If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably caught on to the fact that I’m something of a Scrivenervangelist. I LOVE IT. It revolutionized my writing life in so many ways, but in particular, it streamlined and organized the way I revise.
So when I hear people on Twitter say things like, “Oh I love Scrivener for drafting, but I still revise in Word,” it Boggles. My. Mind.
And since I’ve been seeing this a lot lately, I thought I’d share with you lovely readers how I use Scrivener to revise.
When I get notes back from beta readers (or an editorial letter!), I divide them up into two buckets: Things Run Throughout the Book and Things That are Scene/Chapter Specific. (Lucky for me, my editor actually writes editorial letters like this, which is just one of many reasons why she’s awesome!) After reading them over, sleeping on them (not literally – you might get a paper cut!), and reading them again until they’re imprinted on my brain, I open up my Scrivener file.
|Project Notes & Document Notes Feature|
Here’s why I love them:
- Used to track larger scope edits such as themes or threads that run throughout and need to be beefed up. If you have the Notes toggled to "Project," they will show up regardless of what scene you are on in the manuscript.
- Example: Good for when you need to add a character/theme, or add/remove a plot thread.
- Used for individual scrivenings (that’s the official name of the text files in Scrivener) and notes specific to each chapter or scene. If you have the Notes toggled to "Document," they will change depending on what scene you are viewing.
- Example: I pasted the relevant notes from my edit letter for each chapter here
Why They Rock
- Insta-reminder of what needs fixing that is constantly in your line of vision
- Easy way to keep your revisions organized, so you don’t have to keep referring back to other documents.
- Easy to implement color coding for specific themes and such if you're just doing a read-through to plot out revisions.
|Split Screen Feature|
You can split between two scrivenings vertically or horizontally. It comes in handy for moving pieces from one scene to another, or keeping a particular scene in mind that impacts the one you’re currently revising. It’s also very good for those unfortunate times when you need to rewrite a scene from scratch but want to reference the original. And if you store research or inspiration in your Scrivener file too, it’s a great way to keep those things easily at hand for reference.
And one last tip: you can keep a running “Cut Scenes” folder in your Scrivener Doc so all those little bits and bobs you love, but have to cut, are easily accessible in case you want to recycle them elsewhere.
While there are, I’m sure, about as many ways to use Scrivener to revise as there are people, these are things I personally find particularly useful. Do you use Scrivener? If so, please share your tips in the comments!
MarcyKate Connolly writes middle grade and young adult fiction and becomes a superhero when sufficiently caffeinated. When earthbound, she blogs at her website and spends far too much time babbling on Twitter. Her debut upper MG fantasy novel, MONSTROUS, will be out from HarperCollins Children's Books in Winter 2015.