Managing Multiple Stories in the Same Story Universe

I have a variety of stories, ranging from short stories to novels that all occur in the same story universe. In many cases, the same characters, organizations, technologies, and places all appear in multiple stories. And many of the stories are purposefully tied together, often representing a different time period in a character’s life or different points on the overall story arch.

I’ve tried the approach of using one Scrivener Project per story, but I am finding that I am either duplicating a lot of work or having difficulty finding where I put stuff.

One blog post I read suggested using one Scrivener Project for the entire story universe, and then just use different folders for different stories/books.

How is the best way to handle multiple stories in the same story universe?

With Scrivener, there are three basic approaches:

  1. One project per story. As you’ve found, this can make sharing material harder.

  2. One single project, switching out content in the Draft/Manuscript folder as needed. This seems overly fiddly to some people, while others are comfortable with using the flexibility of the compiler to handle this. (Note that “switching out” can mean either physically moving content around OR using “include in compile” features to only output a given story’s text.)

  3. One shared project with the world bible, one or more separate projects for the stories. Since you can have multiple projects open at the same time in Scrivener, this approach moves all the shared material to a single shared project which is then referenced and updated in parallel with the active story project (which in itself can be a single story or multiple stories as per options 1 and 2). One of the advantages to this approach is that if you’re settling down to do a bit of work on the background material you don’t have to worry about messing with your stories.

Which one of these is best? That depends entirely on the writer – their workflow and which Scrivener features they’re most comfortable using.

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I use mostly the iOS app and that has been the same method I worked out. (Note: iOS Scrivener can’t open multiple projects at once. Although, it can do a version of split screen within one project if the device supports that.) I also like to use the compiler to archive older drafts into word doc or PDF files, which can then be imported and stored in the project alongside other reference material.

Now that I have the windows version too I might use Devin’s third approach more, so thanks for the tips. :mrgreen:

I use the “multiple stories in one project” method. I have specific folders that I can reference to make sure that things are where they’re supposed to be and so I stay on track. You just have to get on a path and stay on it, so to speak. I know that’s vague, but flow develops the longer you use the process. A linked “story bible” helps. I use links within Scrivener inside a story bible to help manage things properly. Granted, a story bible is a slow process, but slow or not, it works.

I suggest downloading the template that I’ve linked below and playing with it or hitting Google and researching “Story Bible Scrivener” to see what works best for your individual needs. …