How to use Scrivener to compile research

mn
mnorman
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Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:25 pm Post

I have six years of research for a major non-fiction book and want to use Scrivener to organize it. I will write the manuscript in MSWord or NotaBene. I started to collect some of my notes in folders below Draft in the binder (not child folders, but folders in the Draft folder section of the binder. Then, reading the manual, I noted that you cannot out pdf and other image files in that section of the binder. They must go beneath (or in the section of the binder) the Research Folder. That meant I had two folders for, say, "Ebola," one under Draft and one under Research to hold the variety of material I have. Didn't make sense to organize that way. So I'm guessing that I'll simply have to move all folders under Research, even if they are only text files, if I don't want to split my research up, documents under draft, everything else under research. Any other non-fiction writers who use Scrivener as a research organizer only? Tips? Thanks.

Ge
Ger66
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Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:05 pm Post

Same problem with me. I translate a book of poems from English to German. So I have organized them into folders in the draft {each poem a folder with two documents in it, the original and the translation). Of course I have some research material to some poems {pictures, websites and so on} and I can't put them in the folder of the poem they belong.
Organizing everything in the research-folder is an idea but has a big problem as soon as you start to compile your book: There is no possibility to compile the research folder! As far as I know?!?

mn
mnorman
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Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:14 am Post

Your could create child folders with the draft translations in them under the research folder. Then, when you are ready to compile, pull them up and make them child folders or the draft folder. Then all the compile options are open. That is, unless you were talking about compiling the research in a single document, which I don't think would serve any writer well.

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AmberV
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Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:29 am Post

I have a number of projects that could be classified as “research only”, and in them I just ignore the Draft folder entirely. I drag it to the bottom of the Binder, below the Trash, and forget about it. If you aren’t going to be writing anything for production output in the project, then I can think of no reason to be using the Draft folder, as the sole purpose of that location is to prepare material for output.

Another thing I sometimes do for these kinds of projects is hoist the Binder view to the Research folder (Documents/Hoist Binder). This focusses the sidebar to the selection, thus completely hiding Draft and Trash. Some projects like this never leave that hoisted view.

Overall, I think this usage works well. Obviously the program is designed to be where you do your actual writing, but its resource management features are good enough that a project can be quite useful even if you’re just using it as a research bin in the background.

Something worth noting is that you can compile text material from outside of the Draft, but it’s not meant to be replacement for the full Draft system. The trick is to put the stuff you want to compile into a Collection, and then select that from the Contents compile option pane. This will compile the material from wherever it exists in the Binder, in the order they are organised within the Collection.

For the case where you have poetry you want to turn into a book, that should all be in the Draft. Consider using References to tie a poem to its research so you can quickly get to it from either directly. Scrivener Links, either in the main editor or the Document Notes pane, are another way of doing this in a more verbose manner.
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Ger66
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Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:54 am Post

Thanks for the tips! Very useful!!

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mnorman
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Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:06 pm Post

Amber V -- Excellent suggestions. Hoisting might be perfect for me. I can easily see Scrivener as a writing tool for particular genres and perhaps for medium or long-form non-fiction, say 4,000 words. But when you're talking about a 600-700 page manuscript with a lot of endnotes and appendices, I need a more robust word processor. I used to write in XyWrite -- for my money the only WP that was clearly designed for writers. Then I moved to NotaBene, XyWrite's Windows successor. A very good WP with built in databases for the research, notes and etc. My publisher is a large commercial publisher and they want the whole book in one .docx file.

But Scrivener can act as much more than just a research compiler. It allows you to disaggregate the material in a number of ways, particularly when you have a variety of material stored in various formats. Anyway, your suggestions were excellent. Thanks.

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Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:14 pm Post

mnorman wrote: I can easily see Scrivener as a writing tool for particular genres and perhaps for medium or long-form non-fiction, say 4,000 words. But when you're talking about a 600-700 page manuscript with a lot of endnotes and appendices, I need a more robust word processor.


