How to Use Scrivener to Organise and Write a Novel | Ask Me Anything on Writing Ep 002

How to Use Scrivener to Organise and Write a Novel | Ask Me Anything on Writing Ep 002

hello everybody and welcome to the
second ask me anything on writing episodes. from this episode onwards I’ve made a
few changes to the show the most significant being I will only answer one
question per episode just to keep things short I’ve noticed on this channel that
I tend to have a lot of long-form content and so I decided to create
something that’s a little different and hopefully a little shorter episode 3 and
onwards will be quite short and I sort of aim to keep it under five minutes I
was recently asked a question by a podcast listener through my ask a
question forum on my website and the link to that forum is on the screen
right now just in case you actually were wondering how can I ask a question for
me to answer in the YouTube channel podcast or blog I would like to point
out something that’s probably super obvious but if I choose to answer its if
it’s a question that requires a visual element the question is probably going
to take a little longer because I do outline I like to outline my answers to
these questions and obviously will then go on to either record or film the video
so it may take a little longer for me to actually answer the question if you do
ask a question I guess all I’m asking for is a bit of patience because I’ve I
get this a lot when people ask me a question especially if I accumulate them
for the bonus episode on my podcast I get a lot of people emailing me back
going when will I be able to listen to my question being answered and I have to
if I answer it on the podcast I need to wait until there’s a few more questions
so I can actually create an episode but this particular question will not be
answered on the podcast purely because I need to actually show you what I do and
I don’t like talking about things that require a visual element on the podcast
because as an audio industry he’s sort of miss out on something that’s actually
super important by aggress so I sort of feel like in order to answer this
question I felt the answer needed a visual
element and I felt that even creating a blog
post with actual images wasn’t enough I needed to go or further and create a
video and actually go through and show all of the different things that I do so
without further ado let’s get into the question I will point out that I do
have notes just to the side so if you see me looking over to the side at my
iPad then you know why I’m just starting my very first novel and I’m using
Scrivener I was wondering how you write it all together and then divide it up into chapters later how do you find out where to separate it after it’s
written I’d like to write it and then separate it so that I can keep writing
and figure out the chapters later so firstly there is no right or wrong way
to use Scrivener it’s one of those it’s quite a powerful web processing tool
that you can use basically any way that you particularly like before I answer
the question I sort of feel like this question is more about how do you how do
you use Scrivener and I think the person is also sort of posing the question I’ll
go back to the question actually they basically want to use Scrivener in a way
that they write and they can be completely uninterrupted and part of the
reason you can definitely do this in Scrivener but to be
able to do this in a way that you can just sort of keep plowing through the
words and keep writing it’s all about how you organize Scrivener in order for
me to show you how I use Scrivener I sort of feel like I need to show you my
writing process just so you know how I’ve arrived at what I’ve done because
it’s there’s a lot of moving parts and it looks overwhelming and I sort of feel
like if I explain to you this is where I start out writing then I go here and I
do this you can sort of understand how I’ve come to use Scrivener and the way I
use Scrivener has changed over time I originally started I was purely writing
Microsoft Word for a while when I first started dabbling in screenwriting back
in 2011 I was actually using a completely different product that is
purely for screenwriting and that is called Final Draft and I think there’s
like additional eleven now I was using Final Draft and I’m used to mapping out
every scene in a story before I start writing
and then when I started writing novels I used Microsoft Word and that was back in
2013 when I was writing started writing novels I started writing a romantic… two
romantic comedies and I started writing them in Microsoft Word because I think
at the time I had no idea Scrivener existed and perhaps Scrivener didn’t
exist back then so all I had was Microsoft Word but once I started
writing thrillers in 2014 I started using Scrivener and I’ve also used it
for nonfiction as well but that’s a side issue this is purely about using
Scrivener to write fiction in regards to knowing how does how to separate things
into chapters I will point out two things and I sort of feel like I need to
