Outline, sections and export

I am new to Scrivener so this question is likely elementary. I am composing a draft, to be exported, eventually. I want the draft to export with some paragraph headings/titles.

Is it best to create an outline section for each paragraph section (by indenting sections within sections in a chapter) in which I want a heading/title, in a book chapter ? Or if I simply type a title and continue typing in the chapter, will it export correctly?

There are two schools of thought on this one. Some prefer to just put their titles right into the text files and call it done. Other’s like to use the compile feature which will print the Binder title using a font you can set up in compile options. I doubt anyone could put forth a case for which is better, it’s mostly a matter of taste. The compile method lets you forget about setting up titles and styling them all of the time—but it forces you to use public-safe binder titles. Typing them directly in means maintaining bits of title text throughout the draft in accordance with any changes you make to the draft. If something that was a chapter becomes a section, you have to remember to change the font and titling format.

I’m not entirely sure what you are getting at here. It would be easier, I think, if you expressed what you are trying to do in generic terms, since Scrivener doesn’t have chapters, I’m not sure what construct you are using which you are calling a “chapter”. Is it a folder with text files in? A text file with text files in it? A folder with folder text? Are you advocating putting all of your chapter into a single file and indenting everything manually within it, instead of using the outliner?

Right, that’s helpful. I’m not using the correct language.

Suppose I have a Folder, that I have labeled a chapter. I then click Add and a place to type text is added. I type text, but then I want another place to type text, the latter of which will then export as a subsection of the first place to type text, which is a “child” of the Folder. It will eventually export so that it should be in the form of (Folder) My Introduction; (Place to type text) My Title; (another place to type text) My Subtitle, etc.

I am wondering how best to set up this Folder (which I will export as a chapter), given that I will be typing various sections and subsections into it - should they all be just one “child,” different children and grandchildren of the Folder (chapter) or what?

Okay, I follow you now, thanks for the clarification. It’s difficult to answer your question though because this is really a matter of taste. Part of why I had a hard time answering initially is that all of the methods I described above for defining a chapter are equally valid. I’ve seen them all, and many more besides, and couldn’t say any one was better than another. I suppose that is a somewhat wishy-washy answer, but Scrivener is a truly flexible application, and it is getting even more flexible as time goes by. If constructing a chapter as a folder full of section files works for you, then go for it! The way I tend to work, and I generally do non-fiction so parts enter the equation: I use top-level folders for part one, part two, etc. Beneath that everything is files. So chapters are files with other files in them, these are sections and then sub-sections beneath those files.

But honestly, that’s for the most part just an aesthetic choice. :slight_smile: I could easily use further folders beneath the part folders. What I do tend to stick to though is a method whereby individual files are not titled, and only folders and file groups are. This lets me break apart a section for more detailed analysis and work, without having that broken up section appear as structure in the final copy, since it doesn’t have titles, it all just runs together and looks like it came from a single “file”.

Another thing I would keep in mind, if you submission is well off in the future, is that 2.0 will be introducing some new concepts. The original methods from 1.x will still very much apply, but a new axis will be provided: depth. You’ll not only be able to say “Folders should have titles”, but you’ll be able to say, “Folders at this level have titles, and they are bright red, but folders at level 3 in the outline have no titles at all”. If anything, this makes the question of “which method is best” even less possible to provide a direct answer for.

The only good answer is: Whatever helps you write better and faster.

Good, that’s very helpful. I am just beginning this (academic) book, and its completion is a year or two out, so I’ll wait for 2.0. In the meantime, what you have given me is a good place to start. Thanks again.

Oh, to clarify, no need to wait for 2.0. You can definitely start working in 1.x and upgrade your project when the time comes. What I meant by my comment is that if you can wait to compile post-2.0, you will have many more options available. The basic structural make-up of your work will be very much the same in both versions. Folders, files, file groups: none of that is changing, but how much you can address in the compile sheet is definitely changing.