November 2014 - NaNoWrimo and Scrivener


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NanoWriMo & Scrivener - Novemeber 2014 - First Draft

If you didn’t see the first two articles on Scrivener that I’ve written you can catch up here. ( Today I’m going to tell you about the way Scrivener works great with Nano.

(BTW: I’m using a Mac; if you are on a PC you will find a slightly different steps to the things mentioned below)

1.) Word count - this is almost everything in Nano. Scrivener allows you to set up a project total, in this case 50,000 words, along with a daily goal of 1667 words.


OPEN up your project.
CLICK “Project”
CLICK “Show Project Targets”


Scrivener Targets window will open showing you your stats.
CLICK “Edit”
Set 50,000 for the total
CLICK “Apply”
CLICK “Options”


Set deadline date - 11/30/2014
Days that make up your writing week
Show target notifications

Now, let’s set the set the document word count notification.I found this really helpful last year during Nano.I could set it and look down at the bottom of the page to keep track of my progress.


On the bottom of your document window you will see a small circle of concentric circles, CLICK it.
“Target for this document” window opens.


Type in the amount of words you need/want to accomplish
CLICK “Notifications”
Look down at the same area and you will see a colored rectangle, telling you how close you are to your target.The same information is available in numbers in the bottom middle of the page.

2.) If you don’t want to go through the steps above you can download a special Nano template that already has everything ready to use. It also has a nice option for allowing you to pick the type of book you want to finish inside the template. (NOTE: The following steps are for people who have previously downloaded the program and now want to add this template.It is part of the latest complete download.)


You will notice the left column of the binder looks different from the typical “fiction” template.
To get this template you will need to go here:
Scroll down to the bottom until you see the two links:
Download the NaNoWriMo project template and Compile Settings for Windows
Download the NaNoWriMo project template and Compile settings for Mac

Follow the instructions at the very bottom of the page of the download on how to install the template for your computer.
3.) Distraction - the bane of anyone trying to get some writing done.Scrivener can help here as well by giving you a block between your writing and your computer.
CLICK “View”
CLICK “Composite Background”
CLICK “Choose”
This will allow you to pick something “pretty” you’d like to look at.(You must have an image downloaded to your computer first.)
If you don’t want or have a picture you can pick a solid color
CLICK ‘Scrivener/Preferences’
CHOOSE ‘Compose’
CLICK ‘Customizable Colors/Background’
CLICK the colored square and choose a new color


CLICK “View”
CLICK “Enter Composite Mode”


The difference between Composite Mode and full screen is that in full screen if you have email notifications that pop up on your screen they continue to do that. In CM you will hear a tone but nothing disturbs your writing.(To get out of CM CLICK on the ‘esc’ key.)
If you need a limited ‘Control Panel’ put your cursor at the bottom of the screen.
4.) If you are like me, you do a lot of research on the web. However, I find it is a huge time suck - better to just leave a note and look it up later.But if you do need some reference material you don’t have to leave Scrivener to access the web. CLICK “Edit”
CLICK “Writing Tools”
Dictionary, Thesaurus, Spotlight, Google, Wikipedia are all available.
Looking for a name for a character?


Follow the above steps but after CLICKING on “Writing Tools” CLICK on “Name Generator”
CLICKING on the “Gear” will open up the “Options” window where you can customize your search.
5.) I have had to give up writing things down on paper. My desk is like a black hole; I’ve lost more important ideas that I’ve written down and then set on my desk than I care to admit to. But if I make a digital note then I can always find it again.
CLICK on “Window”
CLICK on “Show Scratch Pad”
One of the nice things about this window is that it will float.If you get out of Scrivener but you remember that you need to add something, jot it down no matter what program you are currently in.Its also not specific to any chapter/section.
I also find it very useful to put notes about each scene/chapter/section that I’m writing in that area. In ‘Binder’ on the right hand side you can open a panel called ‘Inspect.’ One of the features is ‘Document Notes.’
CLICK ‘View’
CLICK ‘Inspect’
CLICK ‘Synopsis’


This is the perfect place to put anything you want to remember about what is going on in this scene/chapter/section. Corrections you may need to make later. Or even plot holes that you don’t know how to fix at the time.
6.) Unfortunately, Scrivener is still not available for mobile devices. :(
But that shouldn’t stop you from using it. When you’re out on any of the numerous events planed by Nanowrimo with your mobile device writing away, when finished, you’ll be able to incorporate it into Scrivener using any of the following options.
* Import - if you are working on Word, Notepad, text editor, OpenOffice, or some other word processing program the document can import into your project. (Steps covered in previous articles)
* Email - there have been times when the only thing that would open fast enough and have a big enough area for me to create in was email. Either email it to yourself or save it as a draft.Then Cut and Paste it in to Scrivener.
* Evernotes - this is a great free app for mobile devices. It will allow you to share it in several ways.
* Dropbox - You can save your document here. Back at your Scrivener machine you can download it, and either Copy and Paste it or import it into your project.
Embrace Nano with this new knowledge. Hopefully it will make this year’s experience run smoothly and productively.
(NOTE: not a paid spokesperson I just love Scrivener.)

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