explain these things before I actually show you my Scrivener files so the first
thing is I write the first draft in scenes and then I divide this up into
chapters and I do this a little later I divide the book up into chapters at a
later stage but I’ll explain that later on exactly when I do that and why and I
think it’s important if I explain it in order you’ll be like oh this is why she
does that the reason behind this writing choice is I’m an extensive outliner and
it comes from how I alluded to earlier my sort of screenwriting dabbling days and
to really write a film or a TV show you need to outline you need to know what
happens in every single scene before you put fingers to keyboard and actually
write the pilot episode or the film whatever it is that you’re doing so
that’s how I’ve come to be an outliner I can’t pants anything to say even when I
started writing my first novels I was I wasn’t I wasn’t a pantser I thought I
was pantsing but I had a list of what I needed what needed happen in every
chapter so I had the basics of an outline I didn’t go into story structure
I said well this needs to happen this needs to happen in this needs to happen
and that’s it it was just like maybe two lines per chapter and I thought yeah
maybe the chapters will be 5,000 words because that’s what I was used to
reading at the time I was reading a lot of I think it’s called women’s fiction
back in the day, it was called Chicklit I think now it’s called a romantic comedy so in the outlining phase I’ve already determined what is a scene
the process from me from going to outline to first draft is quite seamless
because I’ve already defined the scene and the location and all of that I don’t
sort of make it up as I go along I’m very very structured but for those of
you who do like to pants I’m not saying you have to do it all my way it’s the
reason why I do this is I also am a bit of a control freak so that’s I guess the
reasoning behind why I’m so structured and that’s fine it’s a personality thing
and you don’t have to do it that way but for those of you who do pants and you’re
like “what’s the scene, what’s a chapter” I do have a couple of definitions I want
to share with you and they’re things that I’ve had to define for myself
because back when I was writing Immunity I was I knew what a scene was in
screenwriting but was like ooh is this different to for some reason I thought it
was different for a novel and it isn’t I sort of wrote these two particular
definitions just so I could stop asking myself this question and move forward
and become a better writer and actually finish the first draft of Immunity
because it literally took me two years to finish the first draft possibly
longer and I kept getting stuck on things like this so a scene is a unit of
story that takes place in a specific location and time if one of those things
change you have a new scene and the reason why I actually like this is
because for me it it sort of gives me a definition so I know if something so if
time has to pass and I know that I need a time break and therefore a new scene
if you do like to write in scenes and chapters so that when you finish it
actually looks like a book so a chapter is a tool writers used to organize a
story in light of this a chapter might have one or more scenes so you can even
break up a long scene across two chapters with the concept of a chapter
the way that you organize scenes within each chapter has a lot to do with your
story’s genre and whether you’re trying to create suspense within a story so if
you’re trying to create suspense within a story you’re probably going to break
up a long scene across the two chapters to give the story that page-turning
effect and that’s really how it’s done you break up you end the chapter on
almost like a cliffhanger like if you’re writing horror it’s sorry I can’t
think of an example that’s not completely gory so if you’re writing horror you
might choose to end a scene as a knife’s being thrusted towards somebody and you
might so end the scene there it’s it sort of feels a bit cruel and you like
well what’s happening and then if you’re extra cruel you could turn to a
different part of the story and then come back to it something that’s
happening at that same time that’s quite crucial so just to add in the suspense I
don’t actually write horror but I’m starting to think maybe I should not that
I think I’m any good but it’s just like I seem to come up with a lot of examples
like that and it’s before I show you Scrivener I need to show you where my
writing process starts and that is Evernote
before I transition the screen over to Evernote I will point out that over time
my story writing process has evolved the way I write I’m writing the first draft
of a short story now it’s very different the way than the way the process I used
to write Immunity some things have changed but as I’ve because the short
story is really the fourth thriller that I’ve written it’s my process has evolved
so in order for me to show you my current process I I need to show it to
you across a few different stories and these two stories are the first two
