Use Dialogue Focus and Linguistic Focus to Revise and Edit Your Writing in Scrivener

As your write a work in Scrivener, or when you get to the revision stage, you might want to focus on certain types of sentences and words to ensure that your writing sounds correct. When you write fiction, you especially want to pay attention to dialog; it should not only sound natural, but there should be a flow, a give and take among characters as they converse.

Scrivener’s Dialogue Focus tool gives you a close-up look at your dialog, so you can make sure it flows properly. And other Linguistic Focus tools, available in the Mac version of Scrivener, let you check how often you use different parts of speech: nouns, verbs, adverbs, etc.

In this article, I’ll show you how you can use these tools when writing and editing to make sure that your words sparkle.

Read the rest of the article on The L&L Blog.

To learn how to use Scrivener for Mac, Windows, and iOS, check out my book Take Control of Scrivener 3.

How Naps Can Jump-Start Your Creativity

When you’re staring at a blank page, trying to figure out where to start a project, or where to take the next scene of a novel, you may find that the best way to get your creative mojo back is to take a nap. As counter-productive as it sounds, naps can boost creativity.

Napping isn’t just about resting. Naps reset your brain by sending it through a period of nonrapid eye movement (or N1) sleep. Naps don’t have to be long; even a brief nap can boost your creativity, because this “twilight zone between sleep and wakefulness” is where the brain weaves complicated stories. A recent study showed that even 15 seconds of N1 sleep was enough to help participants solve mathematical problems.

So, should you nap to turbocharge your writing?

Read the rest of the article on The L&L Blog.

To learn how to use Scrivener for Mac, Windows, and iOS, check out my book Take Control of Scrivener 3.

Write Now with Scrivener, Episode no. 13: April Henry, Thriller Author

April Henry is the author of more than two dozen mysteries and thrillers for teens and adults. Her novels have won prizes, been shortlisted for other prizes, and have been translated into ten languages. She knows two dozen different ways to kill you.

Read the rest of the article on The L&L Blog.

To learn how to use Scrivener for Mac, Windows, and iOS, check out my book Take Control of Scrivener 3.

Using Section Layouts to Compile Your Scrivener Project

In a recent article, I discussed the basics of compiling your Scrivener project. When you compile a Scrivener project, you export it into a form that is usable by people who do not use Scrivener. You do this to print your project, or to send a project to an agent, editor, or writing buddy, so they can read the work.

In its simplest form, compiling just pastes together all your text in a single file, using the formatting you see in Scrivener’s Editor. But the beautify of the compile tool is that you can adjust the formatting of each element of your project when compiling, and have different types of elements formatted differently; you do this with section layouts.

In this article, I’m going to explain what section layouts are, how to use them, and how to apply them to the different elements of your project when compiling.

Read the rest of the article on The L&L Blog.

To learn how to use Scrivener for Mac, Windows, and iOS, check out my book Take Control of Scrivener 3.

Compiling Your Scrivener Project: The Basics

Your Scrivener projects are meant to be temporary. You use them as you’re writing, but when you’ve finished, you need to export the text to use elsewhere. Whether you write articles, novels, non-fiction books, or screenplays, you eventually send your finished work – or your draft – to an agent or editor. This is when you use Scrivener’s compile feature, which takes the many elements in your Binder and combines them to make a single file.

Scrivener’s compile feature is complex, and in this article, I’m going to discuss the concept behind the feature, and explain how to use it in its simplest form. Future articles will go into more detail about compiling your Scrivener projects.

Read the rest of the article on The L&L Blog.

To learn how to use Scrivener for Mac, Windows, and iOS, check out my book Take Control of Scrivener 3.

Clean Up Your Texts with Scrivener

When you write your draft, you probably pay more attention to getting words on the page than to getting your texts just right. You may not pay attention to extra spaces, extra lines between paragraphs, whether headers are capitalized, and more.

Scrivener has some tools to help you fix little issues with texts. You may want to use these tools on your work as you near completion, and you may also need to use them to clean up texts you copy from other files or web pages, that may not be formatted correctly.

In this article, I’m going to tell you about two sets of Scrivener tools: Text Tidying and Transformations.

Read the rest of the article on The L&L Blog.

To learn how to use Scrivener for Mac, Windows, and iOS, check out my book Take Control of Scrivener 3.

Write Now with Scrivener, Episode no. 12: Damon Young, Philosopher

Damon Young is a philosopher, poet, and an author of fiction for children. As a philosopher, he has written about reading, the garden, and sex, and he has also written a half-dozen children’s books. He also writes regularly for newspapers and magazines, and is a frequent guest on radio and TV.

Read the rest of the article on The L&L Blog.

To learn how to use Scrivener for Mac, Windows, and iOS, check out my book Take Control of Scrivener 3.

Understanding the Scrivener Trash Folder

Scrivener’s Binder contains folders and files, and can be quite complex. As you work on a project, you may add folders, then delete them; create new files, then delete them. When you do this, you move them to the Trash folder. Items you place in the Trash stay there until you empty the Trash. This folder is similar to the Trash folder on a Mac or the Windows Recycle Bin.

Nevertheless, there are a few things to know about this folder. In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about Scrivener’s Trash folder.

Read the rest of the article on The L&L Blog.

To learn how to use Scrivener for Mac, Windows, and iOS, check out my book Take Control of Scrivener 3.

Stop Procrastinating, Write!

I’ve spent much of the morning today doing something I dislike: going over notes on a manuscript I’ve written. It’s a gradual process, examining many small changes, corrections, and suggestions, and it involves integrating the thoughts of someone else – the editor – into mine. In most cases, the editor is right; the suggested changes clarify things. I don’t have to accept them all, but each change makes me re-examine what I’ve written to decide whether I was right, or whether someone else knows better.

So I tried putting this off a bit. I checked my email, scrolled through Twitter, visited a couple of Facebook groups, made tea, fed the cat, and more. I knew that, eventually, this needed to be done, so I got to work.

Read the rest of the article on The L&L Blog.

To learn how to use Scrivener for Mac, Windows, and iOS, check out my book Take Control of Scrivener 3.

Use Keywords to Manage your Scrivener Projects

In addition to managing multiple documents in the Binder, Scrivener allows you to tag these documents, using keywords, so you can search for documents containing these tags. You may want to use keywords to mark scenes with specific characters, or in specific locations. You may want to use keywords to mark scenes that take place in the present, and others for flashbacks. You may also want to use keywords to indicate the status of your documents: draft, edited, final, etc.

In this article, I’m going to tell you how to apply keywords to Scrivener documents, and how to leverage keywords to help you manage your projects.

Read the rest of the article on The L&L Blog.

To learn how to use Scrivener for Mac, Windows, and iOS, check out my book Take Control of Scrivener 3.