Bug in writing history?

I’ve been getting some strange (read that as ‘sad’) word counts that I think are due to more than my own laziness and procrastination, and I’ve figured out why.

If I write a chapter that’s, say, a thousand words long, it gets correctly counted in the writing history. If I then duplicate the chapter, which I do sometimes to keep the metadata, etc., the writing history doesn’t say I just wrote another thousand words. It acts as if I didn’t write anything. That seems probably logical since I didn’t actually write any new words, but the word count of my story did technically increase by another thousand words. If I then delete the contents of that new chapter, the word count decreases by a thousand words. What I’m left with are two chapters, one with a thousand words and the other empty, and a word history that says I haven’t written anything.

The immediate solution is obvious: quit duplicating chapters. A better solution would be awesome.

By the way, I’ll echo what many others have said. Scrivener is amazing. It’s the reason I own a Mac and is my favorite program, bar none. I’ve been looking forward to the new version for a long time, and it doesn’t disappoint. Thank you so much!


I ended up recreating this problem last night and then this morning my writing history was “missing” 1,000 words which threw me. And to the internet forum I went! But then I read your post, made perfect sense and set out to play around with it and find out how to delete words without disrupting your word history.

So in my case I recently updated to Scrivener 3 and already had many words, chapters, and scenes in the manuscript or project I was working on. But, I was rewriting a chapter that needed to be fixed. I left the original alone and created a new scene in my chapter. Once I completed the rewrite, I simply went to the original text and deleted it. That’s where it messed with my “writing history.” I wrote over a thousand words in the new document, and then ended up with a fraction of that after deleting the old writing. Opps!

Luckily for me, I have backups upon backups and easily found the old stuff and pasted it back into where I had it and my writing history was suddenly back to where it had been, only the dates were changed because I was entering this data a day later.

I wonder what would happen if I made a completely NEW scene and just deleted the scene in the trash instead of just pressing delete to remove the type? And that my friends is the key. Instead of selecting and deleting your words via the delete button, delete the scene and send that whole file to the “trash.” Then delete the trash and it won’t affect your writing history. But you should be careful, if you copy and paste type into a new scene, you again have the problem of those words messing with your writing history. FYI. And if you are like me you probably want to keep all the synopsis that you’ve entered in on the scenes as well, so a little bit of planning when you delete words is definitely needed. :wink:

This of course does not effect the “Manuscript target” the same way. That hasn’t changed.

AND this is all important ONLY if you want to keep your writing history accurate. My guess is that if I was bringing a lot of old written material into a new Scrivener 3 document, the totals for that month will be off, it may start over the next month?

Also, because I want to be thorough, I looked in the Scrivener 3 user manual. The data seems to be complied for Months and Days. So potentially, it restarts monthly. (I’ll find out at the end of this month.) So if you planned to bring in data from another file and are worried that it will effect your totals ongoing? Maybe for that month it will, but not indefinitely. It also tracks negative numbers as in, if you subtract words and add them it counts what you kept and what you deleted. For me I’m ONLY interested right now in the amount of words I add, not subtract. But this is useful for other writers that may want that information. Definitely check it out, it’s a fabulous new feature and I’m having fun with it!

I’m a little confused about some Writing History behavior I experienced today.

I did some writing on my iPhone using the Notes app while away from my computer. I created two Notes documents. When I got home, I copied the text from the two notes into two separate documents in the same Scrivener project on my Mac. Then I brought up Writing History, and I saw that some words had been credited to Draft, while other words were credited to Other. This is wrong, as both documents were in Draft.

Not sure I can duplicate this behavior. I sort of with Scrivener could tell me where it thought the word count increase came from. Or perhaps give me some ability to adjust word counts I believe are incorrect. This isn’t a serious issue, as the total word count (in Project Statistics) is correct. I just wanted to note it in case someone knew some trick that I didn’t, which is likely.

This is still a thing, unfortunately.

I’ve noticed a couple of times recently that I’ve had negative totals after a busy day of writing. Just realised why and it’s the duplicate bug you mention.

Today I split a long scene into 6 sub-scenes by duplicating the file 5 times and deleting as appropriate. I now have a daily total of -20,000 words!

I do sort of see the logic in not counting duplicates as writing history, but not sure there’s any real benefit, and it certainly royally screws up the totals. If there’s a good reason/use-case why it isn’t counted (and I can’t really think of one) then perhaps it should ask you each time you duplicate if you want to count it or not.

In my case, I’m a little sad as I love all that kind of data and mine’s woefully innaccurate as I’ve duplicated on many occasions.

(I have raised as a bug report btw).

Reasonable use-cases are hard to find sometimes. I can’t think of one for word count targets or tracking at all, personally!

On the other hand, I do see a clear enough reason not to count duplicates (there’s no writing involved). Not counting deletes as negatives is less obvious, but again, it’s neither writing nor a reduction in accomplished work. Deleting a recent duplication surely shouldn’t be a negative, if the duplication wasn’t a positive. That would be true no matter which of two copies are deleted. At some point, it won’t be reasonable to expect Scrivener to know what you want.

Thanks, my issue has been fixed.