I finished the first draft of my novel yesterday. Yay!

Now I would like to duplicate this entire Scrivener project, rename it, and proceed with the rewrite without disturbing the first draft.

Is there a way to do this? Or am I trying to reinvent the wheel?



Several ways to do it, really.

a) As you suggest, in Finder, just make a duplicate of the existing file, keeping one for developing, one for archiving (or just File > Save As… from within scrivener). Then you can have both the working copy and My Novel (Draft 1).scriv open at the same time for reference if you want.

b) Or inside Scrivener, create a new top level Folder (‘Draft 1’), and copy the existing documents into it, so they’re handy in the same project, while you work on the originals.

c) Or… (and you can combine this with the other methods) highlight all the documents in the binder and take a Titled Snapshot of them all (Documents > Snapshots > Take Titled Snapshots of Selected Documents – or cmd-shift-5) with a suitable name. Optionally, give all the documents a Status of ‘First Draft’ to start with. Then as you edit and rework them, you can compare the changes you’ve made in the Inspector Snapshots panel.

Don’t forget you can use the Revisions tools on the Format Menu as well: these basically turn the text to a specific colour, so you can make visible changes with different colours for the first draft, second draft and so on.

So there are a range of tools / methods for revising, and they’ve all got strengths and weaknesses and appeal to some people more than others.

Personally, I’d take the belt and braces approach: hive off a duplicate project as separate archive of the first draft; then in the working copy create a duplicate archive of the scenes in special folder; then take a snapshot of the scenes. That way, you can access the old scenes in the most convenient way for any particular moment.


File -> Backup -> Backup To.

This will include the date in the project name by default. This is important! A leading cause of data “loss” is people getting confused about which is which when they have multiple versions of a project.

Backup To is different from Backup Now or the standard automatic backup because it lets you choose the location.


Many thanks to both! I backed it up per Katherine’s suggestion and also did a Save As… per brookter. Also will try out the Revisions tools. Should suit my purposes!

Thanks again!

To get an undisturbed reading (i.e undisturbed by you starting to edit while you read) it is usually wise to compile and print it, on paper, or compile to epub or Kindle so you can read it as an ebook. You’re then able to annotate the draft and can edit when you have finished reading.

Excellent advice! I’ve got it compiled as a PDF and am using PDF Expert to annotate it.