The Conwy Mussel Sculpture, created by Greame Mitcheson, stands on the quayside in Conwy, North Wales.

Nothing says success with writing software like giant mussels. These are in Conwy, Wales.

I recently attended several sessions of Chandler Bolt’s online writing conference, the Self Publishing Success Summit.  All the sessions I watched were excellent, offering high quality advice from experienced authors. One session though, offered even more – the tutorial given by Joseph Michael, AKA Scrivener Guy.

Joseph gave us an hour of highly-condensed video tutorial on Scrivener for books or blogs. I wrote a million notes, some of which I’m sharing here, but I encourage anyone struggling with Scrivener to visit Joseph’s website Learn Scrivener Fast and get some help from him.

Some info I gleaned from this brief but packed online session.

  1. Scrivener for Mac seems to have a LOT more in it. I love my PC but Joseph’s screen was all shiny with extra features – like being able to sort your content in the Outliner by their status. Envy!
  2. Generate automatic summaries for your scenes using the Inspector area.
  3. Why not use card labels in the Corkboard view to indicate the point of view character for that scene? And then add colour. You can see how thrilling this might become.
  4. Add the URL from web pages you’re using for research, straight into the Research folder, then use that area just like a browser.
  5. Work with split screens to show research and writing side by side.
  6. You can set scene and project targets and track your progress. In Mac you can see your writing days too.) Motivational!
  7. Drag an image directly into your scrivener text, too, for example for an ebook cover.
  8. Prep your book instantly for Kindle with Scrivener’s Compile feature, and choose what to include/leave out of each compile.
  9. Import directly from a Word document – and use hashtags in your Word doc to indicate where you would like Scrivener to make a split between this scene and the next. Genius.

There was a ton of stuff to learn from the session, and I can recommend Joseph’s style and expertise without hesitation. I now feel so much more confident with Scrivener, and use it to track and store my blog posts as well as book plans.

The SPS Summit was awesome all round, so I’ll be posting more about what I took away from the sessions I attended. The Scrivener freebie though was my top session, in a tie with the one from Joanna Penn, of whom more later.