Pointer to chapters in compiling please ?

Although I am half way through my book, my recent brush with a part compiling has made me start thinking about my chapter organisation.

I write in scenes. By the time I finish I will have about 60 docs in my manuscript, from 100 to 1,500 words in size. I haven’t given a though yet as to where they should be split into chapters. Whether to use 12 chapters or just 6 for example.

Could someone point me to a place in the manual or interactive tutorial where it explains how to tell Scrivener where chapter breaks occur ? Or do I need to put my own “Chapter 6” at the start of the first scene of chapter 6 ? The compiling options scared the bejeepers out of me :confused:

One scenario… Create folders to serve as chapters, then drag the appropriate scenes (docs) into the appropriate folders. That gives you a hierarchy, for which you can specify, in the compile dialog, different handling (page breaks, etc.) based on level in the hierarchy.

For more, see this thread…

There are variations… One would be to sequence the scenes in the binder in the order in which they are to occur, then combine/merge them into chapter docs. In the compile, again, you would specify handling (page breaks, etc.) that apply between the docs. Note that combining multiple scene docs into a single chapter doc would reduce flexibility, making it more difficult to resequence scenes. Though it is possible to split docs back into multiple smaller docs.

Hope that provides you with a starting point.

P.S. And it never hurts to assure you have backups of a project before undertaking such rue sequencing/restructuring… Just in case.

Thanks for that. I’ll have a read of it. Much obliged.

There is a huge amount of discussion on the forum to dig through, it could probably be a bit overwhelming, but if you have a specific question about something, chances are very likely it has been discussed.

Another learning tool that I’d spend a little time with are our project templates. Just make a few on the Desktop or somewhere temporary and open them up beside your project. Most of the “book style” templates are already set up pretty much like you describe. Having a functional example to examine is going to be a lot easier than trying to build your own from scratch. Don’t worry, if you see an approach you like, you can easily apply it to your own existing project as most of it is theory, and the other half are compile settings—all of which are provided as presets from the “Format As” compile dropdown. Setting your project to “Standard Manuscript” and then organising things into folders the way you see it in the Novel template would pretty much be everything would benefit from having started with the template to begin with.

But one important thing I’d put forth is that at this point, you don’t have to worry too much about it, especially if your writings still haven’t quite even settled down into neat chapters yet. During that phase of the writing, I wouldn’t see any advantage to start constricting your working patterns to some compile setting down the way. Just keep things organic and let them gradually form into structure if that is what is working for you. Getting everything all tidy and ready to compile is something you can save until the end.