Cool Scrivener Fiction Template to Download and Use Today: Lester Dent’s Fiction Master Plot

Ray Bradbury and Write 1 Sub 1

So Last Night I created a simple Scrivener Fiction Template for Pulp Action Stories.

This year,  I decided to take part in the  +Write 1 Sub 1 challenge. It’s based On Ray Bradbury‘s early writing habits – Write one story a week and send one story out for publication. Do this for a year and you’ll get better at it.

But it’s been hard to keep up, and my writing muscles ain’t what they used to be after years of neglect. It’s been hard to write and easy to procrastinate.

 Enter Scrivener

 Scrivener Template Logo for SEO

Towards that end, I decided to try Scrivener so I could waste more time playing around instead of drafting. Scrivener, for those of you who don’t know, is a writing program designed for writers. I don’t want to call it a word processor even the publishers say it’s designed to Compile manuscripts for publishing and editing in external processors. But it’s about the best at what it does. I’ve used yWriter, Writer’s Dreamkit, StoryBlocks and other organizing and outlining software before. And in every case, the learning curve was steep and the programs were not flexible enough to match my writing style.

But Scrivener seems to be a different beast. It’s really easy to use. Like a lot of organizers, it uses the concept of breaking up you work into small chunks easily represented by notecards. But the note card organizer ( The cork board) and the meta-data editor( The Inspector) are very intuitive and pretty much invisible until you need to use them. Your project is kept in a “Binder” allowing you add, edit, reorder and change note cards to your heart’s content. Under your research folder you can add pictures, videos, sounds and web pages.

When it comes time to compile your book, you choose what folders and note cards to include. Decide what format you would like the finished product to be and “Bingo!”, Scrivener exports a pretty clean copy of the code. I’ve played with the Epub export, put it into Sigil to validate, and it’s a clean as anything.

Enter Scrivener Templates

And one of the most useful functions I’ve found is the Scrivener template. You can save a blank project for use as a Scrivener template with these text cards already set up the way you choose to organize your projects. So, if you have a set way or organizing your front matter, text and back matter, you can save it as a Scrivener template and begin every project the same way.

So last night I imported my novel, a couple of stories, and created this Scrivener Template version of the Lester Dent Master Fiction Plot.

Enter Lester Dent and the Master Fiction Plot

LEster Dent's Doc Savage

Lester Dent was the real name of Kenneth Robeson, the creator and writer of the classic Doc Savage stories. His Master fiction plot article is a short essay outlining a good 6,000 word pulp story. Sure, it’s a simple 3 act structure ( One 1,500 word set up, 2 1,500 word sections of rising action, and one 1,500 word climax and denouement.) but it’s entertaining and easy to understand.

And therefore, pretty useful to the aspiring writer.

And the Scrivener Fiction Template for your use:

Now, this was pretty easy. I took a short story template, and copied in the complete text of Dent’s article for review. Then, I split the article up into cards. simple, no?

What I ended up with is a simple Scrivener Fiction Template that helps you plot out a 6,000 adventure story.

Here’s the Link to the Lester Dent Master Fiction Plot Scrivener Pulp Template:–WbiwrHWeTZ1BIdUVXZEtmYmM&usp=sharing

I’ve also re-saved it as a Project. If the above doesn’t work, download the project folder, and “Save as Template” from the file menu in Scrivener:

Note: These files were created on Scrivener for Windows Demo, on a WIN8 machine. Previously, I had hosted them in Linux, and was having lots of issues with cross-compatibility. If these do not work, I’m Sorry.

Enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Status Update 11-13-15

Not much more to report. Work continues to be a bear. Besides the unlimited Overtime, I’ve had to start commuting back to the office in order to justify keeping the desk I don’t use because I don’t go into the office.

  • Continue drafting a new story- it’s slow. Can’t really call it “Flash Fiction.”
  • Began editing “Entomophobia” based on the comments on Scribophile
  • Finished “Illuminae“, a YA sci fi that caught my eye at B&N Last week. ( Link goes to amazon)
  • I’ve meant to write a dedicated post for Gracie, but am just not ready to yet. She was a good, sweet dog who meant a lot to all of us here, and it’s been rough.

And a couple web things:

Status Update 11-6-15

Again, not a lot to report.

Crunch time at work. Unlimited OT is the step right before Mandatory OT, so it’s best if I take advantage of it. Which crushed both the tie available and any initiative I had to work on my own projects.

I was working on one of the two pseudonymous works this week, but did not get a lot of headway

Started a Cookbook for no reason other than I wanted somewhere to put a couple of recipes. So there’s that.

Healthwise, I continue to make slow and steady progress. BP is still high, but I lost another 2 pounds over the last three weeks.

Emotionally, this is going to be a bad week. At work, I have to start going into the office again after Working at home for a couple of years, hopefully on a temp basis, but it seems like things continue to evolve in a way that’s not good.

