What Scrivener changed in my writing

I’ve finished my 3rd novel.

That’s great. But since it’s my first novel that’s been written exclusively in Scrivener, I realized that something changed in the way I write. My first novel was done in, well, Word. The second started in Ulysses, but then was transferred to the Scrivener Beta and finished in there. Now the third was planned, outlined and written in Scrivener.

I’ve always thought in chapters. My first two novels were planned in chapters. I know what happened in these chapters, how they started and how they ended. Every file in Ulysses or Scrivener was a chapter - not a scene.

While writing book #3 this changed.

I outlined scenes, but started by writing “Chapter 1” on top of the first scene. Then I wrote away, this scene, the next scene etc. When I throught it was necessary I wrote “Chapter 2” at the beginning of a new bunch of scenes. But then I did what Scrivener is designed for: I shuffled my scenes, rearranged them, made some scenes longer, others shorter - and realized I forget to mark where “Chapter 3” began. So I went back, looked for the right place and inserted it.

And then I totally forgot about chapters.

I wrote my scenes. I split them, merged them, grouped them in folders. And now I have a folder with 5 sub-folders and in there many coloured cards that are actual scenes. This whole bunch is my book.

So is that better? Is it an improvement? Hell, yeah! I’ve been working with 2 main characters for the first time, and having the chance to use the colour as an indicator of the perspective and the synopsis for a short description of the contents, made it as easy as possible to keep an overview.

More experienced writers may say: So what, we already know this, that’s why we use Scrivener.

Experiencing it first-hand was a pleasure. So … again … thanks!

Thanks Typo, and congratulations on finishing your third novel! It’s interesting to hear how your processes have changed, and great to hear that Scrivener is helping with those processes…
Thanks again and all the best,

I’ve just finished my fourth novel, and am a rabid outliner. I’m certain most people don’t ever finish their first novel for want of a structure to hold their ideas together and force them to make deliberate, imaginative choices about where they want to go.

Scrivener is the perfect tool for this.

Until now, I’ve used everything from a Newton to a Pocket PC to write, and organised in my hand-made books and, most recently, in OneNote. But now I see this – this incredibly intelligent aid – and OneNote looks like an endless, unmarked swamp by comparison.

I’ve already started using Scrivener in my copywriting work, and I can’t wait to use it for my novel-writing. The common sense and cleverness with which it organises everything clearly distinguishes the programmer as a true working writer, not just a hobbyist who saw an opportunity.

I can only say thanks, thanks, and ever thanks!