Scrivener Superpowers

How to Use Cutting-Edge Software to Energize Your Creative Writing Practice

MG Herron’s No Nonsense Novel Template for Scrivener

Scrivener-logoScrivener comes with two standard templates for novels, but as usual I wasn’t satisfied with the way they set things up, so I changed and added a bunch of stuff to create my own.

Here’s what you’ll find in MG Herron’s No Nonsense Novel Template for Scrivener (can also be used for short stories):

  • Character and Setting sketch template sheets
  • Front Matter for standard manuscript format, ebook, and print book
  • Research folder
  • Sales Copy folder
  • Six Core Competencies folder
  • Nine Point Outline folder (tip of the hat to Story Engineering by Larry Brooks)
  • Characters folder
  • Settings folder
  • Cut Scenes folder
  • Template Sheets folder
  • Icons for each of the top-level folders

Click here to download MG Herron’s No Nonsense Novel Template for Scrivener.

How to Save a Template

After you download it, do the following to get set up:

  1. Unzip the file
  2. Open the Scrivener project
  3. In the File Menu, go to File > Save As Template…
  4. Fill out all the info you see there (it should be automatically filled out for you).
  5. Categorize it as “Fiction”
  6. Click “OK”

Boom, you have a new template! To start a new project using this template, go to File > New Project…, select the No Nonsense Novel Template, and simply start writing.

Don’t be afraid to modify my template to fit your own style and process. Every writer is different.

Let me know how you like it by leaving a comment below.


About Matt Herron

Matt Herron is the author of Scrivener Superpowers: How to Use Cutting-Edge Software to Energize Your Creative Writing Practice. He has a degree in English Literature, a dog named Elsa, and an adrenaline addiction sated by rock climbing and travel. The best way to get in touch with him is on Twitter @mgherron.

22 Replies

  1. TimothyH

    Thanks, Matt. Great story template.

  2. Mary

    Thanks for the template. I need a road map and directions.

  3. I think I’ve learned more about setting up my own template from your book, than I have from two years of putzing around with Scrivener. Thanks!

    1. You’re very welcome! Glad to hear it’s been useful.

  4. Shell

    Very nice! Exploring it right now. Thank you!

  5. Carla Black

    I’m getting an error message that Scrivener can’t read the template files. Help! Thanks.

    1. Hey Carla, I’d be happy to help but I need more info. If you can’t get it to work, email with screenshots and more details. Cheers.

  6. Linda Tzoref

    You have saved my life!! Or at least my novel. Without your book and Scrivener, I honestly don’t know what I would have done. Thank you.

    1. Hi Linda! You’re very welcome! I’m so glad you found the book useful. Did you finish your novel, then?

  7. I have just purchased both Scrivener and Scapple. I already purchased for Mac but now use Windows. I am attempting to write a book with less headaches, so i appreciate you taking the time to publish this template for us random people to use. Thank you.

  8. Marybeth

    Hi Matt – thanks so much for this, for Superpowers, and for the template, which is incredibly useful. One question: my one problem with the template is that it automatically numbers the notecards within each file on the cork board, and I’d really like it not to do that (since it implies an order that I may not want to follow). How do I turn that off?

    1. Hey Marybeth! Happy to help. To turn off the numbers in the corkboard notecards, go to View -> Corkboard Options -> Show Card Numbers. Good luck with your writing!

  9. Reuben N. Marchant

    I bought your book and am reading it. Download the template. How do I import a novel I have already started into it?

    1. The most pain-free way is to take 15 minutes to copy paste each chapter into its own text file in scrivener.

  10. Brittany Ball

    this is a lifesaver, I tend to like to try and get my information down and write straight through and this will be phenomenally useful for Nanowrimo this year!!

  11. Judith

    Thanks, Matt, for your servant’s heart. I can hardly wait to look this over and learn from you. I’m making a note of your book.

  12. John Scrimshaw

    Thanks. I am writing my autobiography which I plan to have as an ebook for kindle. I and need to have a cover, and a linked table of contacts as the first items, followed by the individual chapters. Are the cover and toc front matter, if so, how do I set them up? Thanks

Leave a Reply