Scrivener Series Project


How to set up Scrivener for a series rather than one novel

If you use Scrivener and write a series, you may have wondered what is the best way to organize your novels. It’s also important to consider what you’ll do with your series bible, the document that contains every character, location, and McGuffin; maps; pictures used as inspiration for those things; and even details on the various plotlines used throughout your series.

ScrivProjOne common method is to have a separate Scrivener project for each novel, and a separate one for the series bible. This is a fine setup, but I would suggest that there is a better way.

If you put all that information in one project, it’s all easily at-hand. More importantly, you can search for something (say, a character’s name or a location) and see every instance, in a list. You can also add those search results to Collections, scrivener’s version of saved searches.

Let’s say you’re in book #5, and you want to know how you described the setting where the McGuffin first appeared. Or you forgot to mention what style of facial hair a supporting character wears. Did the castle have marble floors, or cobblestone? Darn, you forgot to write down what color of hazy swirl a rare spell produces, and you haven’t used it since _somewhere_ in Book 1 — or was it Book 2?

If all your books and the series bible are in one project, answering those kinds of questions becomes super easy. Search for the name or #Tag and go to the first one. Or, open your series bible if you noted those details there. And do it all in one project, without having to open multiple files.

You’ve got enough information now to make a system of your own, but in this short series of Tuesday Topics, I’m going to go over the theory and mechanics of how to set it up so you can search in your current novel, prior novels, and your series bible _at the same time_, as well as the system’s limitations and work-arounds. All in a well-organized setup that’s easy to use _as you are writing_, which is when you need that information most, right?

I hope this helps. If you have additional questions, feel free to ask!

More to come in Part 2!

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