Stitching together references

This may belong in Zen, with a question mark after it.

I would be interested in how others approach this fairly common issue in writing:

The plot of my second novel depends on the complexities of financial derivatives. I am through the first draft, in which I have given way too often to bludgeon the poor reader with excruciating detail on the subject. So on rewrite, I need to identify the technical passages and prune them.

So far, I have highlighted the passages (color) and created metadata to identify the files in which the references occur. I have exported an outline with the metadata. I will sort the outline to get a list of the passages, then use scrivenings to put together a document I can read and compare.

This seems like a lot of pushups to get the job done. But it’s a common need, I suspect. How would you do it?

Oh, and yes … Scrivener is a spectacular software! :smiley:

I’d use Scrivener’s Document -> Split feature to split the relevant passages out into their own sub-documents, which I would tag with an appropriate keyword.

Then I’d use the Project Search feature to create a Collection containing just those passages, and use Scrivenings to view the Collection.

And finally Document -> Merge to stitch the subdocuments back into their parents. (Only necessary if you use the Binder hierarchy to define your formatting.)



I’ll try that


What Katherine suggested, but I would NOT merge those fragment docs back into their parents. Better to leave them as is (why not?) and leave the smart collection in place – in case you need to dip back in and tweak this tech patter again.


P.S. The basic technique Katherine suggests is one I use a lot. It is amazingly useful for many things. You will like having this technique in your arsenal.

I agree. I would say that the split/do something/merge capability is one of the most useful and under-appreciated features of Scrivener. I use it constantly, and “First, split the chunk you’re interested in out to its own sub-document…” turns out to be the answer to an enormous number of user questions.


I may well being dense here, but I’ve been reluctant to use the split in the past because I use folders as chapters and files as separate (###) segments of chapters. The files thus represent time, place or POV changes, and I want to keep those in place.

I’ll do a backup and then pursue your suggestions. THanks for your help!

That would be a reason to merge back after you’re done, or to keep such “editing” splits at an outline level down from the structural splits. But IMO the split function is too valuable to avoid it altogether.

Among other things, It’s a lot safer to move large manuscript sections via split-and-drag than via cut-and-paste. You avoid having large chunks in limbo on the clipboard.


In my own case, I just use subfolders to maintain any groupings of split docs that I want to hold onto for organizational purposes. Perhaps this would work for you, too.