Novel chapters

Opening a separate question for this, as people may have more experience with it than the Kindle questions I’m asking below.

I’m editing a novel, and have - I think - followed the Scrivener manual instructions to separate its 62 chapters out into 62 folders, each with a descriptive title (eg ‘Opening’, ‘The Superintendent’ etc), and each containing a small document called ‘Scene’ containing its chapter.

The trouble is that on compiling, I’d like the chapters to be simply called ‘Chapter One’, ‘Chapter Two’, and so on. I can’t seem to achieve this - either in the table of contents automatically generated.

Can anyone tell me what I’m doing wrong, and how I should be titling these, or how to solve this? Thanks in advance for the help I know you’ll give.

You don’t need separate folders for the chapters; make them documents within Draft.
And there’s no need for the “Scene” designation, either.
So change “Scene” into a chapter name/title, hoist it to Draft, and delete the extra folders.
Then you may title the chapters as words or numbers, or combine them.
Here are the options

The Superintendent

Chapter One: Opening
Chapter Two: The Superintendent

1: Opening
2: The Superintendent

Personally, I think the third way is most attractive and informative for readers.

To use a generic name for chapters, what you want to do is turn off the checkbox in the “Title” column in the Formatting pane, while leaving the title prefix intact. Title prefix/suffix are independent from the Title checkbox—all the latter does is control whether the Binder name comes through in the final draft. So for example, if you started with the Novel template, it’s default formatting has a prefix already in place that outputs “CHAPTER ONE” style numbering. To remove Binder names, you would turn off the Title checkmark for the Folder Level 1+ and File Level 1+ rows in the table.

You might also want to edit the prefix by clicking on the Level Settings button, to remove the carriage return after the “Chapter <$t>” bit.

Thanks very much, AmberV and druid.

AmberV, which is the Formatting pane, please? (I’ve googled ‘scrivener’ and ‘formatting pane’ before asking this, but had to come back to you, sorry.) And what do you mean by title prefix?

Oh, wait, you’re talking about in the Compile dialogue. OK, fishing around that now to see if I can understand…

Hmm. No.

Here’s what I’m seeing. What should I have checked, and what not, AmberV?

Oh, wait, was going to attach an image but I can’t see a way to do it. How can I show you what I’m seeing, please?

Yes, you have to click on the “All Options” tab in Compile to see the Formatting pane.


To attach an image, click on the “Upload attachment” tab below the “Submit” set of buttons.

So no checkmarks anywhere?

I’ve kind of done something, but it’s using the dedication as Chapter One, and the beginning as Chapter Two.

(I still have the novel with its old name, by the way, and it’s still showing me - not the writer I’m editing it for - as the author. I haven’t been able to crack that Meta-Data or Placeholder problem; I’m completely and absolutely stymied by it, and would be weeping into the bath only I don’t want to take the MacBook in with me.)

Well, you probably do want checkmarks in the Text column—that’s where the contents of the main text editor are output—but if all you want are generic titles, then yes, no title checkmarks.

Meta-data is set up right in that same general area. Look for a little orange “suitcase tag” icon in the Compile option list.

Yes, AmberV, I can see Meta-Data in that Compile list - but everything in it is greyed-out!

Then there’s the problem with the Contents. Having obediently put all 62 chapters into different folders, and obediently named these as descriptors of the text inside, with each one containing a scene with the text of a chapter, like the second screenshot below, when I go to create a list of contents by using ‘Paste as Scrivener List’, the contents list I get reflects this titling (see the first screenshot below).
Screen Shot 2011-07-28 at 14.34.58.png
Screen Shot 2011-07-28 at 14.33.40.png

:question: Yeah, that’s a placeholder; a Mac convention. If a field is empty it can have hint text.

If you don’t want items in the table of contents, then do not select them when using the “Copy Documents as Scrivener Links” command. The program cannot guess for you. You have to select the items you want in the ToC, use the command to copy them, and then paste them yourself.

If you want to copy the first paragraph out of a document, you wouldn’t select fifty paragraphs. This is no different.

I understand what you’re saying, Amber; however, if I select the 62 documents, each called ‘Scene’, I will have 62 links called ‘Scene’. If I select the 62 folders holding the chapters, but not the scene files, I’ll have 62 links named with the ‘hint text’.

