Note to mod: this discussion might be better placed in Usage Scenarios rather than tech support.
Well, I’ve written several dozen magazine and newspaper features using Scrivener, and it’s made my job much easier, particularly on longer, heavily structured pieces. I used to use OmniOutliner to draft long pieces, but once I finally got used to thinking of Scrivener’s files as outline points, Scrivener replaced it.
I don’t write every story the same way, but here’s my general process.
I clip all the source material I need to write my stories (from websites, press releases, notes, interviews, et al) as individual files in Scrivener’s Research section.
Then, under the Draft section, I just start making separate files for each point I want to make. If you’re working for a magazine that insists on annotated sources, as I’ve had to do a couple of times, be sure to note your source for each point under document notes or references (in the Inspector). I display each note from the Reseach setting in the left hand window of a vertical split, with the right hand window containing the file/point I’m writing.
Soon, I start grouping those points into a hierarchical outline, using the Move Left and Move Right commands frequently. Steps 2 and 3 sometimes happen sequentially, sometimes concurrently.
Eventually, I have a fully outlined/structured piece, and then I Edit Scrivenings so I can see the whole thing. At this point, re-structuring is still pretty common, as is plenty of rewriting, working on transitions, and all the usual architectural adjustment.
When that’s done, I export to Bean (or, previously, TextEdit) for final polish, but usually by then, very little remains to be done, and plenty of times, I just attach the exported draft to an email to my editor without doing anything in the word processor itself.
I hope this is clear; it sort of assumes working knowledge of how Scrivener operates, although I admit there’s probably features I could use more, and I’m always willing to improve my process. Early on, for instance, I remember having an intermediate outline step between Research and Draft, and then one day it hit me (d’oh!) that the outline eventually becomes the draft anyway, so I just skipped that step, or rather merged it into the draft process.
As I said, it doesn’t always work this way, even for me. For example, often when I’m writing short (<1000 wds) columns or previews, I just write from the top in a single document, although I still use Scriv files to collect and organize my research. (I used to use DevonNote for this purpose, but for magazine articles, Scrivener seems to be sufficient thus far.) And the process sometimes varies even for longer features, depending on whether I’m writing a narrative piece or standard feature style.
I’m sure every writer does things a little differently, and I’d love to hear how other journalists use Scrivener to construct their stories. The real power of Scrivener lies in its immense flexibility.
Let me know if you’d further elaboration or clarification, and good luck using Scrivener! Let us know how your first story-drafting experiences turn out.