Importing and setting sections

Hi. Brand new. I have a fiction manuscript (written in MS word) that is very large. I have it as a single file in Word. I was able to import it, but I’m having a hard time figuring out how to tell Scrivener to divide it and designate each type of sections.

I have about 7 parts, each one being a specific day. Within each part, I have chapters.

So there’s a separate page for each day that says something like:
Monday, May 14, 1945
about a third of the way down from the top, and horizontally centered.

Then, the chapters are labeled like:
Chapter 1: A Rough Time
also, about 1/3 from the top, skipping a line, and then starting the text.

Even after watching the tutorial and looking through the Scrivener manual, I just can’t quite understand how to explain to Scrivener how to separate and identify all of this.

(Also, each chapter is told from the POV of a specific character, of which there are seven. I want to color code each chapter according to which character is central. I hope to make good use of the tracking thread feature when I’m looking at how to reorder chapters.)

Also, if I move chapters around on the corkboard (or in the binder window??) will Scrivener automatically renumber the chapters for me so they’re in consecutive order in the newly arranged piece?

Thanks very much for any help you can provide.

Hi Gemini5. :slight_smile: Welcome to the forum.

I haven’t done it enough to walk you through the process with confidence, but at least I can hint you about the fact that auto-splitting a document on import is doable.



For the rest, I’ll leave it to someone who actually knows to detail it. :wink:

You will no doubt want to get acquainted with the Split command which will split a document at the insertion point.

It is somewhat unclear to me whether your concern is with how to split things up so Scrivener will be able to output things in the desired form or whether your concern is getting Scrivener to put things into that form. Or maybe these two tasks are kind of running together in your mind. From a Scrivener perspective we should tease apart these two tasks. Your first job is to structure your work in the Binder in a semantically meaningful way and then you will be able to tell Scrivener (later!) how to put it together to present it in the form you want to see it in.

From your description it sounds like your work might be naturally given the following Binder structure: inside the Draft/Manuscript folder there are seven folders, each folder title is a date. Inside each dated-folder is a series of chapter folders. If your chapters have titles, each chapter folder uses that title as its folder name. (No explicit chapter number or heading occurs here - Scrivener can add that automatically for you.) Inside each chapter folder is a series of text documents which represent the scenes in that chapter. I usually leave such docs unnamed and let Scriv automatically fill in a ghost title for the doc (which will always be the first few words of the contained text), but nickname these docs if you like.

Your work as you describe it has this structure and we can just divide things up and hierarchically structure it to represent that. You can work within the structure with confidence that you will later be able to tell Scrivener how you want this material to be laid out and presented.

For example, later you will be able to work with Scrivener’s Compile function to tell it that those date-folders should occasion a page break and the title of such folders (the date) should be presented some way down the page. And you will be able to tell the Compiler that those chapter folders should likewise (if you want ) occasion a page break, that the page should begin with something of the form ‘Chapter N’ with an automatically generated chap number, and which is to have after it the title of the chapter folder (that is, the chapter title). Finally, you will tell the Compiler (if it doesn’t already default to doing this) that you want a single empty line left between one text doc and another — or however you mean to mark scene changes within a chapter.

Scrivener’s Compile can distinguish and treat differently items in the binder according to whether they are folders or text docs and according to how deeply nested they are in the Binder structure. That will probably be enough for the structure we have described. But if you don’t want to rely on binder structure entirely, you can declare a named Section Type for each of the items in the Binder instead. Then you will later tell Compile how to treat each named type. Under Project > Section Types you can make up a list of named types to suit the project, e.g. ‘Part’, ‘Chapter’, ‘Scene’. Then you would be able to assign each item in the binder to one or the other of these Types, and then later tell the Compiler how it should treat each kind of thing (as already described).

If you haven’t already, you might want to check out Literature & Latte’s videos on Compiling — just to get a feel for what that can do. You don’t need to know the ins and outs of it to get on with your work. The Binder structure I described (if I have correctly understood the structure of your work) should stand you in good stead.

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