I’ve got a couple of followers who are writers themselves, so… here’s some Scrivener tweaks that will help out a lot!
- Where are you backing up to? If you haven’t specified a directory for Scrivener to back up to, it’s not backing up. it’s just overwriting what you just saved. Make a directory in Dropbox called “Scrivener backups”. Set all of your Scrivener projects to backup to that directory. After you do the first one, the rest seem to default to that. The backups are saved in a dated zip file.
- Keywords. These are not project keywords – I’ll deal with that next – but these are keywords. Enter keywords like “Location”, “characters, “POV”. Now when you go to Scrivenings view (third icon), theres a scroll bar with a little box at the top. Click that box, and you’ll see the keywords you just entered. You now can track who what when where why how all tracked in your Scrivenings view. Make sure you check the “word count” option, so you can see your word count per scene.
- Project Keywords. Okay, I just found this one recently. Under the Project menu, there is an option. project keywords. Enter in all of your major and minor characters. You can edit the little color dots – make sure you do, so that the colors are all distinct. Now, in the inspector, click on the key icon, and… (two ways – number one) click on the plus icon, and type in the name of a character in that scene. (way number two) click on the wheel and open the project keywords box, and drag the names of all the characters in that scene into the keyword box in the inspector. Why? Go to your corkboard, and look at the right hand side of every notecard! You now can see at a glance who’s in your scenes!
- Full Screen. I make Scrivener all colorful. But when I’m trying to concentrate on a scene, I go to full screen to start typing. You can choose a backdrop to it, or leave it black. Try both. See what makes you more productive. You can also make it translucent, so you can see your scrivener underneath it. Choose what you like. Or constantly change it. The idea is, to see what makes you more creative, and sometimes changing the display makes you more creative.
- Apply icon colors to… This one’s a favorite. The plain Scrivener looks good, but i like to see it more colorful. So, I apply the icon colors to almost everything. Chapters are Green, scenes are blue. Make SURE you’re taking advantage of the labels to determine “chapter” and “scene”. this is how Scrivener is set up, to deal with them in this manner.
- Icons – you can add icons to Scrivener, and apply those icons to a scene. I don’t do this, but apparently some people love this. You just have to install icon sets to Scrivener, and then apply them to each chapter-scene.
- Cover Creator – This only works in the “Compile to epub” format. Of course, you have to make your own graphic for the cover. I played with it a little, but right now, I’m working on writing and editing,and not ready to self publish.
These should get you started! What Scrivener tweaks have YOU discovered?