I think some of us would define "long-form" a little more extensively! My current long-form effort in Scrivener stands at 114,000 words. Fiction, it's true, but to judge from contributions to this forum, there are plenty of folk who've drafted their doctoral dissertations in Scrivener - complete with end-notes and appendices. And, of course, the Scrivener manual, 542 pages in my version, was drafted in Scrivener.
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mn
mnorman
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Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:37 pm Post

In non-fiction, which I teach, we simply use the handle "long form" to distinguish it from the many shorter pieces we produce. We have a course in long-form, and, perhaps it's arbitrary, but writers in the non-fiction circle usually peg "long-form" as anything under 5,000 words. I'm not knocking Scrivener's Editor. It's simple, elegant, isn't burdened by the maddening automatic formatting of MSWord. But it took a co-writer and I four weeks to assemble the pieces of our last book, pieces written in either ZyWrite's ASCII or NotaBene. And the reason was the gyrations we had to go through to get Word's sections to mesh. Anyway, none of this is neither here nor there in terms of the topic. When I discovered Scrivener it was clear that it was the only tool that would let you massage your research in many different ways. It is perfect for the opus we have to assemble from hundreds of parts.

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kevinR
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Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:21 am Post

Oh ye of little faith.

Really, Scrivener is great for really really long-form non-fiction, full of footnotes, endnotes, appendices and the like. Learning curve is steep—it's all there in the manual, but somehow (as the forum shows) there are lots of people who take a while to figure out what to do, how to do it—like me.

But really, if you export to .rtf and then import to Word at the end, all goes well. I do suggest you have a style called "heading one" for instance that is green, and one called "heading two" that is blue, and "block-quote" that is red, or whatever styles you use in word. Then, after the document is compiled, exported, and imported into word, do a global change by color so that all "red" becomes "block-quote style." Really. Easy-peasy.

And here's the crucial thing: if you scan articles, notes etc. into the Scrivener project, nothing gets lost!

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Orpheus
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Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:03 pm Post

kevinR wrote:
But really, if you export to .rtf and then import to Word at the end, all goes well. I do suggest you have a style called "heading one" for instance that is green, and one called "heading two" that is blue, and "block-quote" that is red, or whatever styles you use in word. Then, after the document is compiled, exported, and imported into word, do a global change by color so that all "red" becomes "block-quote style." Really. Easy-peasy.




This sounds intriguing. But what exactly do you mean? Could you give more details please. :?

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kewms
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Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:35 pm Post

mnorman wrote: But it took a co-writer and I four weeks to assemble the pieces of our last book, pieces written in either ZyWrite's ASCII or NotaBene. And the reason was the gyrations we had to go through to get Word's sections to mesh


"Assembling the pieces" is exactly where Scrivener shines, IMO. I've used it for everything from 500-word news stories to book-length reports, and wouldn't voluntarily use any other tool.

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ke
kevinR
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:11 pm Post

Orpheus wrote:
kevinR wrote:
But really, if you export to .rtf and then import to Word at the end, all goes well. I do suggest you have a style called "heading one" for instance that is green, and one called "heading two" that is blue, and "block-quote" that is red, or whatever styles you use in word. Then, after the document is compiled, exported, and imported into word, do a global change by color so that all "red" becomes "block-quote style." Really. Easy-peasy.




This sounds intriguing. But what exactly do you mean? Could you give more details please. :?


Sorry, I just saw this:
A style in scrivener, Format/Formatting/ApplyPreset (which you have previously defined as)
where "HeadingOne" is normal + color "Green and so on down the line. In the draft on Scrivener it shows up in Green.
When you compile, export, import into Word it shows up as green, saying "A Really Important Topic". Then you do a global change: change all text that is "color green" (under change format in Word) to style Heading One. Voilá.

Hope this is clearer. Again, sorry I did not see this sooner.