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Brad Swift Shares his Scrivener Writing Tips

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Scrivener Guest Post

Scrivener Binder organization for writingToday I’m pleased to welcome Brad Swift, he’s an Author who combines his coaching and writing at “Writing: Tool for Transformation” He and I are members of the same Scivener Facebook group, and recently we were chatting about some of his favourite Scrivener features.

Like me, he’s a HUGE fan of Scrivener writing software, and today he’s sharing how he used color coding to help him organize his binder content for one of his books. Over to you Brad…..

Scrivener Insights from Brad Swift – Author

Brad Swift Binder Screen shot from ScrivenerAs with any new software program there’s a bit of a learning curve, though the folks at Literature and Latte who designed Scrivener have kept that curve quite shallow with some very simple to follow instructional videos and a 30-day trial period…plenty of time to get hooked and to wonder how you ever lived without it.

Today I’m covering what I learned to help me organize of my novel, Babble, which I wrote during NaNoWriMo.

In Babble I decided that the story needed more view points than my average work of fiction as well as a series of flashbacks. What I discovered is that I could keep these multiple viewpoints straight by color-coding the different scenes.

For example:

  • The scenes in the the point-of-view (POV) of Angie in current time are in yellow while the flashbacks are in orange.
  • The scenes in Bobbie’s POV (her son) as he traverses his inner landscape is in red and
  • Arnez, the Homeland Security agent POV’s scenes are in light blue.

Chapter Breaks

As you can see in the Binder image, I also broke the various scenes into chapters that are color coded green. I did that when I started the revision process, as I found during NaNoWriMo it was easier to focus the writing scene-by-scene. (Not worrying about chapter breaks in the first draft worked well for me.)

One of the writing tips I picked up from Mary Robinette Kowal from Writing Excuses is that chapter breaks provide a great pacing tool.

I interpret that to mean that if you want the pace to build momentum, you should use shorter chapters.

SJay Artale Guest Blogging Binder in Scrivenercrivener is Visual

Thanks for the guest post Brad.  I’ve just started using color coding more myself, and as a visual person I find it really beneficial to help me focus my writing.

Here’s my Guest Blogging Binder, where I’m using colour-coding to tag the content niche:

  • Yellow = Slice of Life Articles
  • Pink = Bodrum Travel Articles (my subject matter expertise topic)
  • Blue = Turkey Travel Articles
  • Grey = Concepts

The beauty of Scrivener is that you can set colour coding to meet your individual needs and style.

If anyone else has tips about how to be productive and organised in Scrivener – leave a comment below.

To connect with Brad on Twitter: @BradOnPurpose



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