Feature Request: POV, Character, Location, Item lists added to General meta-data and for reporting

Hi

I write fiction (primarily fantasy and a bit of a dabble into SF) and I use custom Meta-data to track Point of View, Characters in the scene, Location, and any significant Items present.

It would be super-great if the following were possible:

  1. Add POV, Character, Location, Item to General Meta-data
  2. Ability to add custom values to those meta-data lists
  3. Ability to have multiple selections per these new meta-data fields
  4. Have these new meta-data fields added to the outliner columns

Thank you!

I posted this while the Windows beta was going on and so am not surprised to see no acknowledgement but I would like some idea if this is even considered. I would love to set Project values and use either a picklist or checkbox to select multiple values for the fields listed. It would save lots of time and add consistency to my tagging.

Thank you!

Perhaps I don’t understand your question fully. You can add custom meta-data fields and those fields can be of type list, so you can customize the permissible values. And you can add columns based on those meta-data fields to the outline view.
Your request was, that those four fields you named should be added to the General Meta-data group. What advantage would you gain from that, except that you hadn’t set your fields up for a new project?
Could you perhaps elaborate a little on what you are trying to achieve?

Hi.

In my novel there are some constant meta data values I use. For example, If I want to be able to identify which characters are present in various scenes and report on that, I can (and do) as you suggest. This requires me to manually type in the values for each and every scene.

If, however, I could “hardcode” my characters as a list for the project, I could “select” the values I want in that field instead of typing them in. It may seem like a minor thing but it does save time.

Each of the meta data categories I listed have a fixed set of values which are used repeatedly. Additionally, for Character and Item, there are often multiple values needed per scene.

Have I cleared up my ask or further muddled it?

Thank you!

Add them to suit yourself. Custom metadata.

Personally, I’ve used keywords instead of meta-data for identifying which characters are in a scene. I highly recommend this. (What I wouldn’t mind seeing is a thread-type view in the cork-board (like you can do with labels) for the keywords!)

I do use custom meta-data, however, to identify the Point Of View character for the scene. It’s a drop-down custom meta-data field, notwithstanding my big pet peeve about drop-down meta-data, which is when you scroll through the custom meta-data using the mouse-wheel it will always change the field’s selection.

Thank you, @Charlson .

I hadn’t considered keywords and will take a look at it.

Also, I have to thank you for mentioning the scroll list for Meta-data. I missed that option and that of checkbox.

I’m going to play around with these things and it may satisfy my request.

i appreciate the help.

If you create “Bozo” as a custom metadata checkbox, you can click Bozo in the Inspector instead of typing it.

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Thank you. Now that I was pointed o functionality I missed previously, I am considering how I want to utilize it. I appreciate the suggestion.

This is pretty exciting. I just tried this, creating checkbox metadata for several characters (alas, not mine) as a test:

(NOTE: don’t let my pretty picture fool you—if you select multiple metadata items and change them (or think you are) to checkbox type metadata you’d be fooling yourself; only the last one changes (is this a bug?)

I can now search for * and select one of the checkboxes:


and find every scene with Valentine as the point of view character.

Sadly, I just tried the same thing creating metadata with just the character names (i.e., without the leading “POV ::”) to indicate each character present in the scene (this is just a quick test; if I was serious about this I would not only have named them “Present :: Ender”, “Present :: Peter”, etc and alphabetized them, and actually have made them more like “Ender :: POV” and “Ender :: Present” first, but I digress.)

I was hoping that I could search for both Valentine and Ender (for instance) and find those scenes, but in search, at least, these act more as radio buttons than check boxes.

Perhaps some advanced search features I’m unaware of would allow me to elevate this to the next level, but still: with the inspector open I am now able to search for every scene with Valentine and—by clicking on each item from my search results—see in the inspector if Ender is also in that scene.

Something of a game-changer (and Ender’s Game changer?)

Thank you @drmajorbob for pointing this out.

You didn’t mention if you were using Label and Status built-in metadata. If you’re not, or can shift what you’re using them for to another feature/custom metadata, then you can use those for single values per binder entry.

Typically, I change the “label” for Label to “PoV” and set valid values to the point of view characters, assigning them colors that I like. Then I enable “Show label colors” (now Show PoV colors) in the various interface elements like binder icon tints and index card backgrounds.

I don’t typically change “Status” to represent anything else. It’s very helpful to know if I’m on draft 1 or 2 for any given document, and “Status” is as good a label for that kind of metadata as “Draft”, but I do have the option. The Status field doesn’t affect the color of anything, but in index card view, you can enable the Status values to show up as “stamps” on those cards. Some people don’t bother with words (which get harder to read as the number of letters increase), instead using punctuation and/or emoji to symbolically represent whatever information they’re tracking. For instance, instead of “First Draft”, you could just use a “1”, or “1st” which renders as a nice big stamp that doesn’t interfere too badly with synopsis readability. But it’s also just as easily used as an outline column.

