Managing Drafts


I’ve been trying to manage multiple drafts in Scrivener, and I’m having a bit of trouble. It doesn’t seem to be possible, as such. I can make snapshots of individual scenes, but not a single project-wide snapshot. Unless I’ve missed something, there does not appear to be a way to save a first draft, second draft, etc. Snapshots work for the individual scenes, but what if I delete a scene in the second draft? I lose all record of that scene, and if I want it back in a later draft, I’m sunk.

I would think that a platform for writers would include draft management, so I’m assuming it’s there, and I’ve just been looking in the wrong place. Any suggestions?

Why don’t you duplicate the files in the first draft and archive them under a dedicated ‘first draft folder’? Then work on the original documents. That’s probably good practice anyway as it make reverting very simple.

BTW, not sure if it’s in the Windows version yet, but on the Mac you can take snapshots of multiple documents and name the snapshots as you do it: Documents > Snapshots > Take Titled Snapshots of Selected Documents.

With both the Mac and Windows versions, remember that you can take a full backup of the entire project at any time, name it whatever you want, and store it wherever you like.

While backups don’t offer the nifty markup and comparison features that snapshots do, that very limitation makes them much simpler to manage.


Thanks for responding. :slight_smile:

I may have to use the draft folder approach, thanks. That will get to be seriously unwieldy for longer projects, but it may be the best/only way to proceed.

Backups aren’t quite what I’m looking for, since I need to have access to various drafts as I work. But I appreciate the suggestion.

In addition to the suggestions above, I have a couple of suggestions. Maybe one will work for you.

Compile your draft with every checkbox on every row in the Formatting pane checked. That will compile the names, contents, synopses, notes, and at least some of the metadata for every folder and document in the draft folder. If you output a PDF, you can import that pdf, providing you with a read-only ‘draft 3’ copy of your documents.

Another option is to create a new collection, consisting of every document, in order, from your draft folder. If you also snapshot everything in that collection, naming the snapshot “draft 3”, then you can get back to that draft no matter how much work you do on those documents. Also, so long as you don’t empty your project’s trash folder, those documents that you delete will remain in the collection, in the same place as they were originally.