Personality Profile Functionality?

Will Scrivener have a function/route to “map” characters and their personalities and their inter-character relationships?

I understand that Scr4Win will have the same functionality as Scr4Mac but its hard to tell from its web page whether Scr4Mac has this functionality so this is a bit of a blind question. Soz :wink:



Steve, if you could describe in a bit more detail what you mean by mapping, I might be able to help you out. I can say that Scrivener will probably never have dedicated Character Tracking Features and Plot Tensions Graphs and so on. It’s a general purpose tool and would be either succumbing to feature bloat or overall depreciation of its intent to take on a bunch of specialist features like this. On the other hand, it does have a lot of tools for accomplishing what many other programs with dedicated features can offer, when you boil it down to pure functions. That’s the part I can help you out with.

Hi Amber,

I think that what I’m looking for is a broad-brush route to keep track(*) of just a couple of things, all of them at the start of the story, such as main characters personality traits, their physical appearance and their primary relationships with other characters. (Apols I don’t know my way around other programs to be able to ask if Scrivener does the same as such and such.) I’m not looking for a route to “map” the finer details as my plot develops. Although now you’ve suggested it I might just… no, I’m kidding!! :wink:


(*)edit: by “keeping track” I mean keeping an eye on how I structured the character at the start so that I avoid giving them some sort of split personality as the story develops because I’ve forgotten what they are supposed to be like, etc… Its a bit disconcerting when your character says to you “Hey, numpty, that’s not how I would do that or respond in that situation”. I hate it when they get all uppity, talk about arm-chair critics! :wink:

Create a character profile as soon as you present the character – most of the novel templates set this up for you – and check it whenever you bring said character back on stage. Build the profile as you go along, making it a chart of character development. It isn’t even necessary to use a template: I keep a separate document for each character, and toss in ideas or bits of dialogue as I go along.

Of course, that means you personally take charge of your character. It seems a bit much to expect the program to do that for you.


With the greatest of respect, there’s no need for the barbed comment.

All I am asking is if Scrivener has, or will have, functionality with a specifically tailored section for me to do just that, to personally take charge of my character; i.e. a section where I can make my own notes about the personality of a character, etc… The beta3 version does not have this functionality (nor does it have fully functioning templates as yet) and I can’t tell from the web pages whether or not Scrivener for Mac has it.



You’re right, there wasn’t. And as you’re working on the Windows beta and I’ve been working with full-release Mac versions for several years, I ought to have cut some slack on that alone. Dozens of strange-to-outrageous requests have come through the forum lately (not confined to Windows) and I mistook your post for one of those. In fairness to myself, though, your second post above might be interpreted as a wish for Scrivener somehow to keep track of your characters’ behavior for you.

I cannot speak authoritatively for the Windows version, but yes, Scrivener as I know it does have exactly the section you asked about.


Ah yes, for that sort of thing I basically just use Scrivener’s built-in aptitude for dealing with large topics in small chunks. Character ideas; bits of dialogue I’ve written; relationships between characters; all of that is stored in little files or even just on index card faces. Scrivener Links come in quite useful when establishing relationships and networks between characters and events; the References pane can also be useful as well. Consider creating an event card that throws three unlikely characters together; some cliche device like that, then drop each of the characters into that card’s References table.

I don’t think this is wired up in the Windows version yet, but for dialogue, keep a file under the character’s name just for that, and whenever you write a phrase that helps define that character’s manner, select the text and drop it into the binder under that file; a new item will be created with that text as its content. This will give you a big collection of prose from this character and help you spot any inconsistencies—or serve as a handy way to “get into the character” if you haven’t written them in a while. Well, you can do that in Windows right now, I’m just not sure if the “drag selected text to binder to create a file with that text” thing is working yet.

Just some ideas.

:smiley: Thanks for the confirmation that Scrivener (for Mac) does what I am looking for.

You’re right that my posts in this topic are less than succinct when it comes to describing the functionality I was asking about. I put that down to “Fish Out of Water” syndrome (on my part): knowing that there was a question I wanted to ask but not knowing how to effectively describe it - compounded by the fact that I’m new to this software-designed-specifically-for-writing malarkey so do not know if the function I was wanting to ask about actually exists. Still, you live and learn as the saying goes.

I understand that the intention is that Scr4Win will more or less be the same as Scr4Mac so I look forward to further developments of the beta program for us lowly 'doze users :slight_smile:

Apols to all for the confusion I’ve created. I can’t, however, guarantee it won’t happen again although I will try my best - after all that that is what a learning curve is there for :slight_smile:


Amber, thanks for the info and the pointers!

I am now more excited by the prospect of the full release… but I won’t ask the burning question of “when?”, I shall be a veritable paragon of patience (whoa, get me! :wink: ) at least on the “outside”.

Thanks all,


When is a bit fluid. This mechanism I referred to, of dragging dialogue into a file to store it as a card, that’s something from the original Scrivener for Mac, so it should be in the initial release unless it proves difficult to accomplish.

And no worries asking questions, that is what the forums are for, even feature requests, though for a time now things will be kind of restricted unless really great ideas pop up. The main priority for Windows in the coming year or so will be getting up to matching 2.0 for the Mac, and there is plenty enough to do there!

Remember, by the way, that ScrivWin still gives you a lot of flexibility to create many files, stash them in the Research section, merge and split, and so forth. So it would be pretty easy to create a blank character profile sheet, duplicate it for each character, and paste or merge in whatever bits and pieces seemed to belong. All in a corner separate from your main draft. ScrivMac 2.0 is a pretty spectacular piece of work, but I got a whole boatload done using earlier versions and can tell you that they are more than capable of meeting most needs.