Thursday, June 11, 2015

Using Scrivener To Manage A Series



An ongoing series is a massive creature that takes on a life of it's own. It requires an expanding cast, villages, farmers, mad men, villains and more supporting cast than this aging brain can hold.

So I'm using Scrivener's Research folder to hold and track the expanding cast.

I started with a single folder of notes. Names, ages and a few details of the inhabitants of Fort Chatten and Dunvegan. That was enough for the first two books.

But Homebound presented a problem: The people squatting in StoreMore, a 3 acre storage yard. I needed names, ages and a few words of description.

Then a series of fires burned people from their homes. They needed shelter...and names, ages and a few details.

This is what I'm going to do -- the details are going to change with the books. I'm going to need to expand my universe, but until I do, the individual book files can contain what I need for that book. Which character are where and what they are doing, for that book. Then, since I rename a file when I'm starting a new book and remove the old information, I have all the information I need for the next book.

So far, I've expanded from a single file to a folder under "Manuscripts" named "Horse Women" that contains a folder for the new manuscripts. I've got "McLeod 1 - 2" "McLeod 3" "McLeod 4 - The Healer" and "McLeod 5" each file has it's own copy of the world to that date.

Under 'Research' in each Scrivener file, there is a folder for 'People,' the characters most used in that book, 'Places,' the fort, the castle and the villages,  and 'Things' my general information on the Zombies, rate of travel for horses, food requirements and links to information that I need most.

Zack and Hector are at Fort Chatten in book 2. All their character information for that time and place are listed under Fort Chatten.

They are on the road in Book 3. Their information is stored under "People" in that file. I have a list of what gear they are carrying while on the road.

In Book 4, they are in Dunvegan and so is their information. But I've got the active characters in the 'People' folder.

It becomes easier for me to track characters.

I just need a similar system for dates.

Is this ideal? No - eventually I'll need a separate Scrivener file for the world. It will have to be on one monitor while the main story I'm working on is on another monitor.

Did I ever post that I use two monitors while I'm writing? 

My laptop monitor has a browser open so I can research, and the secondary monitor has my current story up. If this series and it's system expands any more, I'll need to have the World file open on the laptop at all times. 

I wonder how George R. R. Martin tracks the Game of Thrones? That feels like a nightmare task to me.

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