Adding character sketches

Hey all, thank you for any help you can offer. I’ve just imported novel chapters into a manuscript (I had been working in Word, Scrivener is a gift from a friend). I want to create character sketches with notes on where those characters are mentioned. The video says I can add a sketch from the “add” button, but the only things that it offers are “new text” and “new folder.” I can’t find “character sketch” anywhere else in the menu. Where might I find it?

By “sketch” do you mean a brief description? Or an actual drawing of the character?

A brief description is just a text document. You might want to create a character sketch template if there’s a specific format you like.

If you want an actual drawing, create a text document first, then add a drawing to it.

If you haven’t already, I’d recommend taking a look at our Interactive Tutorial, available from the Help menu. Unlike a video, it lets you actually try the things it’s explaining, without risking your own work.

I mean a little description. I’ve seen the “character sketch” templates on other folks’ computers and I liked what Scrivener offered. But thank you, I will try the interactive tutorial.

It sounds like you should be looking for the character template. I know there is one in the “Novel with parts” project template. I write non-fiction so I don’t use it myself. Is there a template folder in your Project Binder (usually near the bottom/research folder)?

If not, to take a look at it, open a new project and choose the Novel with Parts template. It will be one of the items in your starting binder under Templates. There’s also a couple other templates that you may find useful.

I see (and thank you). That makes sense. If I opened a new template, could I just import everything I already have in my document?

Just to make sure I understand your question. -

Are you saying you want to import your original Word document into the Novel with Parts template?
Do you just want to use the Novel with Parts template with what you already have in Scrivener? If this is the case, and you did open a new project with this template already, I THINK you can just select your binder items in the first project and drag/drop them into the new project (you can have two projects open at once ) but @Kewms is better equipped to lead you down the best path.

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Yup, I fiddled around with moving the binder items into the new project. Now I’m bogging down with character sketches, settings … but that’s my writing problem, not a Scrivener problem! Thank you for your help.

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You’re welcome efgraff! I’m glad it worked for you!

Hint- Assuming you are going to want to frequently access these character sketches - project bookmarks can get overcrowded quickly with a lot of character sketches and/or location sketches. However, you can can create a document in your binder outside of your draft folder, and put links to every one of your character sketches on one document. Then you drop that one page into your project bookmarks. You can do the same for any topic that works for you. :wink:

Do become familiar with the manual and tutorial (Accessed under Help on the main menu in Scrivener.) Coming from Word, the biggest challenge is going to be learning to “think differently.”

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Oops, i forgot -

Scrivener can help tremendously to keep track of who’s where and when in your story. It has a lot of tools to to link most anything in most any manner.

  • You can link documents together by including a document link- say the location and character sketches to a scene research documents and pictures.
  • You can create keywords for all your characters, locations, point of views etc. then you drop those keywords into every related document. Bonus- keywords also have colors associated with them which can be displayed as color chips on index cards on the corkboard. (And you can drop keywords into a group of docs at the same time!) For example - you can search for character Sophia, create a collection, then select the entire collection and drop her keyword onto it. Done! Same thing with ANYTHING you want to keep track of.
  • If you like color coding: label colors are the only metadata that can be shown as a background color in your binder, icons, index cards and the outliner, but only one label can be applied to any document. Decide what type of detail is most important for you to “see” by color - and customize the labels and colors accordingly.

Be sure to read up on the metadata options including custom metadata like dates, also labels and status and how they can be viewed in the inspector and the outliner.

Just fyi, That only works when the templates exist in your project. It sounds like you may have started with a project template without document templates included.