Configuring meta-data for corkboard/outliner

I am just starting out on Scrivener, Windows version, and starting out on a novel. I have two point of view characters and multiple other characters. I would like advice on configuring labels/keywords to achieve this goal:

For each scene, I would like to be able to see colors on the corkboard and outliner representing the POV character AND characters in the scene. I was able to achieve this:


…in which the blue tinting and pin represents the POV character (using labels), and the green and yellow represent other characters in the scene (using keywords).

Two questions though:
– I also want to use keywords for scene locations, but only for searching. Is is possible to have these keywords NOT reflected on the corkboard? I only want the index cards to have colors showing characters, as in the image above.
– Secondly, is it possible to have any or all keywords reflected in the outliner table? I currently have scene title, label, and synopsis showing up. But under “View–> Outliner Options” there’s no way to selected keywords.



Sorry, I saw this the other day but didn’t have a chance to reply. Working backward, there isn’t currently an option to view keywords via the outliner; they’re limited to the inspector and the corkboard. You can choose how many keyword chips you want visible on the cards by clicking the rightmost icon in the editor footer while viewing the corkboard to pop up a little box of options. So if you set the keywords shown to 3, the first three keywords in each document’s inspector list will appear as color chips on the corkboard.

That might help you, depending how many characters you have per document, but likely there will end up with overlap–sometimes you’d have only one character and end up with two locations visible or you’d only get three of your four characters showing, etc. So probably a better option will be to store the locations and the characters separately. Use keywords for characters, as you’re doing, so you get the visibility on the corkboard, and then use either the document notes or an annotation within the document to list your location tags. I’d use something additional to the word–for instance “@Tokyo”–and keep multi-word tags as a single word like “New_York” or “NewYork” to help with searching and reducing false positives. So you could then run a project search limited to Notes and search for “@Santa_Monica” to quickly get a list of all the documents that you’ve indicated in the doc note are set in Santa Monica while ignoring any that just have someone saying, “Wow, I’d love to go to Santa Monica!”

A third option could be to use the Status meta-data for this, but that presumes that you’re not already using the status for something else and that you have your scenes broken down such that each document is set in only one location (or at least only one that you care about). A benefit to that would be the ability to see the location data on the corkboard and outliner if you wanted, but separate from the character keywords.

Thank you, Jennifer for the detailed reply. It all makes sense. I will likely use notes to store location data, as I do want to reserve status for, uh, status!

One more minor question:

What determines which keywords are ‘first’? The order in which they’ve been assigned? Alphabetical? Or the order the respective colors are listed are in the label window?

The order they’re listed for the document in the keyword pane of the inspector (click the key icon in the inspector footer to see this). This will be by default the order they are added to the document, but you can drag and drop to rearrange them.

Can I piggyback on this question since it seems to be related?

Here’s what I would like to have happen. As I see it, it isn’t possible but maybe I’ve missed something with being so new:

I love how labels can show in the outline mode. If I’ve used labels to tag characters or POV, I can look in outline mode and see if I have a big gap with someone gone missing or a big clump of too much of one character by just glancing at the color distribution. But some scenes have multiple characters and since I can’t use 2 labels on one card, I have to choose which one to show in the outliner. Is there some other visual representation I can use in order to see two colors in the outiner mode? I wonder how other folks handle this sort of thing? Thus far the only thing I can think of is as MM stated, to use something like status which wouldn’t give me a color but would show in the columns.

Label is the only color option in the outliner, so there’s not a way to display two colors on the same item. Depending how you’ve structured your binder, you could create a second empty document as a subdocument to the real one, just to apply the second label to it–if you don’t otherwise have subdocuments like this, it should be relatively easy to tell at a glance of the outliner when you have two documents tied together this way since you’ll be able to see the heirarchy. (You could also of course make a note to that effect in the synopsis or in the document title, e.g. name it “DocA’sName - Char 2” or such.) Untick the “include in compile” option from the inspector for these and you’re generally good to go. Note though that it will change the real scenes in these cases to the document group type instead of a single document, so you may need to adjust some compile settings for that.

That said, if you’re going to go to the work of creating a second document, it’s probably worth considering whether the scene itself could be broken into two (or more) segments. If it switches between two character’s perspectives within a single paragraph, probably not, but if it’s in a few larger blocks then it may be preferable to chunk it further, at least temporarily for organizational purposes even if you want to merge them again before compiling. (And I only mention merging there because it would prevent the scene from being cut into multiple pieces with whatever scene separator you’re using in compile. It may not matter.)

Another option that I’ve seen people use is to create a “blend” as it were: red indicates Valjean’s scenes, blue indicates Javert’s, purple indicates both Valjean and Javert. Although you can only have one label per document, you can create as many labels as you like. Color mixing could start to get crazy, though, if you have a lot of different configurations of characters.

If you don’t need this to be color, I’d suggest using the first line of the synopsis for this information, using all caps or asterisks or such to make it stand out. The outliner always shows the full synopsis, so you’d still be able to see all your other notes. If searching for these as tags is important, you can follow the ideas above to distinguish them from other instances of the name in the text (although even using all caps could be sufficient, since you could search with case sensitivity).

Thanks MM,
At 5am this morning when I couldn’t sleep, I came to the blended conclusion so good to know I am on the right track. I only need this for early plotting, to make sure of a few things, so I’ll try the blended and I’ll also try not worrying about color and using the status to indicate other characters in the scene and then add that column to the outliner. Thanks for the various options.

Well heck, yesterday I saw this option and now I can’t find it. Where do I go to limit the number of keywords shown on a card?

Rightmost icon in the editor footer when in corkboard view; looks like four rectangles in a grid. Clicking that will bring up a few options including number of keyword chips per card.

Dang! MM to the rescue again! :smiley: Thanks so much.

Well dang, so much for that idea. I can’t show just one color. Drats. Will come up with something else instead.