stories in the James Lalonde prequel series and it’s Missing in Silence the reason
why I’m have to show it to you across two different stories I need to answer
this question across two different stories is because I’ve gotten feedback
for Missing from a professional editor so it’s starting to look like a book
whereas Silence doesn’t really it’s just a bunch of scenes and you can see how I
wrote the first draft because it’s I haven’t organised into chapters the time
frame when I choose to organise stuff into chapters has changed over time it’s
actually something new that I’ve started with Missing that I didn’t do with
Silence and Immunity I think Immunity probably has it’s just a bunch of scenes
potentially but without further ado I’m going to transition across Evernote
well show you the very earliest stages of me creating a story because this
stuff eventually feeds back into Scrivener which is why I want to show
you this so this is what you’re seeing on the screen is the desktop version of
Evernote and I’ve just gone down to this category here tags and so basically
every time I create a note I tend to give it a tag I use obviously different
notebooks for everything as you can see I’ve got like a million notebooks and I
stack the notebooks some notebooks have actually been stacked together because
they need to be stuck together and then each note has tags on them so then I can
go through and find groups of things that related to different topics such as
my YouTube channel notes I’ve taken on summits and in this case notes for
Missing so I’m just gonna click on the tag for my novella Missing and you will
notice it’s it’s evolved over time so my process in Evernote starts off with a
basic story idea all I’m really doing at this stage as I dump down everything I
know about the stories so far these things are just combination of facts and
ideas as you can see on the screen Missing was supposed to be a short story
but it as of the fourth draft which is after I’ve sent it to an editor I’m
actually it’s actually at 40,000 words which is clearly not a short story it’s
another it’s it’s not quite a novel so basically what I do is I’ll write story
ideas and then it’ll eventually and then eventually I’ll start fleshing out the
key scenes in the story the hook the ordinary world scene the inciting
incidents the point of no-return the midpoint all of those sort of three act
structure scenes I will sort of clearly define them I’ll see if I can actually
find it in here yes so there’s story notes and then I started to find the
opening ordinary world scene the hook and then I eventually I transitioned
this over to Scrivener that’s not true actually I then that’s this day I think
it was this stage here I then went to Excel I started transferring things from
Excel to Evernote and I thought this is ridiculous I finished the outline in
Excel and then I transferred all this information over to when I first created
the Scrivener file so I’m gonna transition this over to Excel just so
you can kind of see it so after I’ve finished writing the basic details and
doing that sort of brain dump stage of writing a story in Evernote it starts
the outline starts getting a little complicated I’ve got those core twelve
scenes and then I need to flesh out everything in between and I need to
start you start adding other elements that I can’t you can’t do in Evernote
without making it look confusing so I use Excel purely because I like as you
can see on the screen I’ve got a huge love of columns so I so I have a column
purely for the axe so I’ve got the plot point just so I can name the plot point
scene the scene number the chapter I add that chapter column I add in after I
finished writing the first draft and as I’m preparing the book for the first
read-through so then I have the point of view character seeing the location what
I want to achieve in the goal the the type of seen the value shift and the
value shift is there just purely for me to make sure that something’s actually
happening in the story sorry in the scene so these columns with value shift
conflict stakes the question cliffhanger the storyline the intensity of the scene
I add them in this is what I refer to as the editing the outline phase I start
adding these extra things in as my way of editing the story and making sure
that the story is structurally sound and it has a logical flow to it and makes
this is how I avoid doing massive rewrites unless I particularly want to
change the direction a story goes in and therefore changing the outline after
this sorry my scene titles are a bit spoilery and then I have the timeline
foreshadowing notes and then my word count goal which is it’s really just a
guess so then after I get to this point and
I’ve revised my outline I then add these individual scenes to Scrivener I also
then after I’ve done this I then go back and add in all those other elements I’ve
had in Evernote into Scrivener just so I can have all this stuff in one place and
I don’t have to have 12 million files open I can just have Scrivener with
everything there that I need to start writing my story in light of that let’s
