Maintaining an editing masterlist – how? Where?

Before starting revisions I am going to create a masterlist where all big and small problems will be listed (as described here for example).

However I am not sure what’s the best way to do it in Scrivener. As a text document? As Project notes? As Bookmarks?

Also, some of revision ideas are already there as annotations – is there a way to incorporate them into this masterlist, without copying/retyping?

I will be happy to hear what are the best practices here.

The first thing that came to mind was Scrivener collections. You can create one with a search and you can create one manually. I did not read the article in detail, but if it requires specific notes, you could combine notes (outside the manuscript) with a collection.

If you’re not familiar with them, consider checking out the manual with F1 (on Windows), or Help > Scrivener Manual, then do a search for Collections.

Happy Writing!

I am familiar with collections. To me they are something entirely different of what I am trying to achieve here. They give the opportunity to combine texts, but here I am trying to make a list, not a collection of notes.

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Perhaps you might find this blog from Anne Rainbow helpful. She is a Scrivener user and an editor that uses Scrivener.

Thank you! Interesting reading. So far it seems to me that according to this approach things to do are spread among comments, annotations, revisions etc. whereas I am trying to consolidate everything in one place.

I’m sure you could do that - everything in one place - but that defeats one of the strengths of Scrivener. That is, putting the editor notes right where the works is needing to be done. I could also see having a sort of master list in the research area and using a locked split screen to keep the mater list available while you are working on what has been annotated there. I do that method, somewhat, for my own editing.

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I’d treat the annotations as visual queues for when you get to a specific passage you want to work on. I like inspector notes ( you can have scrivener swap between inline annotations and inspector comments if you find them more useful) because they all stack in the inspector in a Scrivenings session, so it’s hard to miss one.

General notes could go into one or more documents. Do you think you’ll be doing major revisions (cutting chapters, adding others, possibly re-arranging some) and then move on to fixing major issues (supporting character appears to be in two different countries at the same time, I forgot about the gun introduced in the first act), followed by another pass (make character voices more distinct, polish language), then I’d suggest 3 documents, each working on that level of editing.

As for your specific features: you can bookmark any document at the project level, and also bookmark the same documents to individual documents. So I’d start with a top-level folder for project notes, put your editing documents there; that also makes them easy to make into a Scrivenings session. Add them to the Project bookmarks so you can view them individually in the inspector if you need the editors & copy holders for your text and other notes.

If you’re working on revisions as I described above, you can customize the Status values to reflect what stage you’re at, and if you’re finished with that phase for a given document in the binder. If you think of it as a hierarchy, such as Structural > Continuity > Polishing > DONE, then you start by mass-assigning your whole piece as needing Structural work using that status. Once you’ve reviewed each chapter/scene/section document and are satisfied that you’re done making structural changes to it, change its status to “Continuity”.

Using the outline view (or search based collections), you can work at that level of editing, until you’ve changed all of your documents’ statuses to “Continuity”. Then you can embark on that phase of editing, referring to all of the notes related to that concept…

The above may not fit your approach, so your best bet is to just be familiar with the various features that can help you find stuff in your project, and use that to take notes and mark specific parts that need attention.

Good luck!

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I really cannot express myself well:( You described precisely what I want to avoid.
What I was trying to say is that I want everything in one list, without any swapping, visual clues and multiple documents. The point of this master list is to collect absolutely everything, without making decisions about what is first and what is next.

It really depends on your process.

You could put everything in a single file, with links to the relevant documents.
You could put notes/annotations in the individual document files, and use a Collection to see them all in one place.
You could use a hybrid approach, with one notes document for each major subsection of the book, and then view all the notes in a single Scrivenings session when needed.

Edit after seeing your response:
If you want one list, then make a list. That is, it sounds like a single document is what you want, so create one at any convenient location in the Binder.

Okay then. You can still use all the tools I showed above, but instead of dividing things up into stages of editing, you just have one project bookmarked document for easy access (you don’t have to choose between project notes and bookmarks–you can have both), and you can use the status values for statuses that make sense to you, or not at all.
There’s no way to gather and move annotations in one go, so you’ll have to find them and copy/cut them out of your documents and paste them into your editing master list.

As you can see, there are multiple ways to go about this. Unfortunately, there are multiple ways to go about this. :slight_smile:

Anne Rainbow thinks differently, and has come up with a binder structure here: Binder new novel. I follow it somewhat, by that I mean I use parts and not others (yet?), but the structure is there in case I ever need it. This is what mine looks like:

This way, I can lock one side of the split screen and work on the documents in the other like so:

@parf Your consistent response to the suggestions being made seems to contain the answer you seek! You just really do want to make a single document for all your notes about what you need to do. Which is your own answer to the question you asked! So, by all means make one single document in your project and write all your plans, big and small, for revision in it…

Ultimately, Craig’s idea is not to make notes generally, but specifically to generate one big list of actionable to-dos. So, why put it in Scrivener at all? Maybe you should be using a dedicated facility which makes making and marking off to-dos easy — like a dedicated to-do program. I can imagine using Things for this (if I wasn’t using it for anything else).

There is this thought too: Keeping things simple is good and may be especially important to you — sometimes the material we need to wrangle seems so immense clarity of mind is all important — but I also think it might be worth noting that Craig is doing her long-form writing just using Word. So, she really has little choice but to use a whole separate document not directly related to her long text. She means to be helpful by describing how she does it, but she does it that way perhaps because she has no better way to proceed herself! I think many responses you are getting above are from seasoned Scrivener users who feel that Scrivener gives you the ability to do something a bit better than that.

For my two cents: I think there are global issues/tasks it makes sense to jot down in a single document made in your binder for the purpose — non-localizable to-do items. But there are many more localizable kinds of tasks which it would just be make-work to describe in a global document — things better directly flagged with inline annotation (for example) right in the area of concern. If you add to these two one more thing, then you pretty much have what I do (fwiw). I use Labels to indicate document status and have Scrivener set to tint the Binder icons with the label colors. That way I can always see immediately (or pull up a smart collection for) documents where localized issues need to be worked on (or need a thorough edit-through, etc). ((I also do a lot of editing-editing on hardcopy, but I assume pretty much everyone does that.))


I’m not on a desktop machine so I can’t test this in current software but have used it in the past.

In regard to your existing annotations, you could export them as a group then use that conglomeration as you wish–import it, use as a whole, cut and paste selections etc…

Scrivener Windows manual:

Mac manual:

[Edited to add Mac manual source and text.]