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Hello there,

I am about to do my first edit of my first manuscript, using Scrivener for the (yes, you guessed it), first time.

From looking through the tutorial again and from a brief Google search, I think the broad approach should be as follows:

- Use the snapshot tool to "save" the current/first draft

- Then edit the text, possibly using revision mode so changes appear in a different colour, though this may not be necessary (see below re compare)

- Use the compare tool to look at differences between original draft and first edit (moving the snapshot onto the main editor for side by side comparison if easier)

- Use Scriveners mode to put parts of the document together to look at/edit together (i.e. if I wanted to take a character PoV or a subplot and edit that in one take)

- Create a deleted scenes folder in which to save chapters/scenes etc which I cut out - in case I decide to put them back in or need reference to it

For those in the know, does that sound like a sensible approach or not? Anything else I am missing?

I am tempted to ask whether I can just save the whole file into a new Project on Scrivener and keep one as the first draft and the new one as the second edit, but I can't see that being possible from what I've read so far and maybe defeats the purpose of using it over Word in the first place?

I have the first draft exported and saved as a pdf and also printed out in hard copy.

If relevant I am using Scrivener on Mac and think I have the latest 3.0 version.

Many thanks in advance for any insight and wisdom,


    • HI Pamela, I am not technical but have used Scrivener on a Mac for around 6-7 years. I currently have version 3 like you. When I edit I create a duplicate file of the book to be edited, rename it with date or something which makes me remember this will be the un-edited version and save it in a folder (or you could put in a different collection rather than starting a new project). I am that sad I have an icon for all my characters or coloured flag or something too.

      I always snapshot when I finish a draft and have done every scene in the past but it's just as easy to save different versions or change font or colour . I create loads of folders for deleted scenes, if you have more than one timeline say, or more than one POV. I managed okay but also did a huge post it page on several A3 papers of all the parts of my book and stuck it on the wall so I could see how many scenes each character had, you can do more or less the same on the cork board 

      At the end of each day I back up now and email it back to myself, (or put in Dropbox if you have it, not gone there yet, but may as it links well with Scrivener). 

      You can change revision modes to coloured fonts, they are numbered so easy to do, also I put loads of info in the RH side, meta data, project notes, synopsis etc etc. 

      I could not write without Scrivener as I don't write in order and often do loads of scenes of backstory to get under the skin of them all, I save all these, you never know when you might pick a phrase, you can keep all this in the character folders. For me being able to move it all about is a massive plus.

      Also get Kate or Serena in the speech to read it out for you, this helps with punctuation - I am very dyslexic so the more I hear it I feel like I can edit better than reading it over and over. 

      Sorry for rambling on so much, I know Holly uses Scrivener, so she may be able to suggest more, there are loads of things on YouTube and various Facebook groups too. Hope some of this helps and good luck 

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      • Thank you so much for taking the time to reply Jane. I really do appreciate it.

        That's really helpful to know that you can "create a duplicate file of the book to be edited, rename it with date or something which makes me remember this will be the un-edited version and save it in a folder (or you could put in a different collection rather than starting a new project)". As that's not been obvious to me from my reading of their Tutorial.

        I have just discovered the collection feature now, thanks to you! That has allowed me to transfer a copy of my manuscript folder very easily into a collection file. It seems easy enough on first glance to take corresponding chapters from the original (say saved in the collection) and the edited version worked from in the binder and look at them side by side using the split editor view? I suppose if I use revision mode I'll be able to see which changes I have made vs the original, although it does seem possible also to do that via the snapshot and compare tools?

        One seemingly simple thing I can't seem to do easily is to "copy" in the MS word sense the manuscript into another folder in the binder? i.e. it won't work in the same way as I easily managed to create a copy of it in a collection file? I assume I could manually copy it all by replicating the structure in a new folder and copying text across, but am I missing something obvious here? I do find the folders hard work in Scrivener in terms of getting them in the right place on the indention.

        Grateful for any views on my probably idiotic questions and thanks again - your other tips also look really useful.

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        • Hi Pamela, it's not you, I think it's the programme. I have coped from Word before and had to re-format with indents, scene breaks etc, now I only put into Word when I am ready to send out to someone. I rename whichever file I send to Word calling it edit. Word with Grammaly usually polishes okay. The one bug I have found over the years are the speech marks, you have to choose smart quotes in preferences in Scrivener to get the rounded ones, not the straight ones. But that''s being pernickety. There are loads of tutorials on YouTube, which I have watched, not sure what the difference is between version 2 and 3 yet, except the dark screen. Re the copying, there is sure to be a way to do it, I just am skimming the surface of Scrivener's capabilities I know that. 

          The compile section is very useful, I usually compile ia few chapters at a time into Word so it can read them out to me, if you have a kindle it will transform it as a reader would see it, but I don't have a kindle so never tried this option. I would recommend joining the Facebook groups (there is one for Mac users called something like Mac Heads or similar. There was a tutorial also from a company director during the Summer Festival which was all online so that would be worth a watch. 

          For me the biggest assets are moving scenes around, the revision modes and the icons. I always edit in a different font and size too. Also back up constantly, land email to yourself or put in iCloud or One Drive. Hope this is helpful too, good luck...

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