head over to Scrivener what you’re seeing on the screen is my Scrivener
file for missing so this is just the manuscript section at the top and this
is what the book actually looks like once it gets to the almost ready to
publish phase I do a similar thing in Silence which is the next Scrivener file
that I’ll show you but I will explain these colors these color coding at that
time because it make more sense me to explain it then so the things that are
in this story framework section these are just sections that I’ve created on
my own like I’ve so this little icon at the bottom which is the folder thing
Scrivener doesn’t come like this as you’re probably aware so these are
basically just folders with notes on the inside which is what basically
everything in Scrivener actually is in order to create this
story framework all I do is I click on that I then go through I right-click on
my Mac which is you just press option and then click is how you right-click on a Mac
just in case you where and then I go through and I change the icon I like to
use the pencil because I’m quirky like that but that’s how you create these
sections and then the outline I’ve just gone through and I’ve done the same
thing I’ve created a… I’ve hid that envelope so basically this is this story
framework section is everything that is exported over
so I just highlight the things and then I copy and paste it directly into
Scrivener so here are the story details originally as you can see it’s
crossed over and even then I’ve exceeded my word count as you can see it’s
thirty-eight thousand words at the time I’m doing a fourth draft and eventually
I’ll in that natural process I will reduce the number of words that are in
the story I got all of this information from the Evernote file and this is
something I sort of asked myself a question later as I was fleshing out the
story in more detail and then I realised yeah this needs to be another lab so
here are the original ideas just ideas that I’ve brainstormed and dumped it
down into the file here is where I’ve done basically a rough scene-by-scene
outline where I’ve then gone through and I’ve highlighted these are the days
these events happen on this day’s just so I can keep an eye out on the ticking
time clock element of the story and then I’ve just gone through some of this is
spoilery so I’ve created information in the back history what the reader needs
to know and what James actually knows because a lot of this is written from
his point of view so I need to figure out but he’s not the point of view
character of every scene there are some scenes that are told from the point of
view another character and he doesn’t know things there are things that the
reader already knows but James doesn’t know because he wasn’t present and he
needs to figure these things out I need to show the reader how he’s how he
figured these things out so that’s the story framework and this is the outline
so basically in previous outlines I’ve actually broken the outline into act 1
act 2 and 3 and this particular story I didn’t do that for some reason but I
have flagged all of the key moments in the story and I tend to do this to make
sure that all the scenes were in the right place and I’m creating something
that is structurally sound and after and all of this information comes directly
from the outline the Excel outline I just drag across the important
information the other columns are actually added to the individual scene
so when I wrote this particular scene what I did was I
just had act one in a bunch of scenes on that top page and then I transferred
all of the information from Excel that I needed to write the scenes so they like
this is the timestamp that’ll be that might be at the top of the chapter I’m
not 100% sure what my chapter headings if I choose to have chapter headings or
not so this is the point of view character the day of the week that it is
the word counts I’m pretty lean that the location the value shifts etc I think
the further on I go I actually add in more details so yeah I write in the
conflict the same question and the cliffhanger the reason why I do this is
I I then go through and I will scene block a scene before I write it so
basically and then I outline the scene and then I write it and this helps me to
write it faster because I’ve done a scene by scene outline when I get to the
first draft phase it becomes super difficult for me to actually write
because I’ve already done all the creating so then this is why then go
through and I outlined the scene and I I pay attention to the beats within the
scene the beats are these emotional moments in scenes so I then go through
and outline them but again you don’t have to outline to this extent this is
just the way I do it and I can only explain this is the way I do it I can’t
explain to how you would pants a novel in scrivener I can just show you this
is how I organise them so that’s the outline after I do the outline the next
step is I’ll going to the manuscript and I’ll literally create one of these
little files one of these for each particular scene and I’ll name it and
