Home > Writing  > NANO  > NaNoWriMo2016: Outlining using the corkboard

One of the most powerful features in Scrivener is the option to use the corkboard to outline your story.

The structure of a novel

Novel with partsA novel is essentially one scene after another. These scenes can be grouped into chapters and, if you want, you can group the chapters into parts.

Recall that you can opt to set up a novel with parts using the Scrivener project templates.

My LOL: Left Over Lovers doesn’t have parts – I’m not planning on it being that complicated! – and I have yet to decide which scenes will form the chapters, but I can use the corkboard to make a start on planning the outline for my story.

Using the corkboard to outline your story: one scene at a time

My definition of a scene is that it happens in one physical location, it has a fixed cast of characters and it happens in one time. So, if the action changes location, or a character enters or leaves, or there is a break in time, I start a new scene.

Here is my novel structure so far.  Notice that the folder ‘Chapter’ is highlighted and that I am viewing in Corkboard mode.

Corkboard structure

To create each new card, I’m using the Add button in the top menu bar.

Whatever title I type onto the card, it appears simultaneously in the Binder.

In the next blog post, I’ll explain how I achieved the colour coding in the top-right corner of each card, and what that colouring signifies.

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If you want to see me go through the process of outlining using the Corkboard or need to ask questions, book a Simply Scrivener Special.

To help me to prepare, you could also complete this short questionnaire.


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  • Patsy

    3 October 2016 at 07:48

    I won’t be needing this for Nano as I’m going to ‘cheat’ and write short stories instead. (Although I’m sure you’ll tell me Sctivener could still help with that!)

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