Temporarily un-nesting files from folders

Good morning, all! Just finishing draft one of a large novel, currently broken down into scenes within chapters within parts. Is it possible to temporarily un-nest the scenes from the chapters, so that I just see them all together and can rearrange as necessary? Then if possible revert to the original structure of scenes within chapters? Thanks in advance!

This sounds like a good time to look into using Scrivener’s collections tools. Or perhaps a self-selected Scrivenings session.

For a Scrivenings session, you could select each scene that you’d like to review in the session individually and then read through all of them as a single document, which could help you decide if that’s a flow you like. §15.5 of the manual offers tips on this.

The Collections would allow for a similar way to view items, but your selected arrangement can be a saved collection that you return to later. §10.2 in the manual offers tips on building collections. You can access a PDF of the manual from the Help menu.

Neither of those tools will affect the binder order, but they can be ways to test out possible combinations until you decide if the binder even needs to be rearranged. If it does, you can make those changes once you’ve decided what changes to make.

I prefer using these tools to test out possible arrangements. That way, I’m not constantly moving scenes and then second-guessing myself.

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Something that can help with the re-ordering phase, if that is something you do indeed end up doing, is that once you get things roughly organised in your collection, click the little “hook arrow” button in the collection header bar. This will load the contents of the collection over into the main editor. This way you can return to the main binder view in the sidebar, and either drag and drop from the collection view in the editor, or lock the editor and just visually organise things in the binder directly, based on your list in the editor. You can lock the view by using View ▸ Editor ▸ Lock in Place, or its associated keyboard shortcut.

For this kind of thing, you might find that adding the whole draft into the collection is worthwhile. Even though it is a flat list, that will include the chapter folders as “dividers”, rather than just having a big flat list of scenes and nothing to mark where one chapter ends and the next begins.

Either way that gives you an experimental view that doesn’t change your underlying binder order, and can even be used to compile from to generate proofing copies.

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