas in Their Place

I recommend creating an Ideas document to store thoughts you have about future scenes, and a Change Log to keep track of changes you want to make to existing scenes. Both of these can ensure you don’t lose any fabulous ideas, while staying on track with your writing.

To create a new document outside of the Draft folder, do the following:

  1. Navigate to the high-level view of your project’s Binder (the header at the top of the Binder should display your project name, not the name of a folder).
  2. Tap the + button at the bottom of the Binder, give the file a name, and tap Add. The new document appears at the bottom of the Binder (see image below).create new document
  3. Tap the Edit button at the top of the Binder (see above).
  4. Drag (tap and hold, then drag) the file to the desired location within the Binder, as shown below. moving documents
  5. When done moving files, tap Done. new docs in binder

Make a Note and Move On

Don’t let yourself get stuck or distracted when you can’t think of the perfect analogy, or know you need to do more research. The iOS version allows you to use annotations or comments to make notes for yourself so you can get back to writing. Here’s how.

  1. Tap the comment bubble button in the predictive text row (shown below) to get a submenu of options and choose Add Comment or Inline Annotation.getting annotations and comments NOTE: For comments, your cursor must be next to text for the option to be available. Also, you can tap the comment bubble button in the extended keyboard (the row of buttons above the predictive text row) for quicker access to comments, but you may have to swipe left or right to see it.
  2. Type your annotation or comment.annotation ioscomment
  3. For annotations, repeat step 1 to turn off and return to standard text.
  4. To view a comment, double tap the highlighted word. view comment

Block Out Distractions

The iOS version doesn’t have the same full screen/composition mode that the Mac and Windows versions have, but you can hide the Binder and work only with your text.

  1. Tap the Full Screen button at the top of the Editor. full screen button
  2. To view the Binder again, tap the name of your project in the upper left corner. return to binder view

Headphones are optional.

Pre-Plot, or Don’t

Plotters: Create your scene documents beforehand either in the Binder or the Corkboard. If you like to plot using index cards, then do the following.

  1. Select the Draft (aka Manuscript) folder.
  2. Tap the + in the upper right corner to create a new card. Title it, add a brief synopsis of the scene, if desired. creating new cards/documents
  3. Tap Add.
  4. Repeat as needed.

Once you have all of your scene documents created it’s merely a matter of filling them with words starting November 1.

Pantsers: Show up on day one, select the Draft folder, create a blank document and start writing. Repeat.

Grouping Documents into Chapter Folders

Here’s how to group documents into chapter folders.

  1. In the Binder, tap the Edit button at the top. The button changes to Done.
  2. Tap the circles to the left of the desired documents to select them. grouping documents
  3. Tap the Move button at the bottom of the Binder (see above) and choose Move into New Folder.
  4. Tap Done at the top of the Binder to exit Edit mode.
  5. Tap and hold the New Folder to get the Inspector so you can rename it, then tap Done.

Keep Research Handy

Though importing is generally best done while on your Mac or PC, you can import files in the iOS version. This works for both research and text with the same rules as Scrivener for Mac and Windows (no images, PDFs, or other non text-type files in the Draft folder).

  1. Select the desired folder (outside of the Draft/Manuscript folder) and tap the Import button at the bottom of the Binder. importing files
  2. Choose the source for your imported file—yes, you can even choose Camera and take a picture of something!—and select the desired file. imported file

Track Your Progress

Your goal is 50,000 words. Scrivener makes it easy to track your progress, even in iOS. Maybe even easier. As with the original, you can set a target for the entire manuscript, as well as one for each writing session.

  1. Choose a text document.
  2. Tap the word count at the bottom of the screen. NOTE: If you’ve tapped inside the document and entered edit mode, the word count will be at the top of the screen. project targets window
  3. Tap the word Draft to set a manuscript target and use the spinner to select your goal.
  4. Tap Targets to return to the main Project Targets window.
  5. Tap Session to set a session target.
  6. Tap Start New Session to reset the Session word count (your progress) to zero. project targets with goals

Have Fun!

Whether you’re using Scrivener for iOS for NaNoWriMo, or just to be untethered from your computer, have fun with it and enjoy your newfound freedom!

For more help with Scrivener, sign up for an online class, check out Scrivener For Dummies, read more Scrivener articles, or schedule a private training session.


Like this article?

tea mug and chocolate barIt takes a lot of mint green tea and dark chocolate to fuel these posts. If you found something helpful, please consider a small donation to my pantry. Thank you!

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Donation Total: $3