Importing A Scrivener File Into A Genre Template

In April, I blogged about discovering Jami Gold’s Romance Template and beat sheet, and a friend of mine asked how to incorporate her work in progress. At the time, I didn’t have the answer but can give some insight now.

If you “Pantsed” your way through Camp NaNoWriMo with a romance project, Jami’s template is an excellent way to get organized and recharged. All those feverishly written chapters can be lassoed into a logical storytelling order, and free you to hone and polish. And if you Pants like me, sometimes all that free-flowing storytelling needs to be stitched together logically. A template gives you structure to tell the story with all the sections needed to make it engaging to your readers.

Here’s how I did it.

Make sure you have backups of your Work in Progress just in case.

If you’ve created a new Scrivener fiction document and chose a genre template, it will open up brand new and ready for writing.

adding template

If you already have a work in progress and want to import it into the new template, it will take a little time and patience, but will be well worth your effort. After creating the new document and giving it a brand new unique name, back it up. Next, you’ll want to import your previous work in.

Under FILE, you’ll scroll down to IMPORT, then choose SCRIVENER PROJECT…  Select the Scrivener file you want to import into the new template. Once it’s imported, it will be in a folder marked “Imported Project”, probably beneath your Trash Icon. Open the Imported Project folder to make sure you’ve imported the correct project, then SAVE.


See the bottom folder that says “Imported Project”? Mine had 122 items in it. Yours could have much, much more, or less, according to the size of your WIP.



If your new project file is in Bulletin Board, the Imported Project folder should look similar to the picture above.

Right away you can prune out things you don’t need. Here’s where you save yourself a lot of grief. Your Characters are already there, as are your Manuscript Pages, just waiting to be dragged into the corresponding sections of your Binder. Some research may need to recouped, so DO NOT overwrite your original Scrivener project until all your data has been checked. SAVE the old file just in case.

Now save and backup before you start dividing up your new template driven project.

If you spot an error, please let me know, or have suggestions. Unlike my husband and eldest son, I’m no IT expert and am just sharing what I’ve learned.

Jami Gold’s wonderful template that I used can be found here: Jami Gold’s Romance Writers New Scrivener Template





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.