Novel Import Question (Apologies for Newbiness!)

First of all, I can already tell that Scrivener is amazing. And I apologize if this question is so obvious as to make everyone else’s head explode.

So, I’m trying to set up a new project for the novel I’m working on. It’s about halfway done, but I have scads of research and cut elements and etc. etc. to go along with it too, so I think it will be good to work with it in Scrivener even though it’s well underway – doing lots of revisions as I go. I imported the entire file, but now I’m thinking that’s a mistake…? Should I instead be making each chapter an individual file so I can use the corkboard and outliner features and then when it “exports” it’ll put it into one? Or is there a way to tell is to consider chunks within the document as a certain thing for the outliner/corkboard features?

Also, is there a way to make Scrivener show me page breaks within the file/files outside of the full-screen mode?

Okay, this sounds way more confusing than I think it actually is. Thank you in advance to board geniuses.

Welcome to Scriveners Anonymous…

Having got the text into one file, you’re halfway there with dividing the text into chapters.

Position the cursor where you want the new chapter to start and press cmd-K (the shortcut for for Document/Split menu item). Scrivener splits the file into two at that point, so the new file will contain the rest of the text. Go to that file, position the cursor at the end of the next chapter, and do cmd-k, etc. etc.

Providing you’re not Dan Brown (and I really hope you’re not…) it shouldn’t take too long to do the whole lot.

Then, when you want to view the whole thing as one file, just use the ‘Edit Scrivenings’ in the view menu.

As for page numbers, Scriv uses the OS X system mechanism, so apparently putting them in the editor is a bit tricky. The quick and dirty work around is a quick print preview for page count; or bookmarking/tagging/whatever takes your fancy for navigation. I think the general idea is that your chunks of text won’t be long enough for navigaton to be much of an issue.

What, you dislike books with more chapters than pages? :wink:

I knew there was some easy way – danke!

Dan Brown

Without a word of exaggeration, the only suspense that kept me reading his clunking prose was ‘it can’t go on being this bad, can it?’. It did, obviously.

And he got filthy rich.

What can be learnt from that?


That would be renowned author Dan Brown, I suppose. On his true genius, I have seen no better comments that the blog posts by renowned linguist Geoff Pullum, here, here, here and here.

As Pullum says, “Brown’s writing is not just bad; it is staggeringly, clumsily, thoughtlessly, almost ingeniously bad.” I worry about him, though. He seems to have read all of Brown’s books…

It’s the story. :slight_smile: A lot of people read for story.

You know that you can split a document with Apple-K?

How you split depends on what you want to do. If you want to reorganise your work you have to split where you think it is necessary.

If you want to export your draft to latex, the outline must fit to the final structure in latex.

I’ve made a small screencast about this problem. … o-latex-1/

And here I thought it was for the collection of conspiracy theories that explain so much, secret societies that simply must exist, and previously insoluble puzzles that are just tricky enough that his target audience has to think a bit to see the solution once it’s set out, and thus feel smart.

Oh wait, is my cynical side showing again? I’m sorry…

To a degree, that is true. Remember you can select which types of Binder items get titles or not. Titles are what control structure and depth. I like to split by scene, so I turn off titling for everything except Folders and Stacks. That way, I can control the final structure of the document without sacrificing a finely grained outline. I use Folders for chapters and rarely put any content in them. They just contain a bunch of scenes which are all split up and not titled. In LaTeX, it appears like a single flow of text between chapters.

And I’m one of them. I devour genre thrillers, and I can’t stand sensitive literary character studies. I’ve read loads of Lee Childs, which are utter tosh but great fun and whose prose is polished to the point where you don’t notice it. As a former journalist, I genuinely admire Childs’ transparent prose.

But Brown’s prose style is just amateurish, by which I mean it’s not written with an audience in mind, just like the worst business memos, emails, and internal reports you’ll ever come across.

As for his stories - he thinks they’re clever but they’re not. With even a cursory knowledge of the Templars, the end of the Da Vinci Code was painfully obvious from the second he talks about Mary Magdelen at the last supper. He didn’t even twist the 30 year old theories in an interesting way.

To quote Dorothy Parker:

“This is not a book to be tossed lightly aside. This is a book to be hurled across the room.”

Nicka: Loving those anti-Brown blog rants by the way.
arches eyebrows sardonically