Questions, Questions, Questions

How do you use Scrivener?

  1. How would you describe the structure of a book? Would you describe it as a book consisting of acts/sections consisting of chapters consisting of scenes, containing text? If not… how would you describe it?

  2. Do you use any method, like Hero’s Journey, Save The Cat or 7 Point Story Structure?

  3. Do you use Scrivener to plan your book? If so, how? If not… do you use any other tool?

  4. How do you structure your book in Scrivener? Do you write everything in one document, one document per act/episode, one document per chapter or per scene?

  5. Do you divide the book into folders and subfolders? If so…. How do you do that?

  6. Do you plan word count? If so… at what level? Do you count words for the entire book, per act/section, chapter or scene?

  7. Do you alternate parallel stories in your book, like different POVs or for example action/love/past time? If so… how do you keep track of it? With labels, keywords, metadata or in some other way?

  8. Do you mark important events/turning points? So, how? With metadata, keywords or in some other way?

  9. Do you keep track of time and place of scenes/events? So, how? With metadata or in some other way?

  10. Do you keep track of details for scenes/events, such as who was present/mentioned, where it took place, and clues laid out? If so, how? With metadata, keywords or in some other way? If not… how do you do it instead?

  11. Do you use Scrivener to describe details about people, places or things? So, how? With own documents or in other ways? If not… how do you do it instead?

  12. Do you use Scrivener for research? So, how? If not… how do you do it instead?

  13. What are your best Scrivener tips?

For what purpose are you asking all these questions and why would anyone spend the time to reply to all of these detailed questions? what’s in it for them?


Just had the same questions. Scriviner is a very large process with many features and these questions were interesting. Do feel intimated by it?

Just had the same questions. Scrivener is a very large process with many features and these questions were interesting. Do feel intimated by it?


Just try it with no fiddling. Go thru the tutorial. Perhaps buy and read a book or two. Try some more. experiment. don’t like what you have or saw an idea here or in books, change your project.

Just do it.


Scrivener has so many features because it is extremely flexible. It supports a wide range of genres and a wide range of working methods.

Rather than asking other people how they use Scrivener, I would suggest thinking about how you like to write, then asking how to accomplish that in Scrivener.

While I do encourage everyone to work through the Tutorial project for a basic overview, the only way you’ll really learn to use Scrivener is to use it. With real data that matters to you.


If you are not familiar with scrivener it is hard to implement metadata in a meaningful way. I have some articles about Scrivener on my website and would be glad to talk to you about how I use metadata, templates , bookmarks, and inspector notes and comments to help me write.


I would add that in my case, I found my own way to work with Scrivener. I found the videotutorials very insightful and inspired me to use the software the way it works for me.

The reality is that writing any piece of work on software or on paper is quite similar: BUT: do you need a fancy pen and paper to make the most successful novel or research paper?
Do you need the most advanced writing software to do the same on your PC?

I think the answer is NO.
But it helps limiting the frustrations that each model and tool intrinsically has. For instance, writing on a normal text editor like TextEdit for Mac (the most simple editor) is very possible, but it has limitations like planning and exporting your text.
However, noone forbids you to incorporate TextEdit with additional software.
You could use other apps to brainstorm your ideas and when you feel ready, you could start importing them in that editor and write chronologically. The same, to export your words into a software that makes it all look so perfect and professional.
Words are just words afterall, and that is the only ingredient that matters.

Simply, for some of us, Scrivener encompasses all these littles tools that make our workflow feel productive and efficient.
But, using other software requires also time and adaptation.

There is not a recipe for success, or how to organise our work, because we are all different, and work differently.

My suggestion for you is to watch the video tutorial form this website and see if things are still not clear.

All the best,