What do You Want From a Scrivener Mystery Novel Template?

I've been working this week on the next Scrivener template in my writers' resource collection -- a mystery novel template. While it won't be ready for release this week, I want to give you a chance to weigh in. Tell me what you want from a template. What would help you write your next mystery novel?

When I was moving the first draft of a mystery novel from Word to Scrivener, no existing templates really served my needs. They were either too general or I didn't feel like they offered enough templates to help me work through the story. So I created my own.

I've stripped my project down a bit to create a blank template anyone can use. But I'm also adding some resources that I didn't include in my personal template. For example, in addition to the draft section I included a section for planning or outlining your novel -- a suspect chart, clue list, etc. -- and I included a section for promotional content tied to the book. The idea is to create an all-in-one Scrivener template for mystery writers. Any writing related to your book will have a home there.

Here's a preview of the Binder view to show you what's in there already (though I'm still building a few of the resources):

Scrivener Mystery Template Binder View

Obviously stories will differ and I can't include everything. But I want this to be as useful as possible. So tell me, what would you like to see included here?

Are there other templates that might be helpful besides the character and setting sheets (the protagonist, antagonist, and victim have special versions of the former)? Should I go beyond giving you a place to record common research, and actually link you to some recommended resources where you can learn about things like police procedure? Should the promotional material involve tips or full templates (where it makes sense -- like a press release)?

Tell me what would make this Scrivener template work for you, and I'll do my best to release a comprehensive template publicly some time next week.

I appreciate your suggestions!

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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6 thoughts on “What do You Want From a Scrivener Mystery Novel Template?”

  1. That’s very cool. I could see myself having a lot of fun playing with something like that. I might have too much fun playing with the template sections and never get around to actually writing the book…

    • LOL I hope not! That’s the nice thing about putting it in template form though. You can always delete sections on a book-by-book basis if they become a distraction — or even use it for two different project files, one for planning and one for your manuscript.

  2. I love the idea because anything that helps me make a good book better is always welcome. It also appears from the preview that this template could be useful in more than just a mystery genre story. I look forward to taking it for a spin, Thanks. 🙂

    • You could certainly delete things that are mystery-specific, like the victim profile and suspect chart. If it works for people, I suppose I can always release some tweaked versions later for other novel types. 🙂

  3. Awesome resource. I’ve just been getting back into the idea of fiction writing and have been looking at Scrivener as a tool. I love the potential, but it’s things like this that show me what I should be doing with it!


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