How To Get The Most Out Of The Scrivener Corkboard

How to Compile a kindle ebook in scrivenerFor ages I refused to use the corkboard in Scrivener. It looked great but given that I did not have a corkboard at home it seemed surplus to my requirements. I ignored it for a long time until I became curious once again about the attractive looking corkboard.

I was thinking about buying a whiteboard for my writing room. Why not? It would look professional and I’d be able to scrawl things on it and then wipe them off. But then I started thinking that probably the writing would stay up for a long time, which would then stain the board. I’ve had experience before with stained boards – painful.

My thought process then led me to the idea of using the whiteboard as a clean bit of wall that I could stick Post-it notes to. Brilliant. I could write whatever I wanted on them and then move them around. If they stayed in the same place for ages then it wouldn’t matter, but then I realised that what I was really after was a corkboard. That’s how quickly things work in my mind.

I then begin to reacquaint myself with the joys of the Scrivener corkboard and, as with every other feature of Scrivener, I finally get it. I keep discovering as I develop as a writer that as soon as I work out a great way to do something in the future, Scrivener has the perfect feature for it. Perhaps I should use everything in Scrivener and fast track the learning process, but this won’t work because Scrivener cleverly manages to give you the perfect tools however you want to use it.

So, anyway, I will now share the wisdom of using the Scrivener corkboard.

  1. It is obviously used for a high-level overview
  2. It is best used to map out chapters, or pieces of action, much like your book probably will be
  3. You can have multiple corkboards per novel, so you can use them for character development, etc. Having a corkboard per character and dragging in the chapters they’re in to build up a picture is a great overview
  4. Similarly you can do this for various plot lines
  5. If you’re a planner then you can whittle off a load of future chapters with a description of what is going to happen in each one. This will then build up the correct structure in your manuscript.
  6. If you’re a seat-of-the-pants type of guy then you can annotate what has happened in each scene so that you can move it all around at the end once the pace has taken shape.
  7. Change the size of the cards so you can see more of them on your screen. Get the whole book on there.
  8. Split the screen and get two different corkboards up at the same time.
  9. If cork reminds you of wine too much then change the background. You can even put a relevant image of your book there.
  10. In fact, you can even put images on your cards.

If for any reason you are still not committing to buy Scrivener then maybe this will push you to get it. I’m not on commission by these chaps by the way, I’m just a very satisfied customer. If the tools make the craftsman then you’ve got to ask yourself, ‘how serious are you about being a self-published writer?’ if you still continue to write in Word or one of its kin.


17 responses to “How To Get The Most Out Of The Scrivener Corkboard

  1. Like you, I’ve been a big fan of Scrivener for some time now. And like you, I never saw a use for/felt the need for, the corkboard feature. (which was fine, because Scrivener let me just ignore it, and move on) But somehow, your description of how you use it, as well as the idea of multiple corkboards per novel (can’t believe I didn’t think of this), is making me look at this a bit differently, and I think I’ll have to give this feature a try.

  2. There is a public community for Scrivener Users on Google+. Since it is public you can read the community page before you decide whether or not you want to participate or not.

  3. I’ll have to look at this some more. I don’t know how to use Scrivener even though I’ve been writing with it through two NaNos now. I need to just jump in and try different things as I learn best by doing.Thanks for the nudge! 🙂

  4. It’s a great feature of the software, which I purchased thanks to your continuous promotion of its benefits.

  5. Pingback: How To Get The Most Out Of The Scrivener Corkboard | Page Pounders

  6. You make a great point, Michael. I got Scrivener when i decided on NaNoWriMo 2012, Being a Pantser, i just jumped in to write. but there are only so many minutes per writing slot. and i’d never put more than 12K words down on something. so at about 28K, confusion hit. i ground on it for a few hours, then just opened the corkboard and dumped the whole idea, piece by piece. it was painless and actually fun! i got to SEE my novel, cleaned up some warts, plugged some holes, and by the 20th day, had the novel basically done, at 68K. Final tally was 77K. And it was all due to Scrivener, with the Corkboard and the Outliner.

  7. Pingback: Scrivener Review - Timothy Coxon

  8. Multiple corkboards in a novel? How does one do that?

  9. Yep. And thank you, Michael.

  10. Pingback: Scrivener | Write!

  11. Pingback: Scrivener Basics | Write!

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