Scrivener and Novels

Do you use Scrivener to write? I’m looking for input.

It’s been recommend to me by several writers, so I thought I’d try it. I’ve been using it for a week. If you’ve been reading my posts you know I can’t write a novel without a spreadsheet. It’s how I keep track of details.

One of my favourite things to do with a spreadsheet is to sort the columns. I can quickly see how may times I use a POV, Location, Characters etc. In Keeping Track Of Scenes I list some of the things I put in a spreadsheet.

Do do this in Scrivener I used the outline page and added fields to the custom meta-data section. This seems to work okay.

I’m going to use Scrivener for the trial period and then decide whether to buy it.

Can you share with me your favourite Scrivener feature and how you use it?

I’m hesitant to move away from my current method, but if this is a better way then I will.

Looking for help. Thanks, 🙂


15 thoughts on “Scrivener and Novels

  1. I, too, am looking forward to what you find. I did download for the free 30 days but haven’t used it yet. Interesting that they count the 30 days not in a linear fashion but as a total of the times you actually log in and use Scrivener. Cool!


  2. I use split screen all the time too. I put the critiqued pages on the top section, and do my edits on the bottom section.
    My favorite feature is a tie between full screen mode, where I can shut out all distractions (except for iTunes ;)) and there is nothing on my computer screen but words, and the cork board. Seeing all my scenes, in color according the point of view up there, and having complete freedom to shuffle them around is really fun. I use real index cards too, but no matter how neatly I try to write on them, the virtual ones are so much tidier.

    If you like the method you have now, you might not find Scrivener to be a big step forward, but I’ll be interested to see if the features it offers win you over!


    1. Katherine, it’s writing software that I’m just getting used to. It has all kinds of feature to help with organization when writing a novel (or screenplay). I’ll keep testing it for the next couple of weeks and see how it goes. If it’s more efficient to use than a combination of Excel and Word, then I’ll switch over.


  3. If you mean the Tags feature when you refer to metadata, yeah…that’s very helpful.

    For me one of the best features of Scrivener is the ability to drag photos, pdfs, web pages, even audio files into the ‘research’ section of the binder area. That really helps me keep track of visual references and other ephemera that I reference when I write!


    1. Funny how life is. I was just reading the Schrivener manual about keywords and trying to figure out the best use for them and along came your comment. I was thinking about putting homophones into a keyword list and then doing a project search for them. I’m working on a quick way to get through a homophone list without searching each one individually. I’m not sure if this is the intent of keywords, but I thought it might work.


      1. Peter, So now I went to your link and read about keywords, I’m not sure my plan is a good one. I think what your blog said was if I search on two keywords, it will find all scenes where both words occur. Does than mean if I have a scene with only one of the words, it won’t list it?


      2. I’m not certain that using Scrivener’s Keywords function for a collection of homophones would be the way to go, but I suppose it could work, and is probably worth a try.

        If you construct your keywords in the format explained in that particular post, it should find each mention of keywords in each scene. It might be best to construct a test to see what happens before going all out.


        1. Thanks Peter. I’m going to give it a try. I’d love to speed up the proofreading process by automating part of it. I’ll test it and then post how it worked. Maybe I’ll get a response with a better way to do this.


Thank you for commenting! Your email address will be stored but not shared.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.