Feature request: revision targets

I love using the target features for word counts when drafting. I wish I could set targets for revision too: basically count the number of altered words, a progress bar for the entire draft as you move through and either accept or revise the text.

This is something that I’d be interested in too, in particular the ability to set targets in terms of total words to be revised and “words this session”, and a progress-bar or other type of indicator as one’s revision work moves onwards through a long-form draft.

A problem that I can see with this idea just might in fact be the answer to how to this thing you’re looking to do. The problem of course is that the target progress bar is already pretty overloaded with tracking features, with document targets having the most promising set of capabilities for something like this. Here are some example settings:

[size=80]Using settings to track positive/negative deltas in a writing session.[/size]

  • To start tracking our edits, we set the goal to the current actual amount we have written, and then we also add the current word count to the allowance. What this does is essentially double the effective word goal with regards to how far the progress bar is advanced. Even though we’ve technically met the goal, because we can type the entire document all over again without overrunning, we get a nice 50/50 starting point, as shown in the first toolbar.
  • By showing the overrun and the overrun allowance in the progress bar, we get (a) a differently coloured progress bar when we write more than what we started with, as shown in the third toolbar example, (b) likewise if we cut words from where we started from the progress bar changes colour, as shown in the second toolbar, and finally © we get the little “middle marker” to better visualise where we’ve come from.

As for draft-wide, there are some of these features in the Project Targets tool as well. You can’t get quite the same neg/pos view without the extra display options, but it looks like it might be possible to use the available features to track where you are coming from rather than where you are going.

Another approach, rather than trying to use that tool, is to make use of the larger scale application available to Document Targets, as documented in Tracking Goals for Groups, pg. 506.

You probably addressed this in your response–to be honest I couldn’t follow some of the tech specifics you went into–but here is the “experience” that would be helpful. I’ve written a 95K draft of a manuscript. Now I want to revise that manuscript on some kind of schedule. Let’s say I want to have this revision done in 5 weeks. It would be cool to be able to set a revision deadline and Scrivener gives me a word count target for each day to revise and then at the end of each writing session I can either mark a text document as revised or a chunk of text as revised, and it shows me if I revised to my daily target and my progress overall to completing this revision of the entire manuscript.

The reason this is appealing is that in a long manuscript with multiple chapters with multiple scenes within each, it would be motivating to have daily targets and a broad sense of the amount of the manuscript you have revised. I know I could just set the status of each text document to “revised” (or the draft number) and look at the manuscript outline to get the status of each scene/chapter and the manuscript as a whole–but that isn’t the same as having a daily target and being able to select a block of text within a scene or across scenes and designate that as “revised” to get a revised word count. Often times revising isn’t actually changing the words, it is simply reading them again and NOTchanging them (but I still consider that text as now revised or part of this approved revision draft).

Maybe in your description, you have already identified exactly what I described and I missed it, or maybe this isn’t a widely desired feature or too cumbersome.

Thanks Amber for always responding–and being so darn smart :wink:

Okay yeah I wasn’t clear on what you meant earlier, evidently. My suggestion above describes a way to mark your current draft count and then show how far you have deviated from that point going forward, whether into the negative or positive.

If by “tech specifics” you mean what some of the features are called in the software, like “allowances” and so forth, you can look up all of that in §20.1.2, Document Goals, pg. 504. That section goes over all of the checkboxes in the document targets tool. And if you scroll up a bit to the previous section you’ll find the options for the main Project Targets tool documented. I do agree the terms are a bit opaque, but hopefully once you read the decriptions they make good sense.

All of this you can already do with the Project Target panel’s options and a few other features. You would set up a deadline for the Draft Target, which does nothing more fancy then let you know how many days you’ve got left. But in Session Target, if you Automatically calculate from draft deadline, then instead of you setting a session goal the software automatically figures out how much you need to write every day to reach the draft goal. If you write a little more one day, it calculates down; if you miss a day, then the daily goal will go up a bit.

As for marking things… that part I’m a bit unclear on and do not understand the relation between A and B. But perhaps more importantly, I don’t understand what would be gained by the software having another status feature—particularly when there are custom metadata fields you can add, including such things as simple checkboxes. I.e. if you really do want a second status feature you can make one yourself in Project ▸ Project Settings….

And if you are thinking more about the process than the metadata, there are many ways in Scrivener to work with metadata as well. It’s not just a checkbox or a status pulldown that sits off in the corner—you can search for these things and save the search as a Collection list (or rather search for when they are not set, and thus have a list of things yet to revise). As you work through the list and mark them revised, however you do so, the to-do list will gradually shorten until you finally clear the collection entirely out!

That’s my favourite way of putting my head down and getting through a big chunk of fixes in a project. I’ll either use a search, or I’ll manually select the items that need work and create a regular collection, where the act of “checking it off” isn’t changing metadata anywhere, but merely deleting the entry from that collection. It depends on the kind of thing, which I use. If it is something like a one-time fix to 35 binder items then I’ll add them to a regular collection and use the list in that collection as the metadata. Once I’m done I delete the collection and that’s that. But for other things like revision state it is better to have a static piece of information that always exists, and where I sometimes monitor the overall status of items based on their status setting, with search collections.

There are other approaches as well, even less formal than Collections. For example in a corkboard or outliner view, hit ⌘F and expand the tool to show additional options. You can filter by whatever you use to mark revision status. The software will remember your search settings for the session, meaning that you can visit various different “chapter” groups in the binder and press the Find shortcut to filter and see what you have left to work on in that section.