Scrivener Series Project II


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

In part 1 of this short series, I talked about the idea of putting all your series’ novels and your series bible into one scrivener project, rather than each book separately as I usually see suggested, and a few of the reasons you might want to try it. Today, we’ll begin setting our Scrivener project up for a new series, hopefully without banging our heads on our desks too many times.

(Concussions are not the primary goal, but feel free if that’s your usual writing process.)

Many of us have an installed novel template already, and if that’s the case, go ahead and open that up if you like (though I make mine from scratch). You’ll be changing some things around, probably, but it’s a great beginning. For the rest of this series, I’m going to assume you don’t have a template, but if you do, it should be easy enough to figure out where to move things around.

The first step is to create a new Project, using our series title in the file name so it’s easy to locate. Open the “Novel with Parts” template to begin. It opens with an info screen, which you can use or not, at your discretion. It also has multiple parts, obvious from the name.

I add a new top-level folder called “Novel Name” and then put the existing folders into it. I rename “Part” to Act 1, then a Text file under it labeled “Scene,” until I have Act I, II, and III, each with a Scene beneath it. (I set up chapters when I’m done writing.)

If you already know how your chapters will be set up, create a folder within the relevant Act folder and put the Text (scene) file into that new Chapter folder, repeating until all your Acts have a Chapter folder and a Text file. I won’t go into too much detail on how to organize your individual novel, because every author has a different process, but I’ll use my own preferred setup as my example in future segments for this series.

Once you have your scenes, chapters, and acts laid out just the way you want them, right-click on your highest level (Novel Name) and Duplicate it. Then drag that into your little blue Templates section. Now, whenever you make a new novel in the series, you can just use the template.

I also create a folder called “Archive” below the Research folder, which is where I’ll put my completed novels while I work on the next one.

More to come in Part 3!

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