My local RWA chapter recently contacted me to do another Scrivener presentation for them—my third one. Some of the members are die-hard Scrivener devotees, some are completely unfamiliar with the tool, and some have tried it and have given up.

How could I provide something that could help people with such diverse levels of understanding of this amazing and complex writers’ tool?

I decided to focus on how to use Scrivener effectively to get started quickly and find some success. I’ve found that choosing the right template can make an enormous difference.

Yes, templates!

Scrivener already comes with basic templates a writer can choose from depending on the project. These include various non-fiction, fiction (both short story and novel), screenplay, and essay ones. These templates are excellent and well-structured and can get you off to a good start.

BUT, many authors have made their OWN customized templates and have either placed them on their own websites or on other officials sites so they can share their process with YOU, which is mighty nice of them!

A few of these are:

If the links above stop working, then the best way to find the templates is to do a google search

Below is a site that offers over 20 templates, but I haven’t tried any of the ones on this site so I can’t comment on them.

My Recommendations

I suggest downloading any templates you find intriguing and importing them into Scrivener so you can give them a try.

In order to use a new template, you first have to import it. To do this, use the import button on the pop-up page that appears when you launch Scrivener and click the “options” button on the bottom. Choose “Import template.”

Once each of your newly downloaded templates is imported into scrivener, you can then generate “test” manuscripts for each one and decide which one you like best. You might decide you like parts of one mixed with pieces of another. That’s fine too!

You can create your own custom template. Simply click and drag the parts you want into a new Scrivener file, then SAVE IT AS A TEMPLATE. Voila, you have your own customized template! Good luck, and have fun templating!