writing research

Scrivener: Organizing a Scrivener Project

I don’t know about you and your writing, but I tend to be a disorganized writer that wants to be an organized and disciplined writer. I’ve tried just about every filing system known to modern humans. I’ve experimented with notebooks, file folders, date books, stacks of paper, piles of paper, and even garbage cans filled with paper sorted by topic. The best invention in the world for me was the sticky note. Yet, once I discovered Scrivener, most of those went the way of the real purpose of the garbage cans.

So far in this ongoing series on Scrivener, the powerful writing software tool, we’ve learned about the basic features of Scrivener including the organizational benefits of Scrivener, how to start a blank Scrivener project, how to use the Scrivener Research section in the Binder, and using the split screen feature. This tutorial starts to dive into the organizational capabilities of Scrivener.

As you’ve learned in these tutorials, you can organize Scrivener files into two core sections in the Binder of your blank project: Draft and Research. Inside of the Draft area of the Binder you have folders and text. Folders may have subfolders and text files may have sub text files as well. Let’s start there.

  1. In the Binder, click on Draft.
  2. Click the drop down arrow of the green plus symbol to add a new folder titled Chapter 3.
  3. Click on Chapter 3 folder and add a new text document the same way, naming it Testing 3A.
  4. Click on the Testing 3A file and right click, choose Duplicate to create a copy and title it Testing 3B.
  5. Repeat the process for Testing 3C.

You should now have 3 folders and the newest one should have 3 text files within it.

Scrivener - Add Chapter 3 sections to Blank Project - Lorelle VanFossen

Notice to the right of the title of the folder a number. This number indicates the number of files within the folder. In my example, there are 11 files in Research, and 9 in Draft.

Let’s practice moving things around.

Click and drag 3C to 3B. You should now see a 1 next to 3B indicating there is a subfile under it. (more…)

Scrivener: The Research Binder

In this ongoing series on Scrivener, the powerful writing software tool, so far I’ve given you a basic overview introduction, including a collection of two Scrivener bootcamp videos to help you get started and see the possibilities in the writing program, and talked about the organizational benefits of Scrivener. Continuing with this Scrivener tutorial series, we are going to work on the blank Scrivener project you created in the previous tutorial, and in this tutorial, I want to share with you tips for using the Research section of the Binder and introduce you to the Inspector. In the next in this series, I’ll show you how to use your research with the Split Screen Feature of Scrivener.

As a reminder, Scrivener by Literature and Latte is available as a free trial version and is a deal at the current sale price of USD $40 for Windows and Mac. Compared to Microsoft Office, this is seriously inexpensive and a very powerful writing and editing tool.

Along the left side of Scrivener’s interface is the Binder, your index listing all of the documents, files, notes, writings, etc., within your Scrivener project. Remember, in Scrivener, don’t think of what is in it as a single document like you would with MS Word. Think of it as the binder or file cabinet for your entire writing project(s). Inside of it you will have the draft of the manuscript, your research notes, files, photographs, maps, whatever you need to help you write.

Scrivener - Draft and Research Sections of Binder - Lorelle VanFossen

In the most basic installation of Scrivener using a blank template project, you will have two key sections: Draft and Research. We’ve covered the very basics of creating folders and text files in the Draft section. Let’s explore the Research section. (more…)