Validating NaNoWriMo for Scrivener discount

I downloaded Scrivener for the NaNoWriMo extended free trial with the understanding that if I achieved my 50k word goal by the end of the month I would be eligible for a 50% discount for Scrivener. I’ve read the instructions for validating my word count on NaNoWriMo (paste the text of my document into the validator box) and I’ve read the instructions in Scrivener for compiling my manuscript. What I can’t find is how to validate my document on NaNoWriMo in such a way that Scrivener knows that I’ve done that and am therefore entitled to the discount.

I wrote my novel using Word and imported the Word document into Scrivener in a project using the NaNoWriMo template as I was pretty sure that trying to learn to use Scrivener during NaNoWriMo would not work for me. When compiling for NaNoWriMo what settings should I use for “Format as” and “Compile for”?

I really want to learn to use this program but am feeling completely overwhelmed at this point. Thanks for your help!

We don’t need to know anything at all about your word count, and you don’t need to have used Scrivener in order to benefit from the winner’s discount. If your NaNoWriMo novel has been completed in Microsoft Word, you can just paste that text into the NaNoWriMo word-count validator to record your progress, and your NaNoWriMo account will be updated accordingly, showing that you have won the event.

Some time in the first week of December, the organisers of NaNoWriMo will distribute coupon codes to all winners (usually via your account area on their website, I believe). Once you have received your winner’s coupon from them, you can go to our web store at to purchase your licence, using your coupon code during that process to benefit from the discount. But it is the NaNoWriMo organisers who give out the coupon codes, not us.

So, as regards word-count validation, there is no need for you to post-process your manuscript through Scrivener after completing it – you can just validate it at the NaNoWriMo web site as it stands now.

However, you might prefer to obscure your text before submitting it to the NaNoWriMo system, so that it is not possible to read it, and Scrivener can help with that. You say that you imported your work to the NaNoWriMo project template, so you can go to File > Compile… and select “NaNoWriMo (Obfuscated)” from the “Format As” drop-down menu, then click on the “Compile” button and specify where the file is to be saved. This compile formatting preset replaces characters throughout your text to render it unreadable, without affecting either your word count or your actual writing as viewed in the editor – it is only the compiled output that is scrambled. The resultant file will be a plain text file with the .txt file extension, and you can upload the text from that to the NaNoWriMo system. Bear in mind that there are a number of different word-count methods (varying in the way in which they handle hyphenation, for example), so your NaNoWriMo, Scrivener and Microsoft Word word counts may differ.

You can find further information on using the “NaNoWriMo (Obfuscated)” approach, and on other aspects of the NaNoWriMo project template, in the information document at the top of the binder of a project based on the NaNoWriMo template. Look for the document with a binder icon of a blue triangle with an “i” in it.

Going forward, I would recommend working through the interactive tutorial, available via Help > Interactive Tutorial. It is a Scrivener project in its own right, so by working through it and following its instructions, you are actually working with a real project, just as you would do with a project of your own.