For 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.
- It is obviously used for a high-level overview
- It is best used to map out chapters, or pieces of action, much like your book probably will be
- 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
- Similarly you can do this for various plot lines
- 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.
- 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.
- Change the size of the cards so you can see more of them on your screen. Get the whole book on there.
- Split the screen and get two different corkboards up at the same time.
- If cork reminds you of wine too much then change the background. You can even put a relevant image of your book there.
- 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.