Non-fiction Template Help

Hello All,

There is a quote in another forum on this site saying that “you aren’t a writer until someone else calls you a writer.” Well I am often called a writer and often told I need to write books. Still, I don’t feel to be a “writer” as I am horribly unorganized and writing is a laborious thing for me to do. I am however feeling compelled to publish some information I feel important to be made public, so here I am, hoping hoping hoping that Scrivener can at least help with the organization part.

I am putting my focus to writing a technical information piece put in such a way it is easily digestible by a non-technical person. My early prototype attempts written as articles have met with positive feedback. I am however stumped in how to structure a larger project in the way of a book.

I notice all the non-fiction templates in Scrivener are for essays, but nothing in the way of a full-on book. Certainly with all the many non-fiction book topics out there a template to cover this need is available. I would take on the template creation thing myself, but everything else is already so new to me I’d really appreciate some aspect of this adventure having handrails.

Thoughts anyone?


Hi Vranicoff,


Some questions, I think, first. Are you really talking about formatting and layout, or actual structure i.e. ordering of the content? If structure, then what you do is bound to be very dependent on your subject: it goes almost without saying that the structure of a technical “how-to“ book is going to be very different from that of a book on, say, why bridges fall down — but previous L&L threads such as this one may help.

If formatting and layout, purely text? Or text and graphics? And tables? And lists? And footnotes and/or endnotes? As you can see, the range of possibilities quickly becomes quite large, and some of them will be sufficiently complicated for them to be best finished off, after drafting in Scrivener, in a full-on word processor.


Is there a place where I can find additional templates not included in scrivener software? Specifically for non-fiction book templates?

If I can find a template that is close to my project then I can customize it to meet my needs rather than starting from scratch.


There will be a non-fiction book template in the next update, but for now I would recommend just starting with the novel template, as that just uses standard manuscript format which is pretty much the same as non-fiction manuscript format. All you would need to do is delete the character and location sheets and folders, and create some other folders for your own needs, and it should be suitable.

All the best,

Wondering about works of technical (non) fiction like patent applications that tend to have specific formatting requirements. trying to use the render panel to get one out and realize I may want to apply specific rendering to specific sections. Is that possible?

KB: “There will be a non-fiction book template in the next update…”

Well, we have a brand new Windows update today and the long promised non-fiction template is not there. :cry: AmberV and others have said it had high priority, but after all the waiting, no joy.

People keep saying that Scriv is for “creation, not formatting,” but I find that comment silly. Scriv has wonderful formatting features, including templates and footnotes. I could write full non-fiction books right now with Scriv… not having to mess with Word which I dislike… if only we had a decent non-fiction template.

To me, the key is being able to have “footnotes” appear either at the end of the chapter or the end of the book, not at the bottom of a page, which is more of an academic paper style these days.

Does a template like this exist? Does anyone know how to create one to eliminate the hassle of reformatting them in Word? After all, citations do appear as footnotes, so it should seem possible to have them appear elsewhere. I’m a huge Sciv fan… except for this limitation which bites me each time I write a book.

What do you mean by this? I have a Non-Fiction category with three example templates in it.

(Nevermind that this original post was pertaining to the Mac version—at this point in time both versions have a populated non-fiction section).

I think it deserve reiteration that templates often have little to do with formatting, and absolutely nothing to do with formatting features like suddenly being able to group endnotes by subdivisions rather than at the end of the work. Templates are a collection of project settings, compile configuration, and prefabricated example files and folders in the binder—all using the tools you have in front of you already. There isn’t a single thing that you cannot do that a template can do. They are just projects that have been frozen at a certain point so that they can be unpacked and turned into live projects at will.

Which goes back to why people say it is focussed on creation and not formatting—because it doesn’t do stuff like this. :slight_smile: Templates aren’t going to fix that—otherwise you could fix it yourself just by tweaking some settings.

We will have a feature that lets you group “footnotes” at the end, prior to each page break in the output. Once we have that feature however, you won’t need a template to accomplish it—you’ll just need to set it in the Footnotes/Comments compile option pane.

“We will have a feature…”

Waited for the Windows beta, waited for the Windows release, waited for the current update… suppose I can wait some more. Thank you.

Thanks for understanding. :slight_smile: Mac users waited about six or seven years for this feature; it won’t be that long for you.