Structure

Hello,

I am testing out a structure to have


3 Acts and have folders for chapters and pages for scenes…

How do I indent a chapter to be within the Act 1 folder…

Thanks!

Okay, I was able to


click and grab the folder and then drop it into a folder well.

What kind of bells and whistles can I start to add into the structure to really make Scrivener better than MS Word!
This is a fiction template…

Thanks!

Have you tried Document Templates in the Templates folder? With Documents > Default template for subdocuments on a folder any new document or folder is created with Icon, Section, Type, Label, Status and Custom Metadata from the Template using one click. Bells and whistles and all.

1 Like

One of the big advantages Scrivener’s outline has over similar tools you’ll find in word processors is that it can go deeper than the structure your readers will be seeing. You’re probably already doing a bit of that, by breaking things down to scenes—but even there you probably have some kind of marker, even if only an empty line, that your readers will be aware of. Where things can get interesting is in going beneath that. Some scenes are complicated, and involve multiple converging story arcs or character POVs, being able to break things out for your own benefit in such a way that will appear as a continuous run of paragraphs is one of those areas a word processor cannot touch.

It’s not just about going deeper, but in being able to group things together in a way that is for your own benefit as well. For example maybe those Act II a/b sections aren’t meant to be separate, but that’s something you want to see while developing this area. You could set things up like this:

Act II/
    Section A/
        Chapter/
            scene
            scene
        Chapter/
            scene
    Section B/
        Chapter/
            scene

For the two “Section” folders, you could go into the Inspector, under the Metadata tab, and disable the Include in Compile checkbox. This would completely remove these dividers from the output, leaving only the chapters and scenes as “visible” when compiling.

And while on that topic, the include checkbox is great for placing files into the outline that are meant to be nothing but notes for the chapter, or whatever else. They can be nested beneath the thing they relate to, or placed alongside them, it really doesn’t matter because they won’t exist when you export. So that’s definitely another thing you can’t easily do in a word processor. The aforementioned Document Templates tip is great for these kinds of note documents.

Some of these tricks will require a little more care taken to the compile setup when you get to that phase—for example if you use the sub-scene approach I described, you’ll probably need to make a Layout that doesn’t have any separators between such items, and set up your project to have a “Subscene” type. But the good thing to know about it is that almost anything is possible—it’s more a matter of whether you’d like to leave things set up the way the template set things up for you, to minimise learning, or if you like learning about how these things are put together and don’t mind figuring them out. Which approach to take may depend upon how you get on with the outliner in the binder. Some people like to use it as a purely structural tool, more like you would in a word processor. Others would feel cramped doing that, and end up with hundreds if not thousands of outline items in a book. If you find the latter better for how you think, the cost of learning the compiler to work around that can be worth it.

2 Likes