Simple novel format on Scrivener 3

I am writing a novel on my mac and want use chapters only, no scenes. I just want to able to type and not worry about all of the complicities of scenes, binders, not cards or corkboard. I have tried to use the instructions for doing away with scenes and convert to chapters but I haven’t succeeded.

Are you referring to the instructions, marked “working with chapters instead of scenes”, in the help file of the novel template? There should seven steps there to follow, each of which are necessary. If that’s what you’re doing, then let us know which step you’re on and why it doesn’t seem to be working right.

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Just create text documents by chapter, not scene. Don’t worry about making any folders (which can be converted to files, in any case). If you have 12 chapters, it will appear as 12 text documents. Very simple.


Well, if they started with the Novel project template that advice verbatim will give them twelve titled sections—more like what you’d want for a “Prologue” or an “Afterward”. If what you want is instead “Chapter One” like the template would otherwise use with a folder+scene setup, you’re going to have to change a setting somewhere, and what precisely to change is described in the help document.

How do I “rename the scenes document to use your chapter title and move it so that it is same “level” as the chapter folder instead of being inside of it.”?

If you haven’t yet done the tutorial it would be a good idea to do so. The things you are asking about are covered early on, in a section called “The Binder”, where it states (in excerpt):

  • Drag and drop documents to rearrange them.
  • Double-click on a document to rename it.

If you find drag and drop a bit too finnicky, you can also move items around via the Edit ▸ Move ▸ submenu (which will print the shortcuts you can use).

But like I say, if you haven’t gone through that yet, it might be tough to just dive straight in, particularly if you’ve never used an outliner style program like this before.

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I have gone through the tutorial but it is so complicated with detail after detail that I’ not using. I simple want to start from chapter one and write chronologically without notes or scenes.

All right, well it might help to keep it open in the background and you can just search for words when you’re looking for how to do something. “Rename” for example would have brought you there. Use it to find what you need rather than trying to digest it all at once.

If you didn’t get to searching yet, you’ll find a section called “Searching” in the yellow “Going Further” folder. The bit in there about “Project Search” is what I’d recommend if you want to learn just one tool first, and knowing how to find the words you’ve written, no matter where they are, will be super useful anyway.

There is also the user manual, also in the Help menu, but if you don’t know where to go yet that can be a lot, as it goes over everything by necessity. The tutorial says “drag and drop to rearrange”, but the manual has four pages on all of the different ways to copy and move things. :slight_smile: But, if you want to know exactly what all copies when you drag something from one project into another, that’s the place to go.

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I assumed the OP was starting from a blank template.

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  1. Start from a blank template.
  2. Select: New Text (that file is your first chapter).
  3. Rinse and repeat.

Suggest to start watching these. They are brief and well done.

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