The top section labelled, “Draft (as Compiled)” is what you want. The label may change if you’ve changed the name of the Draft folder (sounds like you’re using a template that changed it to “Manscript”).
The second half of the pane counts whatever you have selected (and optionally all items descended from it), so that will be what you want to use when you just want to count a portion of the Draft, or if you want to count stuff in your research folder or elsewhere.
Ah ok. I may have changed the folder to Manuscript ok.
So was I correct about the folder named “Manuscript” forming the basis for this top section in Project Stats ? I’m only being a bit pedantic 'cos I was thinking of including another short story in another folder instead of starting a new project (about which I haven’t researched yet).
Yes, that Draft folder is one of the central components of Scrivener’s design. It is what is used when you compile, and is the focus of the statistics tools as a result.
There is no right answer to that question, it’s up to what you prefer, and sometimes up to the material as well. A loosely related series of short stories might do better together in the same project, as they can share background info and scenes within the story can interact with scenes from the other stories. For example you can pull all scenes involving a certain character from the whole set, if you use something like keywords or labels to store POV.
For the purposes of word count, you could move the completed story out of the Draft to the top level, and have a fresh start for the next. Another alternative is to utilise your compile settings to narrow the scope of statistics. Note the “(as compiled)” description in the Project Stats panel. If you go into the Contents compile option pane, you can select a sub-folder from the pull-down menu at the top, then hold down Option key and click the “Save” button. Now your stats will only count the new story folder.
But even if the stories aren’t related, you can still write all of the stories you want into one project and piece them out later if needed to other projects, using simple drag and drop between binders. Since you haven’t looking into that yet, projects are just a bit like files in other programs. You can save them all over your disk and open as many as you want at once.