Can You Really Teach An Old Dog New Tricks?

Well, perhaps I am describing myself as an old dog, but I haven’t got the energy to look up a nicer proverb *sniggers*

I spent much of last week working through the Scrivener course, the one I told you about, remember? Still Struggling With Scrivener

Well, what can I say… I’m loving it!

I finished Lesson 5 yesterday and what I’ve learnt so far is:

How to create a new project.
I’ve learned how to create new folders in the Binder section.
Discovered how handy the Synopsis on the Index Cards will be.
Found out how to merge files into one document.
Practiced importing other documents into Scrivener.
Customised Labels and Statuses.

So far I am over the moon with the possibilities this software will give me. I especially like the idea that I can colour code each chapter so that I can see at a glance (all the files in the binder) who’s POV I’m using.


So I haven’t exactly done much in the way of writing the last few days (apart from some prompts for the 30 Day Writing Challenge) and today I’m off up to London to meet a fellow blogger/writer for lunch. Tomorrow I’m giving a blogging lesson (ha ha ha) to a writer friend and then on Saturday I’m off to a book signing to meet the lovely Jo Phillips *squeals with excitement* 🙂

A busy, but exciting week! Perhaps I’ll actually get some writing done too 😉

What are your plans for the week?

31 thoughts on “Can You Really Teach An Old Dog New Tricks?

  1. Well I envy you. Some day I will try the program, some day when I can be alone and concentrate and not worry about painters coming and spouse around. I can’t seem to concentrate on much these days.

    My plans for the week are to be out all day every day while the painter is here and actually write 😀


      • the first day I went to a hotel and did write The second day I ended up having lunch with a friend at last minute, yesterday I went to acupunture where it took forever to fix me and today the 4 day of painters i hoped to do the laundry – did not happen — I am not the adventurist sort – hate breaks in routine. Am managing to do some editing


  2. I absolutely love it! I’m using it right now to work on my novella series. A different color for each character and all the books in different folders within the same binder so I can reference back easily. I export each section and save as a .rtf file for the beta readers. I know I haven’t yet touched the potential of the program. I plan to fiddle with it more once I get the series done. Glad the classes are helping you! I’m going it alone, using the book Gwen wrote (but mainly learning by trial and error!). Good luck!


  3. I am still feeling a bit overwhelmed. I definitely see huge potential here, but I am one of those people who has to see something three times for it to really sink in. I imported my first project today. (Yay! That’s progress!) I don’t have it very well organized in there yet because I am doing a rewrite that is requiring me to make some changes, but getting the binder set up using the novel with parts template has actually been fun. I am looking forward to tomorrow’s first “live” class at 2pm. Hope I can keep up. Glad it is being recorded, in case I have to go over again.


      • I was at the live class. It was mostly an opportunity to ask questions though. She didn’t really cover anything new. There are many features that I am wowed by, and several, I am saying, “Will I ever really need that?” But who knows, as I become accustomed to it, I might need to know more? I am glad she gives brief lessons and helps with homework…else I would be lost. Based solely on the tutorial that comes with the software, this would have probably sat on my computer for years untouched if you had not directed me to her classes. Again, I thank you so very much.


      • I’m loving it! Like you say, I would have really struggled if I’d just done the tutorial that comes with it, Gwen’s course is forcing me to actually USE the blooming thing lol



  4. Gwen is so good isn’t she? – I learnt so much from that course and really enjoy scrivener now, although I know I dont have it all in my head.
    when WIP is over going to play some more – pleased you are enjoying it all – enjoy your lunch et al – all the best:)


  5. Oi YOU!!!! Don’t you call my friends Old Dogs ! Especially when they’re just young whippersnappers yet. I keep hearing about this Scrivener, one day soon I must try and take a look at my Storybox to see if it’s similar, it’s supposed to be easier ( someone knows how thick I am).
    It sounds like quite a busy week but fun. I wonder where you are when you say ‘Up to London’ or is it that wherever we are in the UK because it’s the Capital? From N.Wales, I’d say I was going down to Londinium.
    My week eh. Well today is fun, bloodtests and a doctor’s appointment under the hand of my watchdog daughter who’ll make sure I actually go in ( she’s evil that girl). Tuesday & Wednesday back to my nephew decorating with my brother coming for a game of Scrabble in the evening, and maybe my new wall scene will have arrived from Germany by then. Yes, I won it for just £18 !!!! Thursday or Friday a visit from my in-laws ( Ju’s sister and husband with their conspiracy theory of the day) then a nice visitor free weekend as my brotherfriend is away for two weeks. That means no shopping expeditions unless I can con another of my family with a sad face ( mine, not theirs though that could change).
    xxx Sending you Huge Hugs xxx


  6. Ooh, I missed the post about the course. I need to go back and read it – you should put links in your posts, it apparently drives more traffic to older posts… – I have scrivener but I’m hit and miss on how much I like it or use it because I’m not that sure about all it can do yet. I like the colour coding idea. I didn’t know about that. It has so much to it that it seems overwhelming at times. I’ve read a book on its functions. I either need to read it again or do that course!


  7. I love Scrivener too – I find it makes writing even more of a joy. But there’s loads of stuff I don’t know how to do so I’m really interested in that course you’re taking! So excited you’re coming on Saturday (at least I know there’ll be one person there!) I’ll email you later with directions etc xxx


    • I’m sure I will come away at the end of the 4 weeks still forgetting stuff Jo, so will probably read Gwen’s book afterwards 🙂

      I’m really looking forward to it! Seeing you AND a night of peace and quiet, just me and my notebook, a fluffy dressing gown and a glass of wine…bliss!



  8. HAHAHA, I must be a really old dog because I’m still a Word aficionado. I read your posts with great interest, and I’m curious but not yet sold! Looking forward to more updates, though. Write on!


  9. Alas, I don’t use Scrivener as much as I hoped I would. It’s too difficult to search/find because I broke up everything into chapters. I could opt to not use the chapter function, but then that’s just the same as using a Word doc! There are other little annoyances I can’t figure out either. Since I was taking the summer off, I missed all your posts on Scrivener. Looks like I’m going to have to read up on your lessons!


    • Oh, that’s a shame Kate, that you didn’t gel with it, but I guess like most things in life it’s horses for courses 😉 I think the chapter splitting thing is gunna be really helpful for me with my next novel as each chapter is almost a short story…but, we’ll see….I’ll probably end up cursing it at some stage lol

      Don’t worry honey, I think this is the first update I’ve done!



      • It’s going well. So far, I’m happy with the readthrough, but am nervous that my beta readers will like the story as much as I do!

        I’ve been watching some technical videos on YouTube about editing one’s manuscript. Never thought about putting page breaks at the end of each chapter before, to prevent all those extraneous hard returns. Also, hadn’t realised I had to double space any poetry included in my novel. Learning, learning, learning. It never stops.

        I’m being very neglectful of my blogging this week, both my own posting and reading other people’s posts. Feeling very guilty about this, which is silly, as I have to finish my novel and be totally disciplined. I aim to start submitting by the end of October, if possible.


  10. Pingback: Oh Scrivener…Where Have You Been All My Life? | The View Outside

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