Writing Shorties with Scrivener

Well, and novels too, but Scrivener is just great for short-story writing.

Keeping Track of WIP
I have all the stories in one project, listed in the binder. I can move them about, and file them, according to their markets (and thus easily work on a pre-sorted batch that need to be in the same style). I colour-code/label them according to their state of completion/progress.

Keeping Track of Subs
I keep submission (and, er, rejection) dates on each individual synopsis card. Thus, I can see at a glance, on the corkboard, everything I need to know about the stories in my ‘subbed’ folder: where they’ve been, where they are now (as a status stamped across the card), when they went, and the format in which I subbed them. I also keep details of competitions in the research folder, linked to stories that have been subbed, and vice versa. So, again, with a glance at the comps corkboard, I can see deadlines, what I’ve sent (or am thinking of sending), when I sent it, and when the results will be announced.

I can link to each document from my submission schedule, so there is never any doubt about which story I’ve logged - even if the title has been changed in the meantime (which happens a lot).

So, I’m the smug one, with no scrappy schedule-strewn piece of paper, who keeps perfect track of where everything is… and has never (touch wood) subbed the same story to two magazines at the same time. Index cards you can’t lose. Yey!!

Links & Splitting the Window
I use the split window to (mostly) view support documents: it’s great to be able to open a panel above a story plan, and browse a list of names while reading a character’s mini-bio.

As well as the internal links mentioned (in the subbing section) above, I add relevant urls to the ‘document references’ list, enabling me to keep direct track of research I have done for, say, a story referring to antique jewellery. I can then open any reference text/photos/webpages while I write in the panel below.

I use the ‘project references’ list for linking to submission guidelines for each magazine.

Notes & Annotations
I use the ‘document notes’ panel for feedback from from proof-readers (I use the highlighter to isolate particularly important comments). I also use the notes for those ideas not relevant enough to warrant an annotation. I love annotations too, for inline write-this-bit-later notes.

My markets are so diverse that a rejected story needs (sometimes heavy) editing before it goes out again. Snapshots allow me to store a copy of how each story was subbed to each magazine, without cluttering up the binder.

I could go on, at even greater length, about all the other things I love about Scrivener, but all it comes to is that Scrivener is perfect for what I do. There is really nothing more to say.

Wow, thanks for that. I submitted a short story to a magazine the other day and for a minute was wondering if I’d sent it there before. Now using your system of putting such information in the synopsis, I can be sure that I won’t ever do that. Thanks once again.

…I actually just started doing this last week before you posted this. I use the label coloring to indicate ones that need more work, siblings, or are ready to go; and I’ve put the magazine and submission/rejection dates in the card synopsis section.


Not that I’ve sent that much out. Most of my “finished” “short stories” are really vignettes or cheesy things I wrote as a teen that I don’t think I’ll ever inflict on an editor.



When you get a moment and if so inclined, it would be helpful to see a couple of screen shots of your sub/tracking system in action. :smiley:

I prefer to devote a different project to each review, short story, or novel I write. I just feel each work should live in its own space, well separated by the others.

As for submission tracking, I use a dedicated document inside the Research folder (for longer projects, I create an Admin folder).

I see there are two different ways of thinking organization: those who like to keep everything together, and those who prefer everything has its own light.