dealing with different drafts


I have a really rough 1st draft of a novel, and would like to think about moving onto the second draft. At this point, I realise I don’t know much about the Scrivener workflow to know how to do this. I don’t want to lose the 1st draft, so overwriting it isn’t an option. I could copy the project file, and work on that, or I could just start a new Scrivener project from scratch. What do other people do?

Thanks for any recommendations,


Actually, several possibilities. Perhaps the quickest – and safest – is to take a snapshot, and keep that open in the Inspector pane while you make side-by-side revisions in the Edit pane.


You could also duplicate your draft in your binder (and rename the copy “First Draft”) if you want a readily accessible, non-changing, version of the first draft to hand. The benefit of this is that it preserves the structure of the draft as well as the text, something that is not done by snapshots. I did this and found myself referring to it a lot more than I thought. I ended up with three complete drafts in my binder.

I also recommend backing up your project, labelling the backup “First Draft” and saving a couple of copies in (different) secure locations. But then my wife thinks I hang on to way too much stuff…

You could also create a brand new, blank project, have both project binders open and visible on the screen and drag and drop the documents from the first draft to the new project. Then you’d have your first draft project completely separate from the second, and you wouldn’t have to worry about accidentally clicking the wrong document in the binder. Plus, when you drag and drop this way, all of the document’s notes, references, keywords, and snapshots come along with it. You don’t get the metadata such as labels and status, but that’s a function of the project, and not the document.

Edit: As I hit submit, I thought of an even easier way to do this: just save your first draft project as a template. Then you can create a new project using that template, and everything will have been duplicated from project notes to general meta data, and your first draft will be left untouched when begin your second.

A couple methods were recently in this post too–probably mentioned here already, but in more lengthy detail because Ioa and I like to talk a lot. :wink: