Using Scrivener Templates To “De-Pantser” Your Romance Writing


“Pantsing” a novel is fun, frustrating, and time-consuming. I thought pantsing would be liberating and allow me to please my muse, get a high word count, get my writing finished and ready to go to an editor. The trouble was stitching all the bits I’d written together as a cohesive narration. Wow. Something like trying to piece a quilt using discarded and discordant pieces of fabric. In fact, that simile is what pantsing was like when my creative flow was out of control.

The bits often took a lot of editing to make them fit, and more than once got tossed to my Scrivener “Unused Scenes” folder, maybe to be used in another story. Getting edits back from editors, where I missed pantsed mistakes was frustrating. It was time to try something else.

Google and Scrivener template searched yielded a treasure trove. For every genre, there’s a template, or so it seems. Fantasy? Check. Romance? Check. The list goes on. Then there are Beat templates, and others, for free, just waiting for an order seeking writer to download.

More than one WIP (work in progress) had me stuck. My frustration with how little progress I’ve made was the catalyst to start using Scrivener templates to outline better.

Author Jami Gold created a Romance Scrivener Template, a template perfect for romance writers like me who need order in the face of chaos. I’ve started two new files for my WIPs, using her templates, and already see progress.

Check out Jami’s page with the Scrivener links here: Jami Gold’s Scrivener Romance Template

She also has a romance beat sheet to help you calculate, and this is invaluable during writing programs such NaNoWriMo or Kiss of Death Book in a Week. Find it on another Jami Gold page here: Jami Gold’s Romance Beat Sheet

Jami has a lot of rich, detailed, excellent information on honing and perfecting your craft, so a subscription to her blog is a must do for aspiring writers like me.

Not sure how to get the templates into Scrivener? Download the templates you need, open Scrivener to New Project, then open Options at the bottom, and Import Template. Find the template(s) in your Download folder, if that’s where you saved it to, then import it in.

adding template

Fiction Templates will show up when you choose Fiction for your new project, select the template you’ve uploaded, name your new WIP and save it to the folder you’ve selected. Sounds harder than it is. You’ll soon be a Planner, filling out the template as you write, or import old files from a previous source.





2 Comments on “Using Scrivener Templates To “De-Pantser” Your Romance Writing

  1. Thanks for the shout out, Beabe! I’m so glad my template and beat sheet have been helpful. 🙂

    Good luck with your writing and attempt to bring order to your pantsed chaos. 😉 (I pants my stories and use this template for myself too. LOL!)

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