I finally got around to taking the revisions I’ve made to my own short fiction template that I use within Scrivener, and updating the short fiction template that I produced more than a year ago. The original template was downloaded over 1,100 times! The new one is now available just in time for NaNoWriMo.
So, Scrivener users who want the 2.0 version of my short fiction template can download it here:
The template now includes an About This Template document that describes all of the features. But I’ve also included this information below, as well as instructions on how to install the template.
Who Can Use This Template
Anyone. I call it my “SFWA Short Fiction Template” because most of the stories I submit are short fiction (officially, those pieces under 40,000 words) and they are submitted to SFWA qualifying markets. “SFWA” stands for “Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.” But you don’t have to be a member of SFWA or even a short story writer to use this template. The net result of the template itself is that it takes what you’ve written and produces a document in standard manuscript format without you having to fuss over the formatting. You can focus on writing your story.
Features of the 2.0 Version
Here is a list of features. This same list is included in the About This Template document in the template itself.
- Preset First Page Header document. The first page header document is designed to take the meta-data in your Scrivener document and generate an appropriate first page of your manuscript. In standard format, the first page of a short fiction manuscript contains information about the author (address, phone number, etc.), approximate word count of the story, and the title and byline of the piece. This template will fill in this information automatically from Scrivener’s metadata settings.
- Story Section. Into the story section goes your scenes, where the actual writing happens. You can organize this any way you like. The template uses separate scene documents to indicate the proper scene breaks within the compiled manuscript. If there is only one scene in your story, one one scene document is required.
- Research Folder. The research folder is a place-holder folder for any research notes and documents related to your story.
- Deleted Scenes. The Deleted Scenes folder is a place-holder for any scenes you decide to remove from your manuscript. I don’t like losing any work. Sometimes, there is a scene or paragraph that is well written, but just doesn’t work in the story. Instead of deleting it permanently, I’ll move it to the Deleted Scenes folder. It gives you a completed record of everything you wrote. And you never know, those things that you cut may prove useful in some future story.
- Critiques Folder. The Critiques folder is a place to store any critiques or comments you get from friends, fellow writers, work-shoppers, etc. I like having this all in one place, tied to the story in question. I also will copy positive reviews for stories I’ve published into this folder.
- Final Draft Checklist. This is a document with a list of things I check through each time I produce a draft of a story that I am sending out. Feel free to remove items from this list, or add your own.
- Work Log. Each day that I work on a story, I’ll add one line to my “Work Log” file, indicating in a sentence what I did that day. It might be something like, “Wrote 2 more scenes, 2,500 words.” Or something like, “Spend evening editing scene 6 down to 550 words.” I like having a complete history of what I did on each piece and this Work Log is a simple way of maintaining that.
How To Install the Template
- Download the template.
- Unzip the downloaded file.
- Open Scrivener on your computer.
- From the Scrivener start screen, click the Options… button
- Select Import Templates…
- Choose the unzipped template file you just downloaded and then click the Import button.
After that you should be all set. To use the template, create a new project, select the Fiction category, and then choose the SFWA Short Fiction Template 2.0.
The usual disclaimer: I made my best effort to test the template and make sure it doesn’t cause any problems. As busy as I am, I don’t have much time to support issues that arise with the template. If you find a problem, let me know about it, but I can’t make any promises as to being able to fix it in a timely manner. This is a go-at-your-own-risk proposition. That said, I’ve been using the template with no problems with Scrivener on my Mac.