Meanwhile, I still have the Meta-Data problem, which is a biggie, as I’m not compiling a book by myself. To make it clearer, I’m not compiling a book called ‘The Journey’ by ‘Maelduin’, but a book that the writer sent me originally as ‘The Journey’ but has now renamed ‘My Sensational Thriller’, and the writer is ‘The Cousin’.

So what I now output shows (because of the Meta-Data being greyed-out, so I can’t change it) is a book called ‘The Journey’, author ‘Maelduin’ - while the cover the writer has sent me says ‘My Sensational Thriller, by The Cousin’.

Hmm, I don’t know what you mean by greyed out then. The meta-data pane I’m working with has placeholder text which just sits there, assuming the basics (like your name), until you change it. I’m not aware of any conditions which will present the meta-data pane to you, and then not let you edit it. There might be a bug if you can’t edit the meta-data.

I’m not sure what you mean by hint text, but you want to copy whatever is generating the “Chapter X” text (folders in this case) as Scrivener Links. It doesn’t really matter what they look like in Scrivener, the compiler handles all re-naming for you. Scrivener Links are for you. Presumably you could use the ToC file to quickly get to “Truffle day” if you want. You wouldn’t want to interface with that as “Chapter 23” or what have you. Meanwhile you do want to hide that from the user, so both get updated to “Chapter 23” when you compile.

If all you want is every section though, why not just let the e-book ToC generator do its thing? The only time you need to make your own ToC is when you want a ToC that is very different from the internal outline you’ve constructed. If the book really has 10 chapters, for example, even though you’ve created 62.

It won’t let me edit it in any document. I would paste in a screen shot, but would prefer not to as it has my real name on it - not that this is a major secret, but still, online is online…

I was taking the term ‘hint text’ from your reply above, AmberV. My author wants the chapters plainly named; ‘Truffle day’ is my own term, which I used to name that chapter folder on the advice of Scrivener’s manual or tutorial, and not anything that’s intended to be printed.

How do I let the e-book ToC generator do its own thing, please?

I think we might be talking about two entirely different things, then. The e-book meta-data I’m talking about is in the Compile setting list, not in any documents. It has a list of fields like “Title” and “Contributors” and “Date”. I’m trying to think of where there might conceivably be something that could be confused with this feature, but I’m coming up blank—especially when adding in the parameter that it must be read-only and be found in constructs called ‘documents’. Bit confused here. :slight_smile:

And yes, please don’t post your real name on the Internet if you do not want—but if you can see your real name then I’m inclined to believe you are in roughly the right spot. Why haven’t you changed it though? You can try things. You can experiment. You can click in a field and start typing. Nothing is going to bite.

Worst case you click the Cancel button and start over.

That’s easy, you do nothing. This happens automatically because ToC is a standard and expected feature in e-book publishing. If you haven’t, I’d really recommend trying stuff. It doesn’t hurt to compile .epub files, dozens of them. You might find things already do what you want, especially now that you’ve got the Formatting title checkboxes turned off.

OK, to test this down I asked my son (let’s call him John Smith, and give him the address 10 Padraig Pearse Place) and borrowed his Scrivener.

I set up a document called Test, containing two chapter folders, each with its scene file, and went to the Compile dialogue.

Here, the Meta-Data was not greyed out, so I entered the title Text, and the author name The E Team, and compiled the book.

When compiled, it showed a manuscript page at the top with the author name as John Smith, address 10 Padraig Pearse Place.

It looks as if a) you’re right that there’s a bug in my Scrivener, AmberV, since in the Compile dialogue in all my books the Meta-Data fields are greyed out. But it also looks as if I’m trying to change it in the wrong place.

I tried nuking Scrivener and reinstalling it from the disk image I’d downloaded, but it’s the same.

Screen Shot 2011-07-28 at 16.41.49.pngI’ve also tried making a completely new project to try compiling with a smaller number of chapters. This one refuses to show the dedication, but instead adds an extra chapter at the beginning, so there are two identical chapters called Chapter One and Chapter Two.

Above is the Binder for that project.

I then set up yet another project - Novel format again, using a Chapter folder with a Scene folder inside it, and in the Scene folder, all 87,000 words from the cousin’s book.

When I compiled this, it gave me an eBook with two chapters, each containing all 87,000 words.