Also, tonight we’re saying goodbye to Amazing Grace after 17 years. She was hit by a car several years ago, and now the damage and pain are getting too much for her. She no longer has the strength to get her feet under her and needs lifted off the floor. She’s also getting fecal and urinary incontinence. I promised Jamie I’d make sure she was here when she visited in August, but we had house sitters that threw her schedule off, so she was having bad days the whole time Jamie was here. Since then, she’s had good days and bad days, with the good days getting further and further apart. She will be missed.


HAppy HAlloween!


Status Update 10-30-15

Happy Halloween!

Not much to report this week. Under the weather. Quite literally as a storm went through ans set off an RA flareup. Got neither reading nor writing done.

Also work has been a challenge this week. I have a feeling if this keeps up much longer I’ll have plenty of time to work on my writing, even if it’s just resumes.

I did post the flash fiction I did for the Scribophile Horror! group’s Halloween Contest, so there’s that/

Have a safe and Happy Holiday Everyone!

Halloween Flash Fiction: Colcannon

A short piece of flash fiction submitted for the Halloween Contest on the Horror! Group on Scribophile. The prompt had to be based on the Wikipedia entry for Halloween. This led down a rabbit hole of links, until I ended up with this:


Did you ever eat Colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream?
With the greens and scallions mingled like a picture in a dream.
Did you ever make a hole on top to hold the melting flake
Of the creamy, flavoured butter that your mother used to make?

Lady Wynn slid the cast iron pot across the stones and further from the flame before lifting the heavy lid. A cloud of steam rose to the timbers and thatch, smelling of bacon and onions. She plunged her wooden spoon into the mash and stirred. The potatoes were drying out, leaving a hard, yellow skin around the outside, but she had no more milk or butter to add. Instead, she threw another handful of fresh greens- a particularly succulent species of ground Ivy that grew in the churchyard- into the pot.

“It must do,” she thought. “I hope he gets here soon.”

She replaced the lid, but did not move it back to the fire and tottered over to the small, rough door set into the front wall of the stone house. she opened it up and peered out into the darkness.

Her house was separated from the road by a low stone fence. She had set a lantern on the fence, to draw any travellers to her this night, and it provided the only illumination as dense clouds rolling off the sea to the west had hidden the moon.

Across from her, the ruins of the McGovern’s farm was a tangled mass of trees and overgrown hedges blowing in the autumn wind. Catty corner, the old Catholic Churc was Dark. The Priest seldom visited anymore, preferring to stop directly at Wynn’s house to serve hear her confession and serve her the Eucharist. She wondered if it was bad memories that kept him away. And on the last corner, was the little graveyard, but the less said about that…She crossed herself and closed the door.

Lady Wynn made her way back to the rocking chair next to the fire and picked up the bolt of fabric and scissors. She needed to have the Murray’s christening gown finished. The poor dear was due in a month, but she had seen the omens. The baby was coming soon, but was to be healthy. At least, that’s what she had told the Mr. And Mrs. Seldom were things so cut and dried in this age.

Soon enough she dozed off, and was startled awake by the sound of a horse drawing up on the road, followed by the chickens being startled awake. The candle hadn’t yet burnt down, so it wasn’t too late for the visitor, but still she reached under the chair and pulled the pistol into her lap, making sure the flint was cocked.

Her visitor rapped lightly on the door.

“Come in, darn you. I’m awake now.”

The door opened and a dandy fine traveller in wool slacks and a velvet coat stooped to come inside, removing his cap as he did so.

“Excuse me, Madam. I saw your lantern and need some assistance. I seem to be lost.”

She gave him the eye, then uncocked the pistol and set it underneath her before standing.

“Fine. Have a seat.”

“I don’t mean to intrude-”

“But here you are then.” She waved the spoon at him and then pointed to the rough hewn table. “Let’s get you some dinner and warmed up and have you on your way.”

The traveller sat down and removed his linen gloves as Wynn spooned the colcannon into two bowls. She set them on the table, then returned to a small oak cabinet in the corner, retrieving spoons, cups, a pewter jug of water and a basket of cold rolls.

“I’m much obliged madam. I don’t mean to interrupt your evening.”

“Oh, it’s long past evening now, isn’t it. I wouldn’t be a good Catholic if I didn’t help those unfortunate souls who find their way here, now would I?”

He frowned and stirred the Mash. Wynn Sat down across from him.

“You’d be Irish then? I thought your folk were down in Swansea.”

“Most are. A few tried to make a go of it here in the Black Mountain. I’m About all that’s left.”

He brightened up at that.

“Oh Good. I was on my way from Newport to Herefordshire and I-”

“Got lost on the moors near round Abergavenny, where you were to stop for the night.” She sighed. ” It happens to you lot a bunch.”

