A great post on Scrivener

I love Scrivener. I find it amazingly useful and very friendly to use. I love how I can write different scenes and then move them around. It has features that just simply just make writing so much fun.

But it can be an intimidating program to use at first. So, I loved this post on how-to for those curious about Scrivener.


It’s in the site: Writers in the Storm, a great site for writers anywhere with great articles. If you’re at all interested in writing, check it out.

Scrivener: A video how to

I know Scrivener can be intimidating if someone is new to it. I certainly can’t do it justice by saying, do this, don’t do that, touch that thinggie and avoid that doohickey.

I thought, instead, I’d share some videos on how to use Scrivener. Please note: they use pictures (worth a thousand words).

Here’s a tutorial video.


Here’s an introduction video to tempt your taste buds.



Ode to Scrivener

I love Scrivener. I think I might have rambled on about this before but I certainly didn’t do it justice. Joanna Penn does in her great post in The Creative Penn.

If you’ve never heard of it, Scrivener is a program that helps authors write…anyway they write. So, if you are like me, someone who likes to go back and fix things or add a scene or delete a scene, you won’t have to go through scrolling-hell to do it. Scrivener sets up your writing in scenes that you can move around and delete and add with a little click of the button.

It’s hard to visualize but that’s where Joanna’s amazing post comes in because she (unlike me) has awesome pictures that helps you see what you’re going to get in Scrivener.

She also has links to tutorials so you can get the most out of it. She also mentions the top 8 reasons why Scrivener will just change the way your write–for the better.

That Corkboard, for example, is incredible. You can set up scenes and write them later, move them around and brainstorm your way through your plot and story lines until they meet the way you want–without ever having to use multiple pages or other programs.

Finally, as if I haven’t said enough about this program, it actually formats your book into an epub, mobi, pdf, word doc or just about any format you’d like. No joke!

Scrivener is awesome.

Essential tools for writers

I’d like to pass this link of 20 essential tools for writers. I didn’t know a lot of them…but I knew Scrivener. I love Scrivener (In fact, I don’t think love covers it).

Katelyn Piontek certainly did her research to find these and she’s added what’s good about each one so you can scan the list and save time.

For me, I loved that Scrivener made the list as number 6. It’s just awesome. But there are some beauties in there I didn’t know about. I’ll have to check them and see. My hope is you find one as well!

P.S. Click on the logo to go to the site.

Formatting nightmares

Formatting is something self-published authors know about…and dread. Traditionally published authors get to skip this entire ordeal because they simply send their manuscript off to the agent and presto, it magically appears already formatted and on paper. At least, I that’s what I think happens.

Poor self-published authors like myself don’t have that luxury. I can ask someone to do it for me but that’s risky and expensive. Last time I tried that, they botched it up and would only fix the issues if I paid more money. So now, I do it myself.

Formatting changes the lovely book you’ve written into something an ereader can process. Without formatting you get lines that fall off the edge of the page, breaks where there shouldn’t be breaks and other nightmares. In other words, you have to format the thing or not even your aunt Matilda, who loves you, will read your ebook.

I use Scrivener. It has an innocent little button that says: collate. Collate means formatting. I looked at it and wished the entire process would be as simple as pressing that button. Alas…it’s not.

Press collate and you open up a new window FULL of buttons that open other windows FULL of buttons. Everything from the table of contents to the size of font to the space between the lines, to indents, to how you take your coffee in the morning…everything is in there for you to change and organize. If you want an epub file, you get a set of different choices that match that file’s needs. If you want a mobi file, you get another set. And so on.The problem is some of those buttons are written in codes and you have to fill in information with even more codes.

Figuring out how to collate took me a good five hours (during which I only answered in angry grunts). Scrivener helpfully provides some tutorials online in a microscopic window. After five hours of squinting, I finally got rid of the thing and started simply guessing. Incredibly, I did manage to collate the thing because it’s on Amazon now (I blame it on dumb luck).

In spite of all this, Scrivener is a great option, simply because it’s better than the alternative: Doing it By Hand. Formatting a document a la hand means you have to do manually what each of those little buttons did on Scrivener. For each paragraph, for each chapter, for the entire manuscript. It’s much, much worse than Scrivener’s collating.

Why am I rambling on about formatting? Well, the thing is I’m trying to publish Olivia’s Choice on Smashwords so that I can list my book for free (Amazon won’t do it unless they’re price matching). That means I have to re-format the entire thing.

By hand.

I estimate it’s going to take me a year and a half to get this done.