Plots and Subplots


A lot of my writer friends have started using a program called Dabble. When I asked them why, they told me it was partly because of the schedule program they have (they have a really fancy word count tool that lets you schedule when everything should be done and lots of stuff like that) and partly because it could track your plots and subplots.

I have never been tempted away from scrivener before, but this feature really spoke to me (mostly because I have this super annoying, super complicated set up in excel to track my subplots (writing fantasy and there’s soooo many threads to keep track of). Could we get something like this please? I’ve attached a screenshot (and I’m sure scrivener could make something way better than what dabble).

Have you looked at the Label view in the Mac Scrivener 3 Corkboard?


I’ve had a quick look at Dabble, and far as I can see, that screen is a way of associating scenes with bits of information (events from subplots, themes, etc) – and with the ability to interpolate information ‘off-screen’ as it were (e.g. Mr Rain’s deciding to hold a contest happens outside a formal scene). Is that a fair summary?

If so, there are ways in scrivener to record this sort of information – not in exactly the same way and with different pros and cons of course. Perhaps this may be of use?

Rather than using the corkboard (which limits the info you can see at one time, you can set up Outline view to replicate the spreadsheet that you normally use fairly easily. I’ve tried to replicate what’s in your screenshot.

Lines in blue are scenes in the binder which will contain the text. They will have the ‘Include in Compile’ flag ticked, while those in grey with the label ‘Off-screen’ will have the ‘Include in Compile’ flag unticked. That way, you can intersperse the ‘reminders of what goes on in-between’ in the timeline without affecting the printed manuscript.

Each of the subplots has its own metadata (set to ‘text’ and ‘Wrap text’). Normallly you’d have other columns (e.g. word count etc, but I’ve simplified it for this screen shot.

Of course, you can drag and drop scenes to reorder them. You can also create collections based on the subplots so you could for example view every scene and off-screen element relating to SP:Antagonist together as a lump on its own. Once the Outline has been set up the way you want it, you can save it as a Layout for recall whenever you need it.

This isn’t the same as Dabble’s view, but as far as I see it does most of the same things (and a few more that Dabble doesn’t, one of which is not to cost £9.99 a month… :wink:).

Could it be useful?

Since this is the Wish List, I’d like to wish that Label View in the Corkboard showed the label names in the background as part of the colored line graphic. I know the name is available if you mouse over the colored line, but it would be much more intuitive if each line displayed the label as part of the background.