Do you have an Instruction Book?

I’m trying to import an entire manuscript, chapter by chapter using your novel template. I don’t need it “scene by scene”. This task used to be simple, but now it isn’t. Is there an Instruction Book with simple directions I can buy? If so, point me and my credit card to the right location to do that. Thanks!

There is no separately available instruction guide. The user manual can be found in the Help menu under Scrivener Help. This is more of a reference than a step-by-step affair, but has information about every aspect of the program. In that same menu, you’ll also find the Tutorial, which is an interactive Scrivener project and definitely is more step-by-step in its approach. Finally, there are videos you can watch, here. The one on Importing, in particular, might be useful to you.

One question:

What do you mean by this? The process of importing and splitting up a manuscript hasn’t been changed in many years.

It has changed. For example, the version of Scrivenor that I have did not include a manuscript format. Since I upgraded using the “fixes” sent to me, that option appeared. It has a “scene” function under the first “Chapter”, but there is no information about why or how to circumvent it if importing an entire chapter not just a scene. I have no idea why anyone would want their chapters broken up scene by scene unless it has something to do with the triple space used for time breaks. Further, regarding the addition of new Chapters, there is no instruction about how to create a second, third and so forth, without ALSO creating a duplicate of the text in the previous Chapter (also new, too). This is annoying. I spent a lot of time dealing with this yesterday, which is what prompted my e-mail.

I am going to find out how to work around these difficulties because I need to format my manuscript for output to CD so I can send it to an editor.

Meanwhile, I suggest a step-by-step instruction manual that users can buy instead of the conversational-style “Help” advice.

Okay, I see where the confusion is coming from. Scrivener hasn’t really changed, with all due respect, it just sounds like you never used templates before. Those were items you had to install separately as an option, which might explain why you haven’t seen them until recently. The underlying application, at least in regards to the types of things we are discussing here, has remained stable for many years now.

Templates are very simple, but until this is known that can be a stumbling block for some. Many are used to applications that do an excessive amount of hand-holding, walking you through story structure wizards and enforcing structural elements in your project by having specific “types” of items available, like “Chapter” and so on.

Scrivener does no such thing. There are folders and there are files, which are largely just cosmetic variations on the same thing. So it would almost be good to say: Scrivener has items. Items can be whatever you want them to be. They can be chapters, they can parts, they can be paragraphs, they can—with the “Include in Draft” option disabled—be nothing at all (in the book at any rate)!

Templates are just Scrivener projects with some helpful things set up to get you started on your own path. They use these “items” in familiar ways, such as scenes and chapters, and provide some boilerplate formatting which you can copy or change entirely. But that is all they are. There is no special difference between the “Chapter” folder in a template, and a folder you make on your own. It’s just a folder. Delete it if you want. Duplicate it to make copies. Change it into “Sonnets”. It doesn’t matter. Manipulate templates in the same fashion you would manipulate a manuscript you built by hand. Delete the “scene” file if you don’t want it. It’s just a Scrivener project. :slight_smile:

I break down things even further! Many Scrivener users settle on the “scene” or “beat” length as a handy measurement for what all should go into a Binder item. It keeps your narrative fluid, and makes structural alteration easy. Searches become more relevant because the matching items will be short and to the point. The Corkboard becomes more useful because it is no longer just a board with 18 Chapter Cards on it.

There are many reasons to cut things up further than the chapter level!

You want Documents menu, Simple Duplicate ([b]Cmd-Shift-D[/b]). That makes a copy of the selected item without adding “Copy” on the end, and it won’t also duplicate its children.

I’m not sure what you mean by this, but we are working on the next version of the documentation. While it will be a reference manual as well, not a step-by-step guide for every conceivable potential action one can do—I would definitely be interested in hearing from you one what would make the current documentation more useful. Just saying step-by-step instruction manual doesn’t help me out because Scrivener is exceedingly vast. Describing every possible thing you can do with it in bullet-point steps would probably take ten years because there are iterative aspects of its features. That is, abstracted features that can be used a dozen different ways to produce a dozen different workflows which impact a dozen other features etc etc etc.

Finally, if you are finding the novel template so difficult to work with, then I would recommend you don’t use it. Start with a blank project if that is what you are accustomed to. I don’t use the novel template either. I’d say a good 95% of the projects I create are blank. It sounds like this is what you are used to, so I’d recommend sticking with that if you don’t need what the manuscript template is providing.

Whew! Thanks to all of you for the responses. I am eager to begin again formatting my novel now that I have new information to help me. I forget that Scrivener has to be many-faceted for its myriad users. Since it is so Mac-like, I tend to regard it as an extension of Appleworks instead of the sophisticated application that it is.

Again, thanks for your help.

Speculation aside, I consider myself to be a single entity. :slight_smile:

Not a problem! And just so you know, this particular point on what templates are is something we intend to address a little further in the manual. Your original perception of what they are is not uncommon, and I think that is because many other programs use “template” to mean something much more structured and “fill in the blanks”. In Scrivener, it is really meant to just be a starter project full of examples, useful labels, and so forth; especially the provided ones. Users are encouraged to modify them or make their own templates from scratch, to better suit their own working styles.

Sorry, in my haste I read only the posted messages without considering they came from one person. Now that I review them again, I see but one tech expert helped me. Thanks again for your time and effort.

Which is half of the tech team! :slight_smile:

I thought we had already established that you are able to fork new helper instances at will. The only point that I thought was open for debate was what we were calling the process of terminating the idle threads.

If we terminated the idle threads around here, we’d have nothing left!


Ah! But then you get into theological discussions over whether forked copies of consciousness are separate entities or aspects of a single entity.

I think you and I have been here before. At least one of each of us has…