Getting started with Scrivener

wasn’t sure where to post this, so if it would be more appropriate in another forum, please feel free to move it there.

Just found this app and it looks very intriguing. I’ve been looking for writing tools for awhile. Have a registered copy of Ulysses which I kind of like, but I agree that the lack of hierarchical structuring and formatting doesn’t fit my workflow.

Just found Mellel and began using it to prepare an accreditation exam (think ‘thesis-lite’) for my profession and it’s working great for that. But what I have to submit there is very tightly structured, section by section, so there is no creative license. I add the structure in Mellel’s outline pane and then basically go fill in the blanks. Works great and I love their use of Styles.

But for creative writing, I’m not sure Mellel is the tool I want to use. I can see it being a great app for doing final layout, but not for the messy creative stuff. I’m hoping Scrivener can fill that bill.

I include the above just to provide some context re what I’m used to. I’m trying to figure out how to get traction with Scrivener. It has a bit of its own learning curve and I’m looking for recommendations on the best way to get started with it. I don’t see any tutorials, so should I just work my way through the Help documentation?

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.


Did you run through the tutorial that comes with Scrivener? You say you haven’t seen any tutorials, so I assume you missed it. On the DMG file you originally downloaded, from which you would have had to drag Scrivener to your Applications folder, there were two other files: the readme.rtf, and a file entitled Tutorial.scriv. You need to drag Tutorial.scriv into your Documents folder (or anywhere else on your hard drive), and then you can open it in Scrivener and run through it. This gives you a basic introduction to the main features of Scrivener - it should take about half an hour to get through, after which you should have a fair idea of how to use Scrivener.

Hope that helps,

In the downloaded files you received, there should be two: ReadMe and Tutorial.scriv. Launch the Tutorial, go through it, and then start a .scriv file of your own. The best way to learn is to plunge in, with a writing project that means a lot to you, like a story. Good luck!

cool, totally missed the tutorial. Thanks!

Very late reply, don’t know if the OP will even notice this, but:

I use both Mellel and Scriv. I use Mellel as you describe, for highly structured documents (I often spend a couple of hours setting up styles exactly the way I’ll need them). For more creative writing, I use Scriv.

ah, the joys of automatic notification via email.

Thanks for chiming in. Better late than never!