Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? If you are, there’s only one week left to prepare yourself. Whether that means detailed outlines or getting out the toothbrushes to deep clean your coffee-mate depends upon your choice as plotter or pantser. For those who plot loosely AND have just acquired Scrivener (go here to download the PC [beta] version and here to get the MAC [gotta buy it but it’s a good price] version) I am going to help you get an idea of how to use the program for your NaNo book.
First, when you open Scrivener for the first time, you are presented with this:
|Click on pictures for larger view
You can see on the left hand side a list of options. For the sake of this post, let’s choose Fiction. That will change what’s in the box on the right. You have the option of Novel, Novel (with Parts), and Short Stories. Click on Novel.
Before you go any further, you must choose a name for this project. It can be the name of your book or, if you haven’t settled on a name yet, whatever comes to your mind at the time. Here’s mine:
Once you have gotten your title in place, click the Create button and you are taken here:
This gives you the basic run-down of how to use the Novel Template to write your book.
From here, let’s click on the Chapter folder. You will see a cork board with a small “index card” labeled Scene. For those of you that use note cards for plotting, this will be useful. You can put your scene synopsis on this and be able to see it when you move to writing the document. (We’ll get to that part in a bit) Here’s a screen shot of the cork board:
From here, you can click the green button with the plus sign in it to start new scenes and enter the synopsis for each scene of the chapter:
If you are ready to start a new chapter, just click on the down arrow next to the green button and you are given the option of new text or new folder. Click new folder and label it Chapter (you don’t have to include the chapter number as mentioned in opening screen):
It’s easy to go through and get your scenes set up where you want them from there. Just fill in the index cards on your cork board until your outline is complete. Then, once November 1st comes around, you can go to the text and start typing!
(Note the index card in the upper right corner. It has the synopsis you created for this scene.)
If you don’t like using note cards, there is an outline option available too. If you look at the top of your screen you will see three boxes:
The boxes represent the main text that your working on, the cork board, and the outline. Click on Manuscript in the binder. If you see the cork board, that’s okay. Just click on the right box and you will see the available outline. Since we’ve already discussed using the note cards, this is what the outline will look like:
Just click on the arrow next to what chapter you want to outline and start putting your synopsis in the scene you want to work on.
Good luck to everyone doing NaNoWriMo this year!