He frowned again and stared into his bowl. Perhaps I took it too far, Wynn thought. I’ve insulted the lad.

“Never you mind. We’ll get you sorted out. There’s a pub down the pike a bit, tell them Old Lady Wynn Sent you and they’ll keep you for the night and send you on your way.”

“I’d be much obliged ma’am.”

Just then the wind kicked up and gusted around the stone house.

“I hope it’s not too far. I’ve already had quite the adventure and don’t know how much more of this I can take.”

“Oh, it’s just a little wind and darkness on All Hallow’s. Surely a strapping lad like you don’t worry about fairy tales.”

“You don’t know the half of it. There was this boar in the road. Frightened the Horse half to death and chased us up here like you wouldn’t believe. I had to fire several shots at it, but it wouldn’t stop.”

A shudder ran down Wynn’s spine and pooled into her feet. The traveler stopped at the stricken look at her face.

“Did you…Did you hit it?”

“I don’t think so. It didn’t stop. I hope it wasn’t one of yours.”

“No. I don’t keep. But listen to me William, are you sure it was a Boar? Any chance it was a sow?”

” I don’t know. It was huge. If you Irish are breeding Sows that big up here…Well, I’ve ne’er seen one like that.”

“And a tail? Did it have a tail?”

“It was chasing me. I mean…We came upon it in the road and it attacked us. The horse spooked, and it chased us down the road. We missed out turnoff and ended up here.”

“Did it have a tail, Wiliam?”

Wynn pushed her bowl of Colcannon away and stared into his eyes.

“I don’t know. No. No I didn’t see a tail.”

The hair on the back of here neck stood up. She thought she heard something along the road. The soft trotting of some large animal. She stood up and turned to grab a poker out of the fire.

“Hey!,” William called her. “How’d you know my name? I didn’t tell you.”

She used the poker to fish two stones out of the fire. Too hot to handle, she used the Ash shovel to turn themover. On one, she was relieved to find her name. The other, the one the Aos Si had told her to write the name ‘William’, was blank. She turned back to him.

“I’m sorry William,” she said with true grief in her voice. “You have to go now. I can’t help you.”

“How did you know my name!” William shouted.

There was an inhuman scream from outside. Wynn placed it down the road, but moving fast. Willam’s horse snorted and stamped outside. The house had no windows in the front, so Wynn flung open the door. The horse was panicking, pulling on it’s reins.

“That is the cutty black sow. This is her night, and you’re doomed.”

There was a scream again, closer this time, and William’s hand went to his hip, But his pistol wasn’t in his belt. He must have left it in its holster on the saddle after firing at Yr Hwch Ddu Gwta the first time he encountered her, Wynn knew.

“I’m so sorry William. You need to go untie your horse before it’s here.”

William swallowed hard, his eyes wide.



“No. I think..I think I’ll impose on you and spend the night here. If you’ll let me?”

Wynn sighed.

“I’m sorry. I can’t do that. You know I can’t do that. She’ll just come inside, and then I’ll have to clean up the mess anyway.”

A gust of wind blew the lantern on the wall out, plunging the scene into darkness. The wind was roaring through the bushed across the road, but even so, the next time the sow bellowed she heard it plainly. It was on the other side of the little cemetery.

“Please William. She’s waiting.”

“What Did I do? What Did you Do?”

“Nothing. Nothing. You got lost. It wasn’t your fault. People get lost up here all the time.”

“Will I make it to the Pub?”

She found the lie came easily. Easier than to the Murrays, anyway.


She saw the light go out of his eyes: she hadn’t fooled him. His whole body sagged as he realized what she meant. But somewhere he found the courage, and straightened himself up.

“Well, Then.” He placed his cap on his head and tightened it down. ” I best be off then.”

He ducked through the door, then turned back to her.

“I’d hate to be a bother. The Colcannon was delicious.” He stopped to give her a quick kiss on the top of her forehead. “I’m really, truly sorry to be leaving.”

And with that he was bounding across the yard. He leapt over the fence and in one quick movement had untied the horse and leapt on its back. He gave her a wave as the horse reared up, and turn and raced down the road.

Wynn peered into the darkness at the graveyard. Was that Her? She thought she saw something moving among the tombstones, a larger, darker shape. She squinted harder. Was that two red dots, two eyes?

The beast screamed again. This time she definitely heard it leaping from the graveyard to the road. It raced past her little house, and she felt it radiating both hellfire and an icy cold chill at the same time There was a quick, overpowering stench of graverot that forced her back fro the open door and made her cover her face, then it was gone.

She listened for a moment, but was loath to lean into the open door and into the night. Soon, the wind died down, and there was nothing but quiet.

She sighed again and closed the door.

Yes you did, so you did, so did he and so did I.
And the more I think about it sure the nearer I’m to cry.
Oh, wasn’t it the happy days when troubles we had not,
And our mothers made Colcannon in the little skillet pot.