Sample Novel

I was wondering if anyone has taken a classic novel and did a mock up using Scrivener? I’m a visual person and seeing something like Moby Dick broken down in all of it’s parts in this program would be a great help to me and I’m sure others too. It would also be a great way to show all the little gems that Scrivener has to offer.

Not a bad idea. :wink: Stay tuned to the newsletter.

It’s a great idea but MOBY-DICK? Gosh. It’s like deciding to take up martial arts and starting by invading Prussia. Anyone who can elicit a structure – rather than simply a breakdown – from Moby-Dick is a better man than I am. Its structural complexity, for which the technical term is “barking mad”, is what makes it perhaps the greatest novel ever written. You’d probably need a Randomise… command in Scrivener to reproduce it.

I hereby volunteer not to do it. On the other hand, I promise to pour scorn on the results if someone takes up the challenge.

I think the OP was talking about a simple break-down. But it occurs to me that if a student were studying any classic lit that’s available in non-DRM’d electronic format, Scrivener would be a ideal way to study it.

Import the whole book, split out chapter 1 and dissect it into manageable “chunks.” Once it was in that form, she could use document notes, keywords, comments, etc. to really examine and study it. Historical research on the period, setting, and author could be linked to. Then continue on with each chapter after the same fashion. And when it was time to write the paper on it, all of those notes would be invaluable.

And many classics are out of copyright, and therefore available in pretty much any format you like.

Wish Scrivener had existed when I was in school…


It would be a fairly simple matter to create a Scrivener version of Moby-Dick. The basic parts are front matter, 135 numbered chapters, and an Epilogue. It has three large movements, focusing on Ishmael, the Whale, and Ahab. Possibly having it in this form would allow searches and collections, but better online tools are available at Power Moby-Dick, a copiously annotated labor of love created by one Margaret Guroff:

I know it’s an old subject.
I said Moby Dick because I knew it was out of copyright. It could be any novel as long as it showed all the ins and outs of the program.

The annotations look great. Does anyone know how to do that?

If you read the fine print at the bottom, it looks like an adaptation off of Arc90’s (of Readability fame) Unobtrusive Sidenotes web code package.