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If you need that functionality, either use keywords or create a custom metadata field that takes a list (multiple choices possible) rather than a checkbox (binary).

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Yeah, I was going to suggest keywords as well.

(EDIT: Sorry Charlson, upon rereading your posts, I see you already use Keywords, so probably you already knew about all that I blabbed below. But maybe it will help someone else. :sunglasses:)

@Charlson, as you can see, Scriv gives you a number of ways to notate “characters in a scene” .

Before you pick a mechanism to use, you might want to review the visibility of each one, because that might help you decide which would work best for your workflow.

So, things to consider would be:

You can assign multiple Keywords per binder item. You can view Keywords as colors (Corkboard, Outliner) or as the actual words (Outliner). But Keywords can’t be assigned a specific function name to reveal their meaning as a column. That is, when you set up your Keywords, you can organize them, saying this group of Keywords is “characters in a scene” and that group of Keywords is “themes depicted in scene”. But you won’t see column names like that in the Outliner, you’ll just see a generic “Keywords” column, so you’d need to name your Keywords so they are unambiguous, if you use Keywords to track multiple things.

Metadata you can assign multiple values to one binder item. You can view as the actual words (Outliner). Metadata will have their own column names in the Outliner "chars in a scene’', “Themes depicted”, etc. But Metadata cannot be viewed from the Corkboard.

Labels you can only assign one value. Label colors are viewable in the Binder, Outliner, Corkboard. The Corkboard has a special view where can arrange the items in vertical or horizontal rows by Label (arrange by Label).

These are sort of the pros and cons of each mechanism that Scriv offers to track things. The above is by no means exhaustive, the manual is your friend in this particular endeavor. :wink:

One last point: all of these mechanisms are findable using Project Search.

Best,
Jim

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A question to this, since I’m already using Lists - is there a type of Custom Metadata that will allow multichoice?
As in: If I have a “POV” field, than picking 1 option from the list is perfect; but if I have “Characters” field, then I’d like to pick more than one person from the list, at the same time.

(using Keywords for this is quite inefficient, due to the way the dialog window is designed; and I can then use them only for one topic OR have characters mixed with other data, which is not very convenient)

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There isn’t a multi-choice metadata, but now that V3 for Windows is finally out, maybe that would make a good enhancement request that won’t upset anyone (except for iOS users who want full desktop functionality, I suppose :wink: ).

I’m not sure if what bothers you is the assigned keywords being mixed together, or if it’s just a matter of organizing them in your list of all of the available keywords.

For the later, one thing you can do is create pseudo-keywords and then indent other keywords under it. It acts just like binder organization, including being able to collapse a list under its “parent” keyword. I do this for “places” and “people” keywords, and it works out pretty well.

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I’ll see about structuring the Keyword tree in this way, might work.

Still, the way the dialog window works is just so unintuitive that I’m always blocked by it.

If I’m not mistaken, to add an existing Keyword to the current document, one has to:
click “…” next to + and - signs for Keywords
pick “Show Project Keywords” (which is NOT an obvious choice)
pick the needed value
click “…”
pick “Apply” option
and close the window (as a separate action)

It’s not the most efficient way of dealing with this, and so, my brain refuses to use it :wink:

I haven’t got around to buying a Windows license yet, so I’m going by what I see on Mac for now… hopefully the implementation on Windows works mostly the same as I’m seeing it for at least a couple of the examples below…

  1. There’s the inspector area devoted to Keywords that lets you click on an ellipsis in a circle, and then navigate the list to the one you want to add.
  2. Use the toolbar button to give you a list of keywords (which opens a pop-up window) to drag onto the document title in the binder, or into the keywords section of the inspector if that’s open.
  3. Enabling the column in the outliner may also allow you to drag a keyword from the floating keywords window into that area.
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You can have a “text” metadata field, and put whatever you want in it. So it’s not “multichoice” in the sense of selecting more than one item from a list of options, but you could certainly use it to list the three or four characters present in a scene.

Once you have the Project Keywords list visible in its floating window, you can drag the keyword(s) you want to the destination document in the Binder, the Outliner, or the Corkboard. Or to the Keyword pane in the item’s Inspector.

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This is what I’ve been doing, so I almost always have the Keywords window floating around somewhere on my desktop. And when it’s not, there’s always Ctrl+Shift+B to bring it up.