Learning Scrivener: Part 2

scrive2On Sunday, I posted Part 1 of this series explaining that I recently purchased Scrivener, a program designed to make writing and organizing easier for authors and such.  I’m slowly making my way through the extensive tutorial and decided to blog a bit about it to help others out there who might be considering the program. So let’s continue…

Step 4 in the tutorial is all about being able to go Full Screen mode so you can block out distractions.  There’s lots of options to “dress things up here” with different color backgrounds and fonts. I didn’t test any of them because lots of other programs have this feature, including WordPress.

The next step is called The Inspector and it seems to be so complex that it even has seven subcategories. For me, it felt like this features of the program would work better if you were writing a research paper or nonfiction piece.  You launch The Inspector by clicking on the I in the blue circle at the top right of the program (see photo).  Hmm…what does that look like to you?

Also, as you can see from the photo, you can create a Synopsis which is typed on an index card. You can also assign meta-data to your piece. You can take notes in the margin as well. You can also input references, from other documents or the web. You can assign keywords to your chapters or document, making it easier to find those sections later. You can also input comments or footnotes into your manuscript and assign them to specific words or parts of your text.

The one feature I found the most useful was the Snapshot option.  Have you ever wanted to save a draft and then rewrite it, but then maybe you wanted to go back to the original copy but couldn’t find it, or maybe you typed over it or deleted it?  Using the Snapshot feature, you can hold on to your original draft by taking a snapshot of it.  You can then rework/rewrite it while holding on to the original in the same folder. Pretty neat.

All of these different features are launched after you open the Inspector by clicking on buttons in the lower right corner of the program.  They look like this:

inspect1

Like I said, I’m not sure how useful all of these features would be when writing a novel, but I’m willing to give them a try. As I learn more about the program, I’m seeing just out flat a Word doc really is.  This program definitely makes for rich text as you build a story – being able to add notes, keywords, references, and the like.  I’m really looking forward to getting started after I finish the tutorial.

This completed Part 1 of the tutorial.  More later as I continue on…

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