NaNoWriMo Tip #14: Scrivener

Scrivener (software)
Scrivener (software) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I know that several of you use Scrivener to write long form novels, but did you know that Scrivener can also help you plot out a real time word count goals?


First, if you do not use Scrivener, it is well worth the $49 for the program.  I have been using it for a year and it has more than helped me stay on track with my deadlines.  If you do not have it, I highly recommend it.  After you have downloaded Scrivener, it is easy to import Word documents right into the program and then divide it up into sections for a more versatile writing experience.


Go to Project –> Show Project Targets to produce a cool project word count progress bar that is fully editable.  It tells you how many words you need to write per day to finish by your deadline, adapting even if you do not complete daily goals.  For NaNoWriMo, set the due date at a date that you can comfortably have time for editing and then set the word count at 50,000.


Scrivener also automatically formats your document to meet NaNoWriMo standards.  Select File –> Compile and then when the Compile screen pops up, next to Format As, click on the pull down window and select NaNoWriMo (obfuscated) to create a file formatted for the NaNoWriMo submission guidelines.


Published by Roger Colby, Novelist, Editor

Roger Colby is a novelist and teacher who has taught English for nearly two decades. He is also an avid reader of science fiction who feels, like many other sci-fi readers, that he has read everything. He writes science fiction for the reader who is looking for the next best thing, something to excite them into reading again. This blog is his journey as a writer and his musings about writing. He also edits manuscripts for a fee and is an expert at helping you reach your full potential as a writer.

21 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Tip #14: Scrivener

  1. I love Scrivener, but posts like this get me tetchy as they’re obviously for the Mac version and I want to jump up and down and shake Scrivener and ask when are they going to do these cool little extras for the PC people?

  2. Hi Roger! Just wanted to let you know that I’m an avid Scrivener user and connected to your blog through their Facebook link to this article. I’ve been browsing your blog this morning and enjoyed it so much I went ahead and bought the first book of This Broken Earth. Unfortunately, due to grad school my recreational reading time is limited, but I hope to get to it in the near future. Thanks!

  3. On the Format As pull down window, you have to click Manage Compile Format Presets and select NaNoWriMo (obfuscated) on that list. Otherwise, it won’t show in the Format list. 🙂

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