Writing Brains & Scrivener

Writing Brains & Scrivener

Natalie Bright

Scrivener software totally gets my writing brain. The more I work in this software, the more I’m amazed at all it can do.

For example, this morning the opening scene for the second book of my Texas Frontier Series popped in my head. BAM! There it was. I am almost 10,000 words into the first draft and the opening chapter I’ve already written is absolutely wrong. Does this ever happen to you? I kept replaying the new scene in my head, over and over until I could get to the keyboard.

Here’s where Scrivener makes your life easy: Within the file that you designate as chapter, you can add a new text file. The chapters will autromatically renumber when you compile the final document. No renumbering pages or worrying about chapter numbers. No cutting and pasting to shift the work. I have a seperate text file for each scene and these scenes can be moved easily around within the manuscript document. That first scene may not be the opeing by the time I reach 30,000 words. No problem. The ‘scene’ file can be shifted to any order within the project file.

For more explaination, here’s the link to watch a great video from the creator of Scrivener:

I also recommend the online class, LearnScrivenerFast.com

Stay tuned for more tidbits about this powerful writing tool. Are you using Scrivener? What has been your experience with Scrivener?

The Scrivener Corkboard

The Scrivener Corkboard

By Rory C. Keel


The Scrivener writing software by literatureandlatte.com, has a wonderful feature for those who love to storyboard called Corkboard. The way to get to the Corkboard is to first open Scrivener and look in the tool bar for a section called “Group Mode,” It looks something like this picture.


Now click on the middle button of the three. This should put you into the Corkboard.

In this view, you can find options for your Corkboard in the right-hand corner at bottom of the page. It will look something like this.


With these buttons you can change the view from “arranged” placement of the cards to the “freeform Corkboard” which allows you to move each card around to change their order.

You will also notice a third button allowing you to set the Corkboard options, such as the size of card, card ratio, spacing and number of cards across the Corkboard.

Another way to access your Corkboard cards is through the “Inspector” button at the top right-hand corner of the tool bar.


With a click of this button, the Inspector will open on the right–hand side of your screen and contain note sections including your Corkboard notecard. By pressing the notecard button in the inspector view, you can toggle between the notecard or a picture section.


For even more adjustments to your Corkboard, in the Scrivener tool bar, go to the word Scrivener > Preferences > Corkboard.


In the tool bar of this view, click on the Corkboard and you can adjust your board background colors and patterns, card line colors, fonts etc…

I hope this helps you use the Corkboard and get more out of the Scrivener writing program.

Find the Perfect Name with Scrivener

Find the Perfect Name with Scrivener

By Rory C. Keel

For several years now, I have been using the Scrivener writing program to do my writing. For me, it is the greatest program that allows me to outline, storyboard, edit and write all within a neatly organized package.

With all the bells and whistles, it would be hard to list them all or explain how to use them in one blog. However, I do want to share some of the interesting features this wonderful program holds.

Have your ever written a story with a character that needed a better name? You know, the Bob or Sally that would really make your story a bestseller if they had a better name.

Well, Scrivener can help you find that perfect name. Tucked neatly away in the Writing tools is a built-in name generator.

Here’s how you find it. Above the tool bar find the word “EDIT,” follow down the menu until you see the word “Writing Tools.” When you place your curser over the word a side menu should appear, and at the bottom you should see the “Name generator.”

With the click of your mouse or scroll pad, the Name Generator should appear in a small window.

The first decision you will need to make is how many names do you want the program to generate? You will see a scroll bar numbered from 1-500, simply slid the marker to number you want to choose from.

Next you will notice the small gear button near the bottom of the window, click it. At this point, you need to make several other choices, such as do you want MALE or FEMALE names? You can set alliteration options, number of forename or surnames, initials, and obscurity level of the names.

You will also find a menu to choose the ethnicity of the name you wish to find. Once you check the appropriate box or boxes, find the long button on the previous menu that says “Generate Names,” and click. The blank screen will suddenly fill with names from which to choose the right name for your character.

I hope you find the perfect name.




By Natalie Bright

Re-typing 15,000 words for Book #2 of a middle grade adventure series set in the Wild West into Scrivener this week. At present, I write everything in Microsoft Word, including this blog post. It’s going to be a huge learning curve to retrain my brain.


Scrivener is a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft.” http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php

I heard about Scrivener when I discovered a great podcast for indie authors: thecreativepenn.com Thriller author, Joanna Penn and several of her guests, claim to have greatly increased productivity by using this writing software.

Here’s what I really like about Scrivener:

The price! Only $40.

The ability to see my entire novel in a notecard format on the corkboard view. Each notecard can be labeled by chapter or scene, with notations for that scene or plot point. Attached to that notecard can be images, links for research, and the scene or chapter manuscript itself. Since I’m adding a mystery element to the WIP book, it helps me plan where I need to take the story.

I also like the project outline view which shows chapter and word count.


Image Credit: Tinted index cards on the corkboard view from http://www.simplyscrivener.com

Editing Your Story made Easy

Scenes rarely come in sequential order. My writing brain has never worked that way. If you’re like me, elements of your current work in progress can hit you at the worst possible times. My brain is a swirl of images as the story plays out in my head. It’s usually coming faster than I can stop whatever I’m doing to jot a note. I’ve scribbled notes on lunch napkins, bank deposit slips, and grocery check-out receipts. Everything else in my life is structured and planned, but I’ve never been able to write a book from point A to point B to point C and so on.

With Scrivener, it’s really easy to find the place where that additional imagery or dialogue needs to be added. I can gather up all of my notes, and using the corkboard view, I can find right where the edits will fit. No more scrolling through a 60 page Word doc or sifting through stacks of printed pages trying to find a particular scene.

I’ll keep you posted on how this goes and what I’m learning.

Is anybody out there using Scrivener? Please share your thoughts, tips, likes, or dislikes.

Writing onward…