Clueless Beginner

Hi all,

I just purchased Scrivener to work on my first novel. I’m totally lost. I’ve watched the tutorial and checked out the help section. I’m totally overwhelmed by it all. I don’t even know where to begin. I feel like an idiot. I’ve got a summary and characters and some other scraps of information to bring to the project. I guess I sort of need to be led by hand - if that’s even a possibility. Thank you.

I’d suggest the written tutorial, which takes you through the whole Scrivener process one step at a time in quite a bit of detail.

Another thought, once you’re starting to understand Scriv, is to go slow and keep it simple – make a document in the binder, and make that your first chapter, and that’s it. You don’t need to use all the features at once. As you work, you’ll find yourself thinking “I wish I could…” When this happens, look up what you want to do in Help or on the Forum. Chances are, if you think you want to do it, you can do it in Scrivener.

Third, and I may get hell for this from the others: I’m not sure Scrivener is a wise choice for some (many) brand new writers. There, I said it. Go ahead, hurl your bricks and rotten fruit. I can take it.

I think the process of writing that first long-form project is a pen-and-legal-pad kind of thing. Or a computer-and-word-processor-you-already-know-how-to-type-on kind of thing. I think that kind of writing needs to be as simple as “Blank sheet, meet some words.” That’s how pretty much everyone ever got started.

Eventually – maybe just a chapter or two into the process – a light will go on and you’ll understand exactly why people love Scrivener so much. But right at the beginning, it may be too much hammer for your nail, as it were.

Hi romanoabs,

In a new project, make sure you select “Draft” in the Binder (to the left) and then click on the green “+/Add”-symbol at the top.
This will create a new empty document titled “Untitled”. You’ll see it to the right of the Binder in the middle of the screen. (Big white empty thing)
Place your cursor there and start writing.
Stop when your novel is finished.

There - nothing to it! Not too much of a hammer for your nails I think. Not if you compare it to your standard wordprocessor :wink:





And just to add the standard disclaimer for romanoabs, who is already feeling clueless and lost and in need of support:

Please ignore vic-k, he is like that for everyone!

What I think vic was trying to say (albeit in a very large font :mrgreen: ) is that it is quite common to have that reaction when facing new software, and there are many users (our caricatured vic-k included) who have been in your situation before and moved past it to a level of comfort.

My suggestion is pretty much the same as some others above: get started just by doing the basics, work with just a few files, using just the most basic features (the binder and the editor, nothing more) until you get used to it. Once you get over the initial concerns, then go through the provided Tutorial (really a Scrivener document) to get a better grip of some of the other things that Scrivener has to offer. The good thing about Scrivener is that all of those things get out of the way, if you don’t want or need to use them.


…or to put it another way, I know just how you feel. :blush:
Especialy, if like me, you suddenly decided to make the move, after years of procrastination, and seriously try your hand at writing, without any prior knowledge of the ‘Writer`s Craft’.

At the same time as enrolling on a Writing course, I came across Scrivener. I followed the forums for a while. Even to idiots like us, it soon becomes apparent that most of our requirements will be met by Scriv. as and when we need `em. And! to an exceptional standard, to boot!

I have it on very good authority, that the end of the World isnt that [i]'nigh',[/i] that you havent got plenty of time to have a good ‘play about’ with Scriv. before starting your masterpiece. Give yourself a month to get comfortable on board The Good Ship Scrivener. Open up a Scriv. Project. and name it, ‘Test Scriv’. and test it to oblivion.

Dont try writing a novel, whilst feeling a need to learn Scrivs capabilities to the full. You wouldnt learn French, in order to read Zolas Germinal,would y`.

If you do ever feel like an idiot, remember this: [i]youre not alone[/i] :wink: All y gorra do, is pm
A Hearty Welcome Aboard the Good Ship Scrivener, romanoabs
Take care

Here is a thought that kind of works for a test project.

Start with a draft of a short story. Outline on paper. Once you have your outline done put it in scriv. Each part of your outline gets its own document in the binder. Nest your outline points just like you did the items on the outline. Now write your story one little point at a time. If you need to reorder events move them around in the binder. To see the whole thing select all the documents then select the “edit scrivenings” button.

Now, about vic-k. I do not recommend you ignore him. I suggest that you leverage his “personality issues” to assist with character development. If you want to see how a crazy person would handle a situation just post it in the forum and see how vic-k responds. Don’t believe me? Watch what happens next…


I think you scared romanoabs off.

I think he scares most folks off. Makes you wonder at the fact he is married.

I figured out a while back that “vic-k” is actually the dwarf alter ego of our Benificient Maker, Keith, who uses the vic persona to spit out manic drivel and bile while preserving a modicum of dignity for himself. And these forays into creativity are not diverting Keith from his novel, as we all fear, but actually forming the first draft of same, complete with riotous plot and cast of characters.

To wit: Wock, Jason, Sean, Amber…we/they are all players in a grand psychomachia. Now I must be excused to go feed the trolls, who are looking peckish today.

If that be the case, I shall brave the blizzards and bring romanoabs back to the fold. I shall not return empty handed. But!! Untill then: … re=related
Um Feliz Ano Novo a você, Valente, um Feliz Ano Novo a você :slight_smile:

Hm. I think you may have some reason here. :open_mouth: (Maybe that’s why he keeps the price of Scrivener so low… he’s like a spider and its net, attracting people to the forum and engaging strange interaction to study them.)

Obrigada, vic. Para ti também. :slight_smile:

I once tried to hurl a dumpster. I ended up just hurling.

As to Vic-k being Keith. Nope. Too short. Just look at those little stubs. I think Vic-k is just a by-product of the Beer Pong World Series. (see link)