Scrivener for Pantsers and Plotters?

As we organized the stories in my anthology, Written Across the Genres, my great assistant, Linda Todd, used Scrivener. I bought a copy, took a tutorial, and realized there are several other tutorials available. How to use Scrivener looked manageable as I watched the video, but I’ve procrastinated because of the time involved with the learning curve. I haven’t put anything on it yet.

I’m a pantser, but I see the value of putting the chapters of my growing new novel into a form that would be helpful to keep track of them. I’ve had the experience of editing that got out of hand with 35 chapters in Hada’s Fog and I don’t want a repeat with Norman in the Painting.

Any insights from those of you who use it? Are you a plotter or pantser?

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timetowritenow

For over twenty-five years, I've taught elementary grades, high school, and county special education classes. Now I am a field supervisor for teachers working toward their teaching credentials. I also teach writing classes in Dublin and Pleasanton, California. I have won 5 awards in short story contests, My stories are published in The California Writers Club Literary Review, and several anthologies including four times in Las Positas College collections. I have several book projects, but the two that have my immediate attention are HADA'S FOG, which is women's fiction, LILLI, a YA novel, and NORMAN IN THE PICTURE, a paranormal mystery. I have published an anthology WRITTEN ACROSS THE GENRES that includes writings from members of my writing classes and other writers. It's available on Amazon and Kindle.

4 thoughts on “Scrivener for Pantsers and Plotters?”

  1. Personally I’d say that Scrivener was more for plotters thought a pantser would still get a good bit of use out of it. For a plotter the benefit is obvious but for a pantser, as you mentioned, the benefit comes when editing.

    I personally use it though I wouldn’t identify myself as either a plotter or a pantser. About a month ago I actually wrote a blog post titled “How to Write An Adventure.” In it I talk briefly about the pros and cons of both methods, though I call them ‘planned’ and ‘organic.’

    I wouldn’t call myself either because I tend to walk the line between both styles. A lot is planned but there is a fair share of chapters in a few of my own works that end up being written in a very organic way. I write this way because I have this naive faith that by mixing the styles I can find some happy mean that allows me to get the best of both. That being said I believe that if something is written well enough you shouldn’t be able to tell how they write, be it plotter or pantser.

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  2. Someday I’d like to try Scrivener, but like you, the time needed to learn it puts me off. Maybe before I begin my next book. BTW, I wasn’t sure what you meant by ‘”Pantser.” I’m assuming after reading the comment it means writing organically, or “by the seat of your pants” perhaps? Initially I’m organic, but once I get a first draft together, I start “plotting,” seeing where the arc is and arranging scenes and chapters to build to a climax, etc.

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  3. Hi Deborah,

    Yes, Pantser means writing organically, or “by the seat of your pants”. A combination of Pantser and Plotter is a good idea, especially to be sure there is an arc and the chapters are in the best places. Let me know if you start to use Scrivener. I’m curious how long it takes to use it efficiently.
    Thanks for reading and commenting on my post.

    Julaina

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