then I’ll add in the rest of the information from the excel file then I
will start doing research actually that’s not sure I do this as I
go along sometimes I will start because I kind of can’t go forward without
knowing certain things so then I will research and every time I research
something I’ll give it an individual file in this research folder it just
makes it easier for me to go back and check this information like here I had
to figure out how bail works in the UK because I’m not
even though I’m a UK citizen I wasn’t actually born here and I haven’t I’ve
only been living in the UK since 2011 so a lot of things that I understand about
police procedure and law have to do with other countries like Australia in the
u.s. so I don’t actually understand how this works in the UK so I had to figure
this out as I wrote and information about a police raid I watched a
documentary and I wrote down notes just so I know this information it gives it a
sense of realism in the story so each note I create has a different file and
then here are the character profiles I like to change the icon to the character
of sort of theater mask that’s a bit spoilery I think this character has an
actual yeah so in the character profiles I just put all the information I need to
write the story and I usually put in I’ve done this more recently with
Missing and the short story I did I’ve have actually done this with all of my
stories I just haven’t with Missing and The Lawn and I’ve actually made more of
an effort to drag in these images into Scrivener I don’t know why I haven’t
done it in previous files but this one this guy doesn’t actually have a
character image because he’s not a significant character that may return in
a different series so this particular actually this character I have actually
cast him so he’s his characters actually I’ve chosen Charles Dance as inspiration
for this character someone who looks a little like him who’s a similar age just
so I’m creating a cast of characters that are all 20 so just so I’m not
creating a world that’s full of 30 year olds because that’s weird because it’s not
real that’s not real life so this is the Scrivener file for my second book
Silence and I just wanted to show you something
else I do that’s slightly different with the scene by scene outline section and I
use so I divide this up into act 1 act 2 and act 3 and these colors that I show
that I’m showing you here actually correspond to like the yellow the purple
and the red correspond to the scene folders in the manuscript when I write
the first draft I group my scene all of the scenes together according to the
apps so act one is red act 2 is purple as a purple folder and act 3 has a
yellow folder and each age as you’ll see these colored notebooks all have a
different color and they’re basically they’re colored according to the point
of view character just so I can keep track of how much of the story is being
told by a particular point of view because I’m writing the crime thriller
sometimes I can let this the story get away from me and I can have too many
point-of-view characters so that’s why I’m doing that in this particular story
so this particular story is in the third draft phase and what I tend to do is
between the time that I finished the first finished writing the first draft
and my first read-through I will group these particular scenes
into chapters and usually the chapter will just say 1 2 3 written out in words
and the chapter folders the colour will correspond to the particular act that
the chapter exists in just so I can get a feel for the balance of the book so
I’m going to go back to missing and show you what that final product looks like
this is what I mean like this is all Act 1 this is the first half of Act – this
is like the midpoint section here this is the second part of Act 2 which is
I’ve done something this is a step I’ve added for Missing and this is act 3
actually I’m going to stay in Missing there are things in this story that I
particularly want to show you that quite relevant out to outside of the writing
phase so after I’ve written the story I’ll then group the scenes according to
chapters I guess how you group your scenes into chapters 2 really depends on
your genre but what I like to do use I look at chapters in a few
different ways I like to tell either a story you know enough itself in the
chapter or when I’m adding suspense it’s just one scene per chapter and sometimes
if I change point of view and that second point of view is quite critical
I will then choose to divide things up but if James is going from place to
place and he’s following a particular element of the story that he’s trying to
write because he’s a journalist I will sometimes keep those scenes together and
then I will cut this the chapter at a moment that I know is quite suspenseful
like when he reaches a natural conclusion or he finds out something new
just before he finds out that something new I will then cut that scene and it’ll
the rest of that scene will be in a different chapter so chapter 1 is really
it’s one event told from two different point of views but because it’s the
