Committing Trilogy in Scrivener

Per subject … I’m expecting to have to write a trilogy next year (with a bit of slop time into 2014). That’s a work of fiction that has a coherent narrative arc spanning three novels, to be published separately but not designed to be read separately.

Anyone else done this?

(My main concern is being able to work on them as a single Scriv project – for maintaining internal consistency – but compile to three separate books. Thoughts?)

Having 3 (or more) books in one project is easy. There are a couple of ways to go about it:

In your draft folder, create 3 folders, one for each book. Move any work you may have started for a given book into the appropriate book folder. In the compile dialogue, there should be a drop-down button in the Contents section above the list of files & folders. Click on that, and choose whichever book folder you want to compile. That folder will be the new base-level for your compile settings.

The other option is to keep the completed books outside of your draft folder, so that you only have one book to compile/focus on at a time. This still allows you to search through all of your material.

We have a case study written up on this topic, and it comes up in the forums quite a bit, as you might expect. The general consensus is that indeed using one project for the series is a superior working method. You get instant access to the entire work as a whole, not to mention unified background information—basically all the nice little perks you get for organising the details of one book map over easily to multiple volumes.

As for compiling, it’s all set up for this way of working. You can select an individual folder as the main compile source, rather than the entire draft, and configure it to operate on that sub-folder as though it were the entire draft (for purposes of chapter numbering and formatting). So the idea is to have three folders, one for each book, at the top level of the draft.

Others prefer to rotate the current work in progress into the draft and keep the older volumes outside. I’d suppose the main reason to choose one way over the other, while working anyway, is whether you find searching tends more toward The Trilogy, or toward the WIP—given that operator flag that constrains the search to the Draft.

Thanks! I’ll give the case study a careful read.