Editing Targets

Hello everyone,

My introductory post, wahoo!
First: Praise for Scrivener
I just bought Scrivener and started bringing things into it…let me just say that I love it, for me it is perfect in helping me write my book and keeping organized the research in my project. For the project I am on now there is just too much research for MS Word, bookmarks etc to try and handle. It was really starting to handicap me. So again thank you so much for creating this amazing product. I wish I would have found it sooner, but hey at least I found it.

So I have been turning into a complete Scrivener Geek. The last few days I have spent learning everything this software can do, (instead of writing :open_mouth:). I have watched videos, did the tutorial and so forth. That being said after getting things the way I want them, my productivity in one day went up 240% so it was a good investment. (Just one of the many things I love are the targets and statistics. :smiley: )

[u]Second: Here is my question/wish[/u].

In working with agents/publisher they often want a manuscript of this type to be around 150k words. :unamused: Well I just write and worry about that later. It looks like I am going to go over that target by probably 15 to 20k based on how I’ve got things mapped out. I am pretty big on self-editing first, so eventually I’ll need to cut away 15-20k after the creative process is done, then apply what Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch advised, “Murder [my] darlings.” :cry:

What I am wondering is there a way to have an “editing target?” Where Scrivener sees how many words are in each scene or chapter and I can set a goal to cut out 150 words there, 50 there, or 320 etc etc in another place? Where I can see my progress and have the tracking bars for the visual encouragement along the way?

Maybe in my crunch to learn as much as possible as fast as possible I missed this. Does this exist? If not, I would like to see it.



Yes, I think you can do what you’re looking for…

Firstly: setting document targets.

Project > Show Project Targets (toggle with cmd-shift-T). This will show you the current word count against a target that you set (click on the number and add your target). You can also monitor word count per session against user-defined targets. Click on the ‘Options’ button for various ways of calculating this. As you type you can see your progress visually in this box.

Next: overall project statistics.

Project > Project Statistics (shift-opt-cmd-S) gives you more details of word count etc. Again, choose the Options tab to control what is being counted.

Finally: displaying word count per chapter / scene etc. You need to be in Outliner View for this. In the binder, highlight the top level folder (e.g. Draft or Manuscript or something else depending on the template you’re using.) Type cmd-3 to enter outline mode (you may have to do it twice as it’s a toggle).

Click View > Outliner Columns. There you will see many columns that you can add to the Outliner view, including Word Count, Total Word Count, Progress, Target etc etc. Select the ones you want to get word counts, summary word counts, progress against targets etc against the individual items in your binder. Use the disclosure arrows to make sub-documents visible as you need them.

The Total Words sums up the words written in sub-documents, so you can see, for example, not just the word counts of individual scenes, but the total count for that chapter.

The Target field allows you to set a target for an individual Chapter or Scene and Progress will show you how well you’re doing against them…

That’s the basics: as you can see, it’s very flexible and you’ll probably want to have a look in the manual if you want fine control over the details, but I hope this gets you started…



Thanks for the response David.

I know you can do what you mentioned and I appreciate the work you put into a response, but this is not what I am looking for. What you mentioned keeps track of the total words for scene, chapter, project and shows you how well you are doing against a set target, but the problem is once you reached or exceeded your goal the progress bar turns green (or whatever color you have selected it to turn in Scrivener -> Preferences -> Appearance -> Customizable Colors -> Target Progress Bars. This is awesome for composition, but I am asking for functionality that is the opposite of this. Basically once you have reached your target or set one, there is an option to set a reduction/editing goal.

Thanks for the reference to the Manual. I noticed in it which I missed in my rush to learn as much as possible that what I am wanting is kind of possible with Growl installed. p.278 of the Scrivener Manual. This could work, but my reasoning now behind the request to be put into Scrivener is much of code for what I am talking about already exists in Scrivener. It just needs to be cloned and tweaked with names and math logic. Most of the work would be in creating step 1, which I am not sure if that could be cloned and tweaked.

The setup for this feature would include three new New Outliner Columns.

STEP 1) Create a Pre-Cut Tota fieldl: It’s basically a locked numeric field until a user tells it to recount. It keeps track of the current word count in a chapter/scene/manuscript at the moment the user tells it to. Once a user locks the word count value it stays constant regardless of the changes made to the text. This becomes the baseline to measure editing against.

STEP 2) Create a Words Cut field: This is simply the math logic of Pre-Cut Total Words - (minus) Total Words = (equals) Words Cut

STEP 3) Create a Cut Target field: A numeric field where you could enter the amount of words you are trying to reduce in a chapter/scene/book. The same thing as Targets now, but for editing purposes. So the math logic would need to change to be Cut Target - (minus) Words Cut. This could be used for the count of words needed to reach the editing target as well as for graphing purposes on a progress bar.

This would be so much easier visually and require less setup in a third-party software. Under this idea Scrivener has most of the code already present, again it just needing to be cloned and tweaked. Now when my agent or publisher tells me that I need to cut 20,000 words from my manuscript, I can cry because I am going to have to cut or kill some of my babies, but at least I can see how well I am doing it.

Keith I would love your thoughts on how possible this for cloning and tweaking the code for a future update. Am I off my rocker? If so I know you know best when it comes to the developing and programing. :smiley:



OK, I think I understand what you’re after, but (apart from the progress bar) I’m not sure why you can’t see how many words you still need to cut from the information that’s already available

You’ve written 200,000 words. Your publisher wants 150,000. If you reset the project target to 150,000, then OK the progress bar will be green, but you’ll still see 170,000 of 150,000 words displayed. And the same thing applies in the Outliner for individual scenes / chapters etc if you need finer control.

All the info is there at a glance and that would be enough for me. I suppose I’m not that visual a person to be much bothered with the coloured bars… but I can see how others would find it helpful.

I’ve no idea how difficult it would be to code, but good luck with the request!