Scrivener: All-Important Word Counts and Project Targets

Scrivener Project Targets

Scrivener’s my favorite writing tool. It’s packed with goodies.

I use Scrivener for Mac, although there’s also a Windows version.

Although I’ve been using Scrivener for years, I usually track my word count goals manually, as I did in the days before Scrivener.

This morning I was obsessing about a novel I’m working on. Out of sheer frustration, I decided that I’d write a novella, rather than continue work on the novel. This was a big clue that I’m procrastinating. :-)

So instead of working, I tinkered with Scrivener. My total word count goal is around 70,000 words for the novel, so I entered the target into Project Targets. (From the menu: Project, Show/ Hide Project Targets.) You can see what Project Targets looks like — check the image on the top right of this post.

Then I entered my deadline. I was amazed — I just need to write 704 words a day, to complete the draft by my deadline. That made me feel a lot better, because it’s doable. I can leave Scrivener open, and can write a couple of hundred words in between dealing with other work.

Tracking a project’s progress

Scrivener provides many ways to track your progress. On a document level, you can track your word count for the document, by clicking the circle icon in the footer bar.

Target word count

A dialog box opens, as in the image above, and you can enter your word count for the scene.

Then you get a progress bar for the document, as in the image below.

Footer Bar

Want a word count target for a chapter? You can enter word count goals for chapters too, in Outline view, using the columns.

If you’re a Scrivener user, check out the various tools Scrivener gives you to help you to meet your daily word count goals, and complete your project by the deadline. They’re fun to use, inspiring, and work automatically — no more boring spreadsheets.

Join Angela on Google+, and on Twitter: @angee

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Angela Booth is a top copywriter, multi-published author, and writing teacher. She offers many guides, courses and classes to help writers to enhance their skills on her Writing Genii website. She also provides inspiration and motivation for writers on her writing blogs. Angela has been writing successfully since the late 1970s, and was online in the 1980s, long before the birth of the Web. Her business books have been widely published.

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