In my last blog post, I ended with:

But there’s one question I need to answer before I’m ready to start turning the raw material on my whiteboard into scene files in Scrivener.

What’s is the question that I’ve found helps me prepare to write the next great novel? It goes something like this:

What’s the most engaging, entertaining, exciting, and satisfying ending I can write?

EndingMindmapAnd then I refer back to my initial brainstorming mindmap to begin to answer that question…again in mindmap form. (see graphic)
Answering this question is important because once I know the ending, I can start to create a storyline path to get there.
That’s where the magic of Scrivener comes in so handy.

Writing the Story Scene by Scene Scrivener Style

First, a few basics about Scrivener. The writing program’s screen is divided into three parts:

  • The Binder
  • The Writing Area
  • The Inspector

This format allows the writer to create a roadmap by creating individual files that will eventually become fully articulated scenes within the central writing area. Here’s a close up of the Binder showing the scene.
Not quite sure what order you want the scenes? Not a problem. Simply place your cursor over the scene you want to move and drag it where you want it to be in the order.
Now, let’s look at one way to use the Inspector which is broken down into several sub-sections including:Inspector.Ex

  • Synopsis
  • General
  • Document Notes

For this discussion, we’ll focus on Synopsis and Document Notes. In the Synopsis area, I like to identify:

  • the setting,
  • point-of-view,
  • characters involved and a
  • summary of the story point covered. Of course, you can enter whatever you find most useful here.

In the Document Notes, you can enter more details you want to be sure you include in that particular scene.


Now, as you prepare to jump into NaNoWriMo, imagine having with such a road map sitting in your Scrivener file for your new novel. Would it not make completing a full novel of 50,000 words plus easier, and maybe even give a stronger, more engaging final novel?