Writing tools

Scrivener’s been my writing app of choice for several years now. Lotsa writers use it and, frankly, it’s become indispensable for me.

This post is a bit of a /golfclap for myself since, as of a couple days ago, all the major POVs (Frigg, Odin, Hyrrokin and Vidar) have roughly equal numbers of scenes (~22 each). The rest have fewer scenes with Vafthrudnir having the least since his role in this book is mostly “off stage.”

A few months back Frigg & Hyrrokin had maybe 5 scenes each while Vidar and Odin had more than 25 each. Pretty unbalanced.

Using several simple functions of Scrivener helped me identify that problem and then track my progress in fixing it.

The first image shows the “Binder” structure. It’s the default interface for the application and there’s nothing particularly amazing about it except that it’s a totally customizable, drag & drop way to organize your manuscript. So, pretty amazing. 🙂  You can see my oh so precise timeline happening in there & the working titles of each individual scene.

What I want to highlight are the color-coded character POV labels — it’s a simple setting change that makes it really easy to see how the book flows.

The second screenshot shows a different view. Those are “Collections” of saved, custom searches keyed off the labels. Clicking on each tab shows all of the scenes in the book that belong to Odin, Frigg, etc.

It was really this “Collections” view  that helped me identify the “unbalanced narrative” problem without going through all the trouble of, you know, counting the scenes.

The third screenshot is the “Outliner.” Mine’s pretty streamlined since I really just want to see word counts — per directory/folder (the “total words” column) and per scene (not shown).

I realize these are pretty basic ways of using Scrivener, but maybe it’s helpful to somebody out there. And if anyone feels like sharing some insight on their own process/tools, then drop me a line!



Fantasy author writing a series inspired by Norse myth.