How to visualize how a subject is distributed

Let’s say I need a certain key for the solution in the end of my story. Of course this key may not come out of nothing; it’s existence has to be established early in the story and in a believable way without hinting too much that this key will play a major role later, because I want the reader to be surprised.

Let’s say I have inserted the keyword “key” in every scene where this key is mentioned, described, plays a role, whatever.

Let’s say as I start to develop the solution part, I am not sure whether I have distributed my mentioning of this important key in a acceptable way. How are the scenes distributed over the course of the novel? Is it too long that the reader was reminded that there is that key? Will the reader say “what key?” and feel the need to flip back to see where this key comes from?

Here’s what I can do to visualize the thread of this “key” though the web of the story:

  1. I open the keyword HUD and initiate a search for “key”. All scenes that are tagged with this word will be listed.
  2. I select them all with Cmd-A in the binder. (They appear all as cards.)
  3. I click on the famous “Edit Scrivening”, which will create a continous text out of all scenes I have selected.
  4. Important: I lock everything. (Via Menu “Lock In Place” or by typing Option-Cmd-L.)
  5. Now I delete the search. The whole binder appears again, all chapters, all scenes.
  6. Now I chose “Reveal in Binder”.

Voilà - all scenes concerned get selected in the big picture the binder provides. Now I am free to ponder about whether, for example, an additional scene is needed because the key I want to pull now has last been mentioned in chapter 2…

Just a little trick for the toolbox I wanted to share.

Thanks, AndreasE!

Very cool! Can’t wait to try it.

On a writing note, I love books which manage to fool me, since I know a lot of the tricks. Jack Childs is one of those authors. Jeffrey Deaver can do it too.

That’s fantastic. This is one of the most difficult tasks when writing a long text (i.e., correctly distributing action and dialogue), and this trick really helps. Thank you very much!


Hi Andreas,

I’ve been meaning to put forward this question on the forum, that I can’t seem to find an answer to:
I think I’ve got the hang of a lot of the different uses of the Keywords. But! Once I do a search using some keyword I get the resulting documents in the binder. Ok, fine. I do my editing or whatever. THEN I want to bring BACK the Binder in its original state. “Delete the search” as you put it.
And nowhere have I been able to find how to do that in the manual. I use the “Reveal in Binder” command to bring back all my original documents. But is that it, really? It seems to me that “Reveal in Binder” is meant to be used as something else… or?


You delete the search by clicking on the small grey “x” on the right side of the footer of the binder. This turns the appearance of the binder back to its normal state.

Thanks Andreas,

I found it - but I had to look for it even after your answer. I’d never seen it before - it’s so tiny and almost invisible.


I found it because I was convinced it had to be somewhere… :smiley: