Creating a checklist for each chapter?

After studying quite a few books on how to write a novel, I started to get a grip on how a chapter should be structured.

Is there a way for me to create a checklist template that can be added for every chapter, where I can check if the chapter yet has these things, or If I need to go back and add them later?

Things on the list could be;

Rising Conflict Y/N
Character advancement Y/N
Elegant prose
-Simile Y/N
-Poetic Y/N

Im sure you get the point. This list would act as a reminder when typing, and also you would be able to go back to Outliner mode or similar and get an overview on your book, and i.e see that you forgot “Character Advancement” in chapter 6,9, and 12.

Is there a way to accomplish something like this in the current windows version?

You could create a blank file somewhere called “document template” that has this checklist as part of either the Document Notes field, Keywords assigned to it, or similar.

Then you’d have to Duplicate* the document whenever you created a new chapter/scene, which should carry over the document notes/keywords from the original. If you use the document notes, then you can highlight Rising Conflict and use the strike-through keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + Shift + - ) to strike it off your list. With keywords, you could just delete each item when you are satisfied that you’ve finished it. I don’t think the outliner shows either of those things, but the keyword’s colors can be made visible on the cork board using View->Cork Board Options->Show keyword Colors.

  • This will eventually be made easier by the inclusion of Document Templates, but I don’t know when that’ll be added to the Windows version.

I’ve done something similar. Initially, I write in scenes, which I may place in chapters, or leave as standalones. I’m an inveterate outliner.

I use the template made freely available by David Hewson. To that I simply added a folder which I call Scene Guide. Inside I placed a worksheet which I use at the beginning of each scene. (If only I could easily add it like we can do with New Text. :mrgreen: ). Details are at the end of this post.

Once I complete a scene to my satisfaction, I delete the text from the worksheet.

This technique works for me, but perhaps it’s of no interest to others. If you want it, use it. If not …

Name of EACH complex, layered character. Detail expected change by scene end. Add more as needed.

Identify the POV character. Why choose this character?

List any meaningful or character/personality revealing dialogue traits, if appropriate

What NEW plot advancing information occurs during this scene? Who provides it? Characters deepened – may occur in another scene.

Describe all conflict and drama which impacts on characters, ultimately exposing personalities

If the setting is important to the scene, give it a richness. Employ sufficient senses to make the reader part of the fictional world

Monitor the mix of narrative summary, exposition, and/or dialogue

Now I’m confused. I thought that the win version of Scrivener did not allow adding templates.
are you working in win or mac?
if win, please detail know how to do this,as I’d love to add a few templates I’ve found online


My understanding is that the Win version does not have templates, but what Hewson offers is essentially a saved project that you open, rename as your own project, and start from there. … -template/

Instructions for Windows are in his post.

Windows most certainly does have templates. You were likely presented with a choice of them when you first launched Scrivener. To see them again, just select File->New Project… All of those choices are templates. If you want to create your own, or use another project Like David H’s, just open it up and click File->Save As Template, and it will be added alongside the built-in ones.

Windows doesn’t currently have “Document Templates”. Here’s what they will do when they’re added to the Windows version (presumably in the Version 2 development cycle): …

Thanks for correcting me. I thought there was no ‘import template’ function, but obviously I was wrong :blush: .

I knew that Scrivener came with included templates, (I’m sure that Tylertoo did also) However, I thought that Win Scrivener did NOT have ‘import template’ function.

Your “save as” tip is really helpful–I never knew it was that easy. Feel like a total newbie. :blush:


Were are all total newbies at something, and then we’re not. :wink:

Being able to build your own template is a great way to customize the Scrivener experience for your future projects. Add to that creating your own saved Compile settings (for personal end-products, or for specific publishing requirements), and being able to save the “Layout” of your window once you’ve adjusted everything to your liking are some of my favorite “second tier” features of Scrivener, being those things that are secondary to the main features of the program.

I wasn’t able to get my new templates to show up at Start up. Is that not possible yet?
I tried importing by clicking the OPTIONS button, but it will only import files with the .scrivtemplate extension, and I wasn’t able to get the templates to save as anything but .scrivx

Did I miss something?

Starting with a project that you have cleaned up to be generic enough as a starting point to a new project, select File->Save as Template. You will be presented with the opportunity to name the template, and to select the category. (Like Fiction, or Scriptwriting). Once it is saved, the New Project template chooser gives you a choice of categories on the left. Choose the same one you selected when you saved the template, and your own custom template should be visible alongside the built-in templates.

The confusion here probably comes from the difference between project templates (which are available in Windows) and document templates (which aren’t).

Project templates are as described above. Doc templates are the ability to establish certain documents (through a special folder) as templates for easy access and re-use… character profiles, location sheets and such the like are common uses.

Thanks, Robert.

Ahh, Save as Template… NOW I finally get it…

I’m not usually that slow… Must be the heat… :wink:

Thanks for the clarification.

My workaround for having “Document Template” files for all my projects is fast/easy to do.

For instance:

I added a lot more information to the “Character Sketch” file in the “Template Sheets” folder, called it “Detailed Character Profile” and dragged (copied) that file into the “Template Sheets” folder of all my other projects.

Works for me.