first chapter it’s it’s essentially a prologue and James is in neither of
those I need the second chapter to be him to be his particulars to follow his
particular story so because I write in the crime thriller genre I need to start
off with a crime because that’s just how it is and so this particular scene is
two different points of views and it tells a story of how the crime takes
place you sort of get to see it you don’t see everything there are elements
that are missing and these elements are super important
they’re super crucial to the story this chapter two is really the ordinary world
scene for James and you then see as the chapters progresses you then see his
world starting to crumble and then chapter 4 is the inciting incident where
he’s forced into change but he’s still in a place where he’s looking for a
quick solution to that change in his world and he wants to go back to how
things were he wants to wrap it all up in not disturb the ordinary flow to his
life so that’s how I divide my story up into chapters I tend to think suspense
first I operate under the under the assumption that my first
is the prologue and is the crime then I jump into to the main character in their
ordinary world and I disrupt it and I tend to break a scene just before he’s
about to discover some new information or he kind of gets a hint where
something will happen and he is left to assume certain things but he still
doesn’t quite have actual evidence yet so I cut it off there just so the reader
is encouraged to turn the next page so that’s how I break up my scenes how I
sort of determined what goes in a chapter I tend to think of the the end
the readers experience and I want them to get to the end of the book so I tend
to think how am I going to help the reader really just keep turning those
pages and not want to go to bed at the end of the night to get to a place where
they’re at 3 a.m. in the morning and they’re still reading this is how well
I’m trying to create this feel in the book that’s how I choose what scenes go
into the to my chapter so once you I get to the writing or the revision in the
editing stage of writing I’ve created a few different things so so this all icon
here on the screen is actually it looks like a camera and it’s referred to as a
snapshot and this is how I manage all the different versions of my story so
this first snapshot which is here you’ll see it’s so different it’s a little
different to the version that’s on the screen right now and this is the revised
first draft and what that is is I went through and I wrote each scene and I
then went and did a line and on each scene and shed on my blog so I needed to
do the line at it in the proofread my own line edit and proofread before I
blogged it so that’s why I call it a revised draft and then I went through so
between the revised draft and this particular particular snapshot here I
then went through and I made revisions and after I finished creating the
revisions I then went and created a snapshot before I went through and I
started making highlights and stuff like that and changed things for the
final four the fourth drafts so the fourth draft is in process and there’s
no snap shot here at the moment so this is really draft two and three I didn’t
create a separate draft draft 3 because snapshot so to create a snapshot you
just hit this plus icon here and then you can just type over it but you have
to go through and create a snapshot for every single scene in the book but it’s
definitely worthwhile because if you make mistake and/or you decide I don’t
actually like the way that I’ve revised my story you could go back to a previous
version of your story so say if I made through and I decide I didn’t like any
of the edits that I’ve made so far I can I can roll the story back to this before
editorial feedback version but I’m not going to do that because that’s crazy during the
revision stage of the story what will happen is I will go through and I’ll
make changes and then for some reason I’ll decide that I don’t want to keep
some stories so instead of hitting delete I will create a folder with it
and I will label it as I will choose the I the test-tube icon and all call it
deleted scenes and I will just remove these particular scenes from the menu
scripts and I will hit this little X over here so it’s not included in the
final word count so I only do this during the – my own revisions I’ve
not yet had to delete an entire scene during the editorial feedback stage of
the writing it’s only during revisions that I make these sort of big changes
and part of the reason why I like to keep these particular deleted scenes is
because more often than not they will explain things that I need to know that
just aren’t important for the reader to know they already know it it’s spawing
or the things that they don’t need to see like I’ve actually got the letter
here I wrote a letter from somebody to another character and I thought I don’t
need to show it because it creates a level of emotion that’s not necessary
it’s already an emotional moment I don’t need to make it you know a 12
