Single vs. Multiple Scrivener Files

I’ve been scanning through the forums, most recently the postings about magazine columns, and it brought a question to mind: Do most of the writers here tend to use single or multiple Scrivener files?

I use single files, i.e., each project (story, article, novel, script, etc.) is its own Scrivener file. Yet, reading the posts I get the feeling that writers like Antony and others may well have larger Scrivener files holding multiple projects.

I’m interested in hearing from others about the pros and cons of each approach in anticipation that there may well be a better, more efficient/productive/intuitive way to Scrivener than my way. Thanks for any replies.

I don’t have multiple projects in a Scriv file, per se. Each book gets its own project, no matter how small.

However, in my work many of those books are actually comics, and in turn some of those comics are serials (as opposed to graphic novels). In those cases it makes sense to have the issues all together in a single project - after all, you wouldn’t create a new project for each chapter of a novel :slight_smile:

Scrivener is designed to be project-based, so normally you would have one book/script/whatever per .scriv file. The exception might be short stories or poems.

All the best,

Currently I’m using 1 scriv file to hold all articles for one magazine, though will probably start a new scriv file every six issues / months or so. Other projects each get their own files. Although I haven’t been using scrivener for that long it seems natural to do it that way.

Cheers Mike

I’ve found my certain Scrivener files getting longer as I get involved in spin-off projects, and it’s handy to have my source material right there.

I’ve found that Scrivener handles them effortlessly, so I have a large one for my blog that also imports web archives for backup purposes.

I suppose one could cut it off when it gets unwieldy, but the ability to keep disparate projects which share research and focus under “one umbrella” is one of the strengths of Scrivener.

At the risk of shameless self promotion, I actually blogged yesterday about integrating Scrivener into my workflow. … ting-flow/

I maintain a Scrivener “Masterfile” that holds an overview of all my novel ideas (and, most important, all ideas to ideas). This is the place for them to “grow flesh”, while they make their way along a route of carefully coloured labels (“only vague idea” -> “only fragments” -> “needs research” -> “plot still unclear” -> … -> “ready to go” -> “in progress” etc.).

Once an idea becomes an actual project (although it might still have status “plot still unclear”), I create a new Scrivener file and put everything I have collected into it, keeping only one document in the Masterfile as a place-holder. I create a link from this placeholder to the project file and make a snapshot to have the document icon dogmarked in the binder: My signal that this is now a project and external.

From then on, I develop the plot, the characters etc. in the project file. All research material goes there as well.

Sounds very similar to what I do, Andreas. I just use label colours rather than snapshots to show when something has been ‘upgraded’ to its own project, but the principle’s the same.

I had this problem too. I wasn’t sure if I should start out with a single file or multiples. Even after it was explained to me how Scrivener was meant to be used I still was unsure how I would use it. It wasn’t till I asked for more insight into how to use index cards ([url]]) that it clicked. In a nutshell each card should be part of a writing project, which is the scrivener file itself.

Hope that helps!

I think it’s useful to have in one project only those texts that are really connected, and for which the same Research material is useful.

I have one project for my academical texts, since for all of them my index cards can be useful.

I explain it in this post:

Hope this helps.

For awhile I tried keeping all my weekly columns in a giant scrivener file, then one file per year of columns, then finally decided on one file per project. I normally toss the scrivener project file after exporting the completed draft to rtf. All the research files exist in rtf or txt files that I then import into the project they’re needed in, so if I need to keep any of those, I still have them.
For my book in progress, it’s one project per section, each one being around 30000 words, subdivided into lots of chapters.
The reasons I went to one project for file are those stated in others’ comments above. What with spotlight and Finder folders, I found I didn’t need a second repository for files once the story was drafted, although it wouldn’t surprise me if other writers needed scrivener’s references, keywords or other features not available or as convenient in the Finder.