Epistolary Novel - Plottr & Scrivener Help Please :)

I am fairly new when it comes to the newest version of Scrivener and most certainly new when it comes to Polylogic Epistolary Novels. I had a really difficult time trying to find resources online when it came to organization of this sort of novel and I would like to do all of my prepping in Plottr and then export it to Scrivener. Here are my questions/concerns:

  1. What Categories would you suggest I utilize/create for Tags to help organize the Novel? It is going to consist of so many different sources that propel the narrative forward and ultimately tell the story. I have always had an issue with organization and as far as what tags to actually create, I am at a loss.

  2. Has anyone here utilized Plottr and exported that project to Scrivener - I know they work hand in hand I am just not sure how well lol - Could I expect a really well organized Binder once I export my completed Plottr Organization?

  3. Any tips/resources anyone might have in Epistolary novels and how they structure the outline would be AMAZING. I realized this is going to be a complex undertaking but I am in love with the challenge of creating a piece of work that blends the lines of fact and fiction so I am actually looking forward to creating tedious Employee Handbooks, Scientific Logs, and other Visual Elements to compliment real data and sources.

Thanks in advance,


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I don’t know about Plotr, but in Scrivener you could create Section Types for all Handbooks, Logs, and such. Create Section Layouts for each Type. Apart from how to end result will look, you can now differentiate between the various media that you’ll present to readers later. For now, you could color code them or use a different font.

The structure in the Binder is entirely up to you, but flexible. I don’t see why Parts, Chapters, and Scenes won’t do when you have Section Types and Section Layouts as mentioned above.

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It is most important to keep in mind that one thing Scrivener absolutely excels in is both structuring and re-structuring long texts. So if you decide to go one way and decide mid-work that another one would have been better you will be able to change your project easily.

And all templates are just suggestions. If one writes a typical chapter—sub-chapter novel they might work right out of the box. In your case maybe not so, but that doesn’t have to bother you at all.

You said, your epistolary novel “is going to consist of so many different sources”. How many is “so many”, at least approximately? I’m asking because in my opinion it is important for the approach.

Example: If you have up to, say, 10 recurring correspondents I’d go for @AntoniDol’s suggestion and use colours in the Binder. The colours will you allow to spot the rhythm of the novel in the Binder easily. If you have 30 recurring correspondents it would be difficult to even find 30 colours you can distinguish from each other.

In this case colour representation in the Binder in my opinion would not be a feasible approach. But there is custom metadata. For example, there is the metadata Author. Probably meant for the real life authors of research materials. But you could also use them for the fictitious correspondents in your novel. Or you use keywords for the same purpose.

If you don’t have recurring correspondents then you might want to sort them by different aspects: Do they belong to certain groups or places or even times. Again, depending on the number you might go for a visual approach or for metadata or keywords.

As long as there is something to group, be it persons, places, or whatever, you should do a search for it and save it as a collection. This allows you to a) read the parts of the novel in consecutive order in the normal Binder view and b) all letters of correspondent A/green and correspondent B/red etc. in one place.

That would be a way to structure your novel. How your novel is supposed to look is a different step. Different fonts for different correspondents for example are possible. Naturally, you could use them already when writing but you could leave it to Compile and use only your favorite and best legible font for writing.

Or maybe it’s the other way round: It helps you using a different font for each correspondent but you want the novel to have a consistent look. Since Scrivener is not a WYSIWYG program it allows you to go either way, even a mixture of it, if it suits your needs.


Check out this video from Scrivener/Literature & Latte re: the capabilities of Scrivener’s outliner with custom tags and metadata. Oliver has done a great job showing just how capable Scrivener is when it comes to tracking just about anything, and then viewing the outline in the groupings that make sense to you.

Scrivener’s Outliner Unveiled: How to Maximize Metadata to Craft a Compelling Novel:

Another video in the Webinar Library you should look at explains the capabilities of the corkboard:
Get Organized in Scrivener: The Writer’s Guide to Using Scrivener’s Corkboard

RE Plotr:
Scrivener was designed to organize a writer’s work and thoughts. I personally don’t think plotr offers any benefits over the features already contained in Scrivener (and its sister Scapple if you prefer to add a mind map interface.)

Also, there is an interactive tutorial (and a users manual) under your help menu in Scrivener that will walk you through the various features in Scrivener if you want to explore more.