Story Pace Chart Feature, using metadata input

I just love Scrivener. I am a novice writer who is currently writing my first novel. I thought that a great feature would be the ability to compile a chart of the pacing (rise and fall) of the action in my novel. The way this could be done in Scrivener would be for you (the developer) to add a metadata option for each scene or chapter. Each scene could be given a pacing value by the writer between 1 and 10 (1 being slow pacing/no action and 10 being the high action/high intensity).

The data could be simply compiled to show me/the writer a line graph of the rise and fall of the action in my novel from the first scene to the end of my draft.

I hope you will consider this as a future feature. Keep up the good work. I don’t think I could write my novel without Scrivener!

You can quite close to this already in a couple of ways, depending on how you want to visualise the ebb and flow of the pacing.

a) Use the labels:

– create your own labels to reflect the continuum between low and high pacing, with a different colour for each. Project > Meta-Data Settings > Labels menu.

– Use those labels to colour the individual rows of the Outliner (View > Use Label Color in > Outliner rows menu)

(If you also select View > Use Label Color in > Binder you’ll also be able to see the ebb and flow reflected in the Binder itself.)

This would give you a very clear view of how the pace changes.

b) Create a new Custom Meta-Date variable.

Project > Meta-Data Settings > Custom Meta-Data menu.

– Assign a value to this new variable for each document, using the Inspector. (ctl-opt-cmd-M). You could either use a number, or, if you do want a bar-graph visual indicator, perhaps use a row of symbols to reflect the level of tension (e.g. * to *************)

– In outline view click on the double right arrow in the heading bar to show the list of available fields and choose your new Meta-Data setting to add it to the outline view.

You now have a ‘bar-graph-ish’ view of all the documents’ pacing.

The advantage of either of these two methods over a separate “compile and graph” stage is that you’ll see the effect of changing scene order immediately in the outline.

FWIW, I’m not sure that it’s really possible accurately to grade distinctions in pacing from 1 to 10 - wouldn’t a simple 3 or 5 level scale be just as useful and less complicated?

Hope this helps,


Hi David,

I will have a go at the suggestions that you have made. Thanks for your assistance :smiley:

Kind Regards,