I’m finally getting some time to play with Scrivener. At this stage I’m finding I have to go back to the on-line help more frequently than I would like but I still think I’m going to keep it. There are apparently some differences between the Windows version and the Mac version but, if you’ve never used it before, you won’t know so it’s not a big deal. And, according to the Scrivener site, they’re working on it. Also, I think I started by jumping in the middle instead of at the beginning (surprise) so I’m probably struggling a bit more than necessary.
What I have found that I like about it is having the ability to have the cork board feature in a pane immediately beside the text I’m working on. You can also have it below if you prefer.
This means I can have scene notes, reference, or in the case of the screen shot above – character notes – displayed while I’m working. If there’s a detail about a character I’ve forgotten I don’t need to go digging through the whole ms to find it. I make the character cards as soon as I introduce a new character and any time I add a detail to the ms I may want to recall later, I add it to the card as well. And it’s easy to switch between cork boards without losing your spot in the ms.
Can you tell the cork board is fast becoming my favorite feature? Another reason I like it is because I tend to switch between POV’s and my chapters become collections of scenes. With Scrivener each scene can have its own index card. On that card I write a short synopsis of the scene, the characters in it, any highlights I want to remember. I can now move these scenes around independent of the rest of the chapter just by dragging and dropping. Here is a screen shot of the cork board with my four chapters: Each of the scenes within a chapter is grouped with the appropriate card. I can ungroup to see them all and, likewise, drag and drop them to another location if I chose.
Now, if I want to move a scene from one chapter to another, no more cut and paste, simply drag and drop. And I wouldn’t even have to have chapters at this point if I didn’t want. I could just have a collection of scenes that will eventually be combined into chapters.
Another nice feature of the index card are being able to color code them with a label color and a status watermark. If you notice on the screen shot above, the pins are different colors. Green indicating a chapter, blue a scene. And I’ve given each card the status of “First Draft”. You can use preset labels and status indicators or create your own.
Okay, back to actual writing now!