out of 10 you get it it’s the reader gets it it’s terrible
and I felt this is more important for me to know this and it is actually for the
reader so I decided to delete it and I moved it here so as I go through and I
make my own revisions I will I will create a separate folder under the
outline and I call it editing notes but it’s a really revision notes and
basically I label the scenes so it’ll be scene number two and then I’ll create
add in the title of the scene I’ll actually show you how I then go through
and edit these scenes so to create this split screen I just go to this little
icon here that looks like a divided page I hit that I like to have the actual
scene that I’m working on at the top and at the bottom I like to have my
editorial notes so I just hit this little title bar above this split screen
for the second scene and then once this is highlighted blue I then I can hit
something else and that will replace it so what I usually do is I will go
through and I’ll do a read through it I’ll make notes just each time I go I
tend to edit in passes and each pass I pay attention to a particular scene and
over time will get a long list of notes but this particular scene didn’t have
too many notes some particular scenes do require that so scene 24 obviously has
so in this particular scene I’ve actually quite a few notes as I’ve
gone through and I read the scene I’ve created notes I tend to read the story
as a whole every time sometimes I get the computer to read the story back to
me but it’s that’s irrelevant has as to how I do it but I read it through and I
create notes and then I go back and I’ll do a revision pass and I’ll go through
and make all the changes and then I read it again and I’ll keep reading and
looking for different things sometimes a for a group of elements together in
the same pass just to make it actually a quicker experience so the label is
basically the same number and then the title of the scene I pull the scene
number from the Excel spreadsheet outline so that’s how I revise in
Scrivener So in terms of working with a professional
editor what I do is I have to export this export this into Word and then I
send that to my editor and then I’ll get it back it’s actually taken me a long
time to actually process and make the corrections for the fourth draft purely
because I tried to force myself to write in Microsoft Word and it was super
difficult and I found all the information I had overwhelming so I then
eventually transferred all of the notes over to Missing I’m now making the edits
I’m missing and then just because it’s easier and it’s familiar so what I did
is I can I commissioned a three chapter edit by a professional editor with a
follow up proofread I chose that option because there as I was busy and I really
wanted to work with her so I chose this over a full edit but I think what I’m
gonna do is I will commission a full edit cuz I’m starting to feel a bit
nervous I could be doing that just because I’m panicking so with this three
chapter edits I got a full page of notes I got track changes for the first three
scenes and I went through and I created an editorial checklist to create the
fourth draft based on the notes that I’ve gotten and the things that came up
in the track changes so then I went through that list and I went through and
highlighted all of the things in the chapter that needed to be changed so I
did this in an in a few different ways I’m just gonna scoot this very far
because I do something a little different so what I do is I highlighted
things that I need to change and it’s basically I understand why certain
things are highlighted and certain things have a comment which is just this
little icon here which is like a little speech bubble and then if you click this
if you highlight something in here and then click that you’ll create you’ll
then be able to create a comments and then I’ll make the comment and then I’ll
go through and make all the changes for the fourth draft and then send that send
it back to the editor for that final line edit slash proofread what I’m
doing in Scrivener for the editorial feedback is quite experimental so don’t
won’t go into detail as to what I’ve looked for and
I’ve created the checklist because it’s I don’t really know if it’s work because
I haven’t got further feedback on the story so that’s how I use Scrivener to
write and edits my books I hope I’ve given you enough information to help to
give you an idea of how I use Scrivener to organise and write my books I will
flash the question up on the screen just one last time just purely to check that
I’ve actually answered the question so she’s wondering how I write it all
together and or divide and then divide it up into chapters later and she’s
mentioned how she wants to do it she’s curious to how I’m writing in the
outlining phase I already determined the scenes and I already know the number of
this number of scenes in my story and I determine what is a scene based on this
particular definition so scene as a unit of story that takes place in a specific
location and time if one of those things changes you have a new scene and
