Wrote my entire novel in Scrivenings....

I am new to forums, mostly because I forgot to register when I purchased Scrivener after NaNo 2019. :blush: Since then, I have written the first draft of my first novel which I am proud of, but being a free-writer, I chose to write the entire thing in Scrivenings mode. Not only that but I have folders for each chapter and then the Scrivenings sheet on that folder.

Clearly I didn’t understand the videos too well when I started. I was anxious to start and well, here I am now feeling rather stupid. So, what do I do now? Can I edit in Scrivenings mode and then pick a format and export or am I up the creek needing someone to hand me a paddle :question:

If you haven’t already, I’d recommend taking a look at our Interactive Tutorial, available from the Help menu. It’s a good overview of fundamental operations like this.

“Scrivenings mode” is just a way to display the individual component documents in a single Editor view. It’s independent of the underlying structure of your project.

Yes, you can edit in Scrivenings mode if you prefer. Many people find that it’s easier to work with smaller chunks of the manuscript, though.

To get your work out of Scrivener, use the Compile command. It’s introduced in the Tutorial, and discussed in detail in Chapters 23 and 24 of the manual.


One thing that I find very helpful is you can split docs with Option > Command > K, and merge docs with Shift > Command > M. That should get you started.

What’s really clever about this is that you can divvy up your docs all you want, see those divisions in the Editor by virtue of the separators, and still have that invisible to the compiled version. Brilliant idea, Keith.

You can also find where you are in the Binder relative to the Editor by typing Option > Command > R. So once you have things chopped up a little, navigating is pretty easy.

If I am understanding correctly, one of the things you have discovered is that you typed some of your text directly into the body text area of your chapter folders (rather than always just into the body text area of text docs you set up). While you could probably leave that as is, it will complicate things when it comes to compile, and organizationally also, it is probably a good idea to fix it.

Fortunately, it is easy to fix. You can simply convert any folder in the Binder into a text document. In the binder, select one of the chapter folders which has body text and use Convert to Document (avail in footer of binder or by control-click). Now your chapter folder is a regular text doc - which you will undoubtedly want to rename.

You will now want to create a new chapter folder to replace to one you just lost, and rearrange things (drag and drop) so they sit inside that folder as they should. Voila!

And congrats on writing that novel!