Is there any danger in putting a long series in one project?

I found out about Scrivener by an author mentioning it in a podcast. Piquing my interest, I looked up the software and immediately saw the outrageous potential of the program.
My first book is already at 200,000 words, and I’m not even finished with the first draft yet, while my worldbuilding notes easily exceed that number, not even mentioning the outlines for further books. What really attracted me to Scrivener, was the opportunity to put everything in one place. That is to have each book be a folder in one project, with bracketed links to cross reference all the details of the background collections into a kind of wiki, in an effort to keep track of everything.
My question; is there any danger in amassing nearly half a million words into a single project, as a start… Pertaining to backing up purposes. Is there any chance files could be lost?
I’m really new to this, so any advice on how to navigate would be appreciated.

Others can speak with more authority than I, but here is my take-away on this question.

First, assuming you have good computer backup practices, no piece of software can rob you of you stuff. But if you care about your writing, then no matter what software you use, you need to maintain good back up practices – not because of Scrivener, mind you, but just because.

If you are wondering if there is some special way Scrivener would implode at scale, I think the answer is basically no. For example, Scrivener does not try to load your entire project into memory when you open it. So, when you work on a big project most of it (not currently in use) is just sitting on your hard drive like it would be anyway. Certain things which explicitly require processing everything in you Draft folder (like asking to see the whole thing in Scrivenings mode will have to to some chugging. But then, you presumably would not just be dumping multiple book manuscripts into the draft folder – but only one if them. The rest would be hived off to their own folders in the Binder. And those zillions of series-bible notes would be down in your Research folder.

If you search these forums (esp the usage scenarios sub fora) you can read discussions about how people handle multibook series (not me, by the way) and the pros and cons of agglomeration. From my reading of such discussions these pros and cons are not about dangers so much as they are about advantages and working environment preferences.


I’ll be honest with you. People have lost data in Scrivener.

Now, people have also lost data in Word. And in plain text files. If you care about your data, it is absolutely critical that you have a robust backup strategy. Some thoughts about what that might entail:

With that said, in my experience Scrivener is pretty robust. Most instances of lost data that I’m aware of have involved interactions with other software – particularly synchronization software – or hardware failure, not Scrivener itself. And even in cases of catastrophic damage to critical project index files, it’s usually possible to recover the underlying data files.

One thing that’s important to understand is that you wouldn’t be putting a half million words into a single file, but into a project, which is really a folder with many component files. Which is part of why the format is robust against data loss: damage to one of the component files won’t necessarily affect the project as a whole.


Here is a forum post which contains a set of useful links to earlier posts talking about handling series books with Scrivener, including the question of putting multiple books into a single Scrivener project. Since you are not yet a Scrivener user, alot of the details in these discussions may not be something you can easily follow, but there is plenty to look at to get an idea of what different people do and the benefits in their doing it that way.


Thank you both.