Scrivener – how do you use yours?

scrivener-logoI’ve been using Scrivener (a nifty piece of writing software) for nearly a year now, and I wouldn’t be without it. But whenever I start a new project I always feel vaguely guilty, because I don’t feel as if I’m using it ‘right.’

Most people I know who swear by Scrivener seem to be non linear writers, or writers who do a lot of planning/outlining, or writers who write in chunks and then piece it all together at the end. Whereas although I love the character and setting sketches for planning in Scrivener, I suck at outlining, and when it comes to drafting, I tend to treat the software exactly like Word and churn my story out in one long, linear word vomit, which seems to defeat the purpose a little.

However, yesterday I finished the first draft of a story which honestly is a bit of a mess. I was having a bad month writing-wise so just ploughed through. My outline was vague and I was pantsing it most of the way. I started editing it today and I knew it was going to need quite a lot of tweaking and changing. So I decided to try a new (to me) tactic. Still in Scrivener, I broke my draft up into scenes/chunks, went back and filled in the little index cards describing each scene (like authors who are better at planning do in advance). Then once I’d finished, I looked at the corkboard view and suddenly I was able to see exactly where I need to add/insert more detail, or more character development, or an extra scene that I had in mind but never quite made it on to the page.

I feel as though I’m probably using Scrivener backwards, but hey – whatever works 🙂

So if you are a Scrivener user, how do you use it, and what are some of your favourite features? I know I’m not even close to using half of the clever things Scrivener offers, so it’s always great to hear how other writers use it and what things they find useful. Let me know in a comment below!

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About Jay Northcote

Author of LGBT romance. Trans (he/him), Parent, cat herder, professional procrastinator.
This entry was posted in ramblings about writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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