How Include METADATA in Corkboard Card Title Line?

How can the format of a Corkboard Card be modified to include selected METADATA in the title?


  • A useful tip from the Marshall Plan for Novel Writing is to include a link (reference) “FROM_Scene,” that is, the preceding Scene (“Section,” in Evan’s terminology) as well as a reference “TO_Scene,” or, the subsequent scene in a sequence.

  • When added as “Custom [METADATA] Columns,” Outliner’s METADATA can be modified to display these two variables (i.e., FROM_Scene and TO_Scene).

  • However, when using the Corkboard, this vital sequencing information is lost.

Thus, this question: How can the format of a Corkboard Card be modified to include selected METADATA in the title?

Card Title Example: 2.7 Police Suspect GOOD_GUY (FROM_Scene: 2.2. TO_Scene: 2.11)

There is no way to add arbitrary metadata to the corkboard, all of the options available for doing so are located in the View ▸ Corkboard Options menu, and illustrated in the user manual with figure 8.15, in §8.2, The Corkboard.

By the way, it doesn’t really change any of the above, but have you considered using Document Bookmarks for this, rather than hard text typed into metadata fields that you have to manually look up? If you bookmark both the in and out, then automatically those scenes will backlink to this one, reducing your work effort considerably, and the result will be to provide the full text of these related scenes in the Inspector sidebar.

The only downside with Bookmarks is that you can’t annotate them, really the only “commentary” we can have about them is their order in the list. So while that does allow for a simple IN/OUT convention, it’s a bit fragile, and doesn’t announce that it is broken if new bookmarks somehow end up in between the first two or something.

So another approach is inline annotations at the top and bottom of the file, with the document link in the editor. It’s not as useful as a bookmark in terms of real-time referencing of the original text, but you can at least talk about the link around it, within the inline annotation.

I do also wonder whether that technique is necessary with Scrivener at all. To be perfectly clear, I haven’t read it and I know nothing about it, so I might be utterly mistaken, :laughing: but just looking at the described result and guessing at the intent: it’s for writers that use word processors / typewriters / etc. that need to more easily get a sense of how a non-linear multi-plot book is put together. One way of doing that is by very carefully constructing a chain of links from one scene to the next, within a plot line.

But with Scrivener you can merely flag the 18 scenes as being related to a certain subplot with something like a Label, and then later search and gather all labelled scenes, viewing them in order with Scrivenings mode. You don’t need a prompt to get from scene 27 to 39 if they are right next to each other in the text editor. :slight_smile:

Another way of automatically seeing which sub-plots link up is to use a keyword for each, and assign those keywords to the binder documents as appropriate. Then search keywords for that subplot, and save that search “MC is the Suspect”. As you add a that keyword to new scenes, the saved search collection will update whenever you open it.

While viewing that saved search, you can view the collected documents there, or you can select all and right-click to use the “reveal in binder” function to also see them all highlighted in the binder, in the context of the scenes around them.

Yet another idea is, assuming you’re tracking things that aren’t too numerous (5 sub-plots, instead of 30, for instance), is to create one custom metadata column for each sub plot. Make it a text field, and enter a short synopsis of how that sub-plot is advanced in each scene, leaving them blank for documents that don’t touch on the sub-plot at all. Then it’s pretty clear, looking at the outline with all sub-plots visible, what the next scene in that sequence is, and you also have a brief summary of the sub-plot advancement. Alternately, if you don’t want to write a short summary, just put in a check-box instead of text, and check it if a given sub-plot is touched upon in that scene. Much more compact.

I used to love the corkboard, and tried to cram a lot of info into it, according to how physical index cards were used by some authors. But I’ve found the outline view to be much more valuable for me over time because of the flexibility of what metadata it displays.

I’m re-quoting the entirety of your post because I think these are two of the best organizational tips I’ve seen around Scrivener, and how to use the strengths of its features and how they are currently implemented.

If it is sub-plots that are being tracked, the corkboard swim-lane view may have some utility.