I use a chapter as a tool it’s a group to organise the story a chapter can have
more than one scene but I think if you’re dividing a story up into chapters
you really need to pay attention to the genre that your story is in because the
readers are going to expect a certain standard with women’s fiction there
tends to be a few scenes in the one chapter the scenes tend to be quite long
and are probably about 5,000 words in its chapter I think that’s how I worked
it out based on other successful writers in the genre that I was reading but in
the thriller genre a lot of writers will have especially James Patterson he tends
to have one Scene per chapter sometimes two but it’s minimum and he keeps a
story flowing and the reason why he has one Scene per chapter is it’s easy like
it’s easy for you to say I’ll just one more chapter is chapter side for four
pages so you and then you fall into the trap do that trap of one more chapter
and it creates his binge sort of culture if you will with the story and that’s
what he’s trying to do when he divides the story up in that way and for me
personally it makes sense because I write in scenes sometimes I do group a
few scenes together but with Missing and Immunity there are quite a few
especially with Immunity there are quite a few one scene per chapter scenarios so
hope that helps you and I hope you get a glimpse of how I use Scrivener if you
actually want more detail as to how to use Scrivener I do there are great
courses out there there is a learn script and a fast course that I highly
recommend but also do a free tutorial on my YouTube channel and I’ll pull it up
I’ll put a link to that video on the screen it’s just how to get started with
Scrivener a free tutorial a free template and tutorial and if you click
the link in the description box on this video you’ll actually be able to
download the template that I actually show you in this particular tutorial
thank you for watching this second episode of a newish series i have on my
youtube channel called ask me anything on writing there will be roughly one at
least one of these episodes and month and if you want to ask me a question you
can come on over to this URL ameliahay dot com forward slash question and
basically i’ve got a form that’s directly embedded on my website and you
can just pop your question in there there are a few answers there are a few
questions you need to answer it’s just so i can keep in contact with you i can let
you know when the question is live and i can send you the answer directly so if
you’re new to my channel and you want to be notified about more videos just like
this as well as videos featuring writing tips writing vlogs and tech tutorials
then hit the subscribe button below and hit the bell icon just so you can get
notifications on youtube thank you for watching and I’ll see you in my next video.

2 thoughts on “How to Use Scrivener to Organise and Write a Novel | Ask Me Anything on Writing Ep 002

  1. Hello, Everyone! Here are the timestamps, just in case you’re curious about one particular part of the vlog more than the others. 🙂

    00:21 | What you can expect from the new Ask Me Anything on Writing Series
    02:56 | This week’s question about scrivener and organising a story
    03:15 | There’s no right or wrong way to use a writing tool like Scrivener.
    04:00 | How my writing process has evolved over the years.
    05:19 | Two things you need to know about how I write and use Scrivener.
    07:16 | Tips for people who like to write by the seat of their pants.
    07:31 | Two helpful definitions for people who do not wish to outline.
    08:12 | What is a scene?
    08:38 | A helpful definition about writing your first draft in chapters.
    09:15 | Creating that page-turning effect.
    11:26 | How I use Evernote to flesh out my story idea.
    14:09 | Why and How I use Excel to outline my books.
    15:15 | Editing my outline before I start writing the first draft.
    16:13 | Importing the information from Evernote and Excel into Scrivener.
    16:41 | My Scrivener file at the editorial feedback stage.
    17:07 | Organising the story details in Scrivener
    19:37 | Organising my story outline in Scrivener
    22:06 | Research notes in Scrivener
    23:12 | Character profiles and why I create a profile for every character
    24:25 | A different outlining organisational technique (great for story structure)
    24:54 | Writing the first draft in Scrivener.
    25:44 | When and How I divide my story into chapters.
    26:59 | Three things to consider when splitting your story into chapters.
    30:20 | Manage the many versions of my novel within Scrivener.
    32:16 | Why I keep my deleted scenes and how I organise this in Scrivener.
    33:53 | Revising a story in Scrivener and organising revision notes.
    35:52 | Working with an editor and making changes to the manuscript in Scrivener.
    38:13 | A quick summary of the tutorial.
    39:14 | Considering the genre of your novel as you break the story up into chapters.

    Thanks for watching!

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