Compiling for a novel and chapter break


I have written a novel but am now editing it and changing the plot structure. I am doing this in Scrivener and wondered the best way to do it. I know Scrivener is ideal for breaking down long pieces of text so you don’t work off one long document. So what I’ve done is made a folder and then got some text files within that that have different scenes in, but when I come to compile how is it best to break it up for chapters? Should I have a separate folder for each chapter (and name each folder as each chapter) and within that have lots of text files that have different scenes? I’m just wondering where to put the chapter breaks so that Scrivener picks it up when I come to compile it all.

I hope this makes sense and look forward to hearing peoples comments.



A typical, and easy to apply way of using Scrivener is to put individual scenes into chapter folders. If compiling with Novel Standard Manuscript Format preset (good starting point for submitting to agents/publishers) Scrivener will automatically use the name of each chapter folder at the start of each chapter, along with an automatically generated “CHAPTER ONE” or the like.

If you don’t want the title in there, or want the numbered chapters to be different, then you start messing with the Formatting tab of the compile window.

However, if you don’t want to split your manuscript up beyond chapters, you can just split your document into individual chapter documents and line the up in the Draft folder without any folders. In that case, the document names will be used for chapter names by default.

Keep this in mind as you experiment with compile settings: changing anything in the Compile window will change the Format As: title to “Custom”, and selecting any of the presets from that drop-down will reset everything in the compile window to that preset’s default values. This means that you can freely mess with things, knowing you can get back to the default, but it also means that you can wipe out your custom work if you don’t first use the “Save Preset…” button to create your own compile preset for later re-loading.