Linear writing...

Hello everyone, I have a query and would be interested to hear your views.

I am currently using the Beta 20. I am hoping to start my new book in Scrivener, but my background to date has been in in using Word.

I’m used to writing my books from the beginning and working my way through to the end. I don’t swap scenes/chapters around, as I find, for my first drafts at least, my outline tends to be reasonably OK.

I think I am correct in thinking that if I set out 30 chapters on separate pages, then Scrivener will file and store 30 separate docs within that project file? Additional docs for place and character names. That’s a lot of separate pages.

If I wish to have one document like Word, with all my chapters in that document, how would I set that up in Scrivener? Would that affect the binder record of chapters/corkboard?

Can I drag and drop it onto a memory stick, say from one computer to another, rather than trying to locate 30 individual docs plus character and place docs?

One final question - where are these pages stored and is there a name for them? I can’t find them anywhere. :blush:

Thank you in anticipation.

I’d suggest having a look at the Interactive Tutorial, available from the Help menu.

If you want to put everything in a single document, you can, but if you’re going to do that you might as well stick with Word. You’ll be depriving yourself of almost all of the features that make Scrivener unique.

Scrivener stores all of the components of your project in a single folder, and provides access to them via the Binder. You don’t need to keep track of them yourself, and in fact we don’t recommend accessing the component files using any tool other than Scrivener itself.


As Katherine said, if all you want is one long document, why use Scrivener? That’s what you get with Word or any other word processor.

I’ve also always been a linear writer. However, there were times I needed to move one scene ahead of another because after I wrote them it would be apparent they worked better that way. That was a minor thing, though.

What brought me to Scrivener were posts at KBoards with screen shots of how different writers used Scriv. At that time I’d just finished revising a novel because of reactions from my beta readers that made me realize I needed to really soften the personality of one major character. To do that I wanted all his POV scenes contiguous so that I’d keep him consistent, and in my word processor (I used WordPerfect and always said you’d have to take it from my cold dead hands to get me to change), it was a messy challenge to put all those scenes into a new document one after another, revise, and put each one back in the larger story where it needed to go.

I saw where with Scriv it would be a piece of cake – use Labels to mark scenes by POV and a search would have them contiguous in the Binder while leaving their actual position in the whole Project unchanged.

So if you’re thinking of changing to Scrivener, or even experimenting with it a little, consider working with chapters and scenes in the Binder the way the program is designed to do and see what it brings to the table for you.

When I started, I put an old short story into a Project and did some experimenting with it to see how Scriv worked and if I really liked it enough to try it with my next novel. I didn’t try to master the whole program, just enough to use it for my purposes. I read threads here to become aware of features I’ve never used so that if the time comes they sound handy, I know it exists and can look up how to do it and use that feature.

So from that time several novels ago I’ve never looked back – and to my surprise this linear writer actually did write an out-of-order scene in one novel since then. It was the kind of scene I always have difficulty with, and one day knowing that was ahead and not looking forward to it, I had an idea how to do it, so I just went ahead and wrote it then and there. When I got to where it needed to fit in, it took a little revising to smooth it in, but oh, was it worth having it done and waiting. I’d do it again in a heartbeat if I ever was in the same position.