Carving up a big document into Index Cards

I hope this hasn’t been covered before, and if it has, my apologies. I am working on a rather long short story, and I am trying to edit it. I have about 65 pages worth of text in one document in Microsoft Word, and another 30 pages of story notes in another document. I would like to import these two documents into Scrivener, and then take small pieces of them and make index cards for the Corkboard so I can see what I’ve got and move things around. Is there a quick way to highlight a section of a big document (maybe a paragraph or two) and then move it directly to an index card to be used for outlining purposes? I would assume the answer is “Yes” but would appreciate some direction. This is the end of my first day on Scrivener, and so far the application seems fantastic. Thanks in advance for any help.

With that much text, are you really sure you want it all in the index card synopsis?

Anyway, I would suggest you should do the following.

  1. Import as a single file into Scrivener.

  2. Go through that document, and split it up into the smaller sections you are after. The easiest way to do this is to find the place where you want to split, and press Cmd-K.

  3. Once you have broken up the document like that, you will have a lot of documents with text, and a lot of index cards (these will be blank, as they have no synopsis yet). You may wish to arrange them into folders etc for various chapters, depending on the structure of your document.

  4. FInally, you can auto-fill the index cards with the first few lines of text, as per this post:



Each index card in Scrivener represents a single document in the binder; each document in the binder can be as short or as long as you want - it might be a scene, a chapter, a small section or whatever. So you need to go through and split your story into smaller chunks to see them all on the corkboard - Matt’s instructions are spot on in how to go about that.

All the best,

Dear Matt and Keith,
Thank you! This is exactly the advice I was looking for.