Suggestion for Series writing

I am new to the forums, and have searched for any information relating to having a Series in Scrivener, and saw the answer was a definitive “not pssible unless you put the whole series as one project”. But I had an idea of how this could get implemented.

Suggested name: Scrivener Series Archiver

I am not entirely sure if this needs to be a plugin that users like myself can download or that it should be a third product for Lit & Lat.

How I think this tool would work is as follows. If I were to write to write a series of three novels, I would need to make three files which currently would be indepent from one another. In the case study with Monica McCarthy she mentions doing a her 12-part series with Scrivener. And so am I but with a shorter series.

I was wondering if something could be added where I can link related projects together, and with it also have the ability to share and synchronise. I mean, wiritng the same text about a character shouldn’t have to be done 2-5 times.

You’d create 2+ files, you then use the Archiver to link them together. The entries in Research and Characters are synchronised between, and this happens with every book in the series. Now every times you write on the first book in the series, you can not only backup, but also click the syncrhonise button and a central file is created with the “Series Bible” in it (as Monica calls it).

This sort of feature would give series writers (like Monica, or like me), an additional tool to use for writing.

Hope you will consider this,

Nathalie M.L. Römer

What’s wrong with putting the whole series in one project?

If you want to, once a particular book is “done,” it’s pretty easy to archive just that portion to a separate project.


I think writing a series within a single project is not a problem. Do keep in mind though, that when compiling for ebook you’ll run into problems with Meta Data. There is only 1 set, so you’d need to switch it out for each book manually. Front/back matter and the cover could all be switched easily enough if you have them labeled/separated well enough, but the Meta Data is one thing that takes some further effort.

That said, I’d like to see the ability to swap out meta data. A way to link up front/back matter and meta data to a collection would be awesome, and would allow the compilation process to be done separately within 1 project for multiple books.

THAT would be an awesome feature.

I am currently using Scrivener for a serial that I am writing, and I have to agree with Clifton Hill on this. The only real problem with keeping an entire series in a single project is the meta-data, and having an easier means of swapping that around would be great. When I first started with Scrivener I wasn’t sure if I could keep the entire serial in a single project, my concern was having to create a separate project for each episode when to me they were collectively a single project.

As far as keeping the information for each volume of a series separate…you can create multiple folders, nested however you deem necessary, within your project directory. I’ve been using that to keep the individual episode manuscripts separate from each other (even though they are a single file each) and have already set it up to keep each season of the serial separate from the others (even though I’m only in my first season). Also, you can ‘close’ an inactive section of the folder directory (if you have used Windows 7 think of the directory pane on the left hand side of a folder window, where you can click on those triangles to show/hide what is in a location without having to navigate there, Scrivener does that with the project directory) so that the only portions you are trying to navigate between are the portions for the current volume you are working on.

Really, to me being able to compile only certain portions, and having a complex project directory management, makes Scrivener as it is far better for working on a series than anything else I’ve considered. I think it would actually be a greater hassle to have to link related projects together than just creating a separate folder(s), or folder set(s), for each part of a project when it is all in the same setting anyhow.

Here’s hoping…

And you are aware of Collections in Scrivener, for grouping up the scenes/chapters for each individual Part/Book/Season, I hope. If not check it out, very good for what you’re doing + great to manufacture variations on an ebook for different distributors (Amazon vs. Kobo, etc.)

I’ll probably take a closer look at that after I complete the next episode. It’s going to be about another two weeks until I can buy my copy so I’ve been using it more as a high-end compiler (as I liked what I read about Scrivener more than Calibre, and then it proved to be even better than I thought). I’m not surprised that it has a dedicated feature for that, as from what I have done with it it only lacks one feature, project specific user dictionaries, and there is a significant hurdle on the Mac side for that so I’m not expecting it anytime soon and will be using the file swap workaround. At least that is a usable workaround on Windows boxes, which is what I’m using.

Good luck! Chime in when you start cracking deeper into Scrivener. Seems there is (almost) no end to what it can do.

The only thing it doesn’t do that I wish it did is also one of the two things that it doesn’t look likely it will ever do, at least not until there are some notable changes to the shared dictionary program on Macs.