Is this a good or bad idea?

An
AngDeaver
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Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:39 am Post

I had posted this on a Facebook page about Scrivener, but I was told by several people that it is a bad idea. So, I thought I would double-check with you guys. I have a i7 4Ghz processor/16GB RAM/SS HD - gaming desktop. I backup on daily on google drive/ dropbox / and external HD. I am also going to be adding a removable device probably DVD-R - just because I am anal about back-ups. LOL

I know Scrivener is powerful, and I write fiction, so mostly text files and few photos. So, I decided to keep my entire Epic fantasy series inside the same project. Currently planned with 9 novels at 150k-200k each and 5 novellas 40k-60k each.
That way I don't have to hunt for notes in multiple projects. If I have an idea I write it and drop it in immediately into that folder to look at later.
Does anyone else do this?
Is it the wrong approach?
Or is this the way you all do it?

When I took this screen shot I just made the folders, now I am dropping my notes in all the folders of the future books, as I have them.

Or is there a way of making those folders shortcuts from other Scrivener documents? Like you can do in a Windows file system.
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kewms
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Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:56 am Post

You might start to see some performance issues if the project gets larger than a couple of GB. But otherwise, no, I don't see a problem. What specifically were "people on Facebook" concerned about?

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

An
AngDeaver
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Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:08 am Post

One of two concerns:

1. Slow down and be hard to use. Which I think unlikely, due to the fact it is on an SS drive, and I am not writing a photo heavy non-fiction piece. Just text.

2. That it would crash and I would lose everything in all my stories. Which I don't really see happening. Scrivener is so much more stable than MS Word, and I have never just lost a document in Word before. I also am pretty vigilant with back-ups and protection. I also don't use email on my computer, just my phone, to reduce chances of viruses.

Currently, the program takes less than one second to open and about 18 seconds to back up. I know that will slow down, but I am not usually that rushed.


kewms wrote:You might start to see some performance issues if the project gets larger than a couple of GB. But otherwise, no, I don't see a problem. What specifically were "people on Facebook" concerned about?

Katherine

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kewms
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Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:45 am Post

Backup is likely to be the performance bottleneck, since Scrivener has to copy the entire project. For most writing tasks, it only loads the documents you're actively working on.

No software can guarantee that crashes will never happen, but a good backup strategy will guard against most data loss. Moreover, your work is stored in many component files within the Scrivener project. Even fairly catastrophic damage will usually leave most of the project intact.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

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Jaysen
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Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:48 am Post

K, I think the SSD would reduce the backup issues. Add the i7 and larger RAM provided and I think the question would be more about the windows efficiency of handling the potentially large number of file pointers and API calls more than anything (every part of the system is operating at "SSD speed"). Would the windows guys have tested a large project backup with any kind of IO profiling?

AngDreaver, ideas like yours have been done multiple times. I don't recall any on your scale or with the level of HW you're specifying. A few things you might want to consider
1. Raise the auto save to something like 2min idle to reduce possible save slowdowns (I'd wait to see a performance lag)
2. Be careful with binder names for drafts-- make sure it's easy for you to ID the area without accidentally mistaking " A for B".
3. Sync to an external folder for use on other device should you choose to edit on a mobile.
4. Avoid working in "a few long docs" and favor "smaller and shorter docs". Think more than one scene per chapter. This will let scrivener use less RAM as will as result in faster IO for auto save (but slightly more for backup). This will also reduce potential file corruption losses as you won't have as many words in any open file.

#3 needs quick explanation: there is scrivener for iOS. I'm not sure if your project will fit on an iOS device! If it can then you'd be fine. But if it can't... or you don't have an iOS device, then sync to external folder will make editing on a mobile a BIT easier.

As to crashing, K can check, but for the most part I don't think there have been many real issues with crashes on windows. There are a few more on windows than Mac, but most of them are ... not common "normal user behavior" type root cause. The biggest thing here is to let scrivener automatically save on idle, auto backup on exit, regularly backup your SSD and/or project to external media and CHECK THAT YOUR BACKUPS ARE WORKING. Lots of folks skip that last part and find themselves disappointed. That isn't a scrivener problem though.

All that to say "you're fine" and "ignore those naysayers". The only time I'd reconsider what you propose is if the windows developer responds and says "please don't do this". But I don't think you will see that message :)

Good luck with your series!
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 24 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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An
AngDeaver
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Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:58 pm Post

I do write everything on scene level bits.
I have tried writing a novel before and found it hard to stay organized and focused. I bought this product and now I have 67k words 25k in notes and world building. I started last few days of June.
It has made it so easy. I love this product.
Well off to the paying job. Thanks for the reassurance.

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rdale
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Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:03 pm Post

I doubt you'll encounter any issues with crashes or data corruption. Just avoid loading all of your books into one Scrivenings session--on the current Windows version, that would cause it to create, in effect, one editor per document loaded from the binder. Depending on how many binder entries that makes, it might impact performance. Keep your Scrivenings sessions to one book, max.

The only other drawback to having all your books in one place, in an editable format, is that search-and-replace can accidentally affect your older books. I'd make sure you make "final draft" and/or "published" titled snapshots of all your finished works. That way, if you accidentally modify any of them, you have the snapshot to roll back to.
FKA: robertdguthrie
AKA: R Dale Guthrie, Robert, Mr. Obscure, and "Oh, it's you again".

An
AngDeaver
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Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:08 pm Post

Aren't they all loading when I open my file to begin with? Sorry, you lost me.

rdale wrote:I doubt you'll encounter any issues with crashes or data corruption. Just avoid loading all of your books into one Scrivenings session--on the current Windows version, that would cause it to create, in effect, one editor per document loaded from the binder. Depending on how many binder entries that makes, it might impact performance. Keep your Scrivenings sessions to one book, max.

The only other drawback to having all your books in one place, in an editable format, is that search-and-replace can accidentally affect your older books. I'd make sure you make "final draft" and/or "published" titled snapshots of all your finished works. That way, if you accidentally modify any of them, you have the snapshot to roll back to.

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lunk
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Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:17 pm Post

Scrivener basically only loads the documents that you have open in the Editor window.

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rdale
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Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:46 pm Post

Unlike a traditional word processor, Scrivener doesn't load its entire project into RAM when you open it. Instead, it only loads text document(s) whose text is loaded into the editor pane(s). If you don't have the editor split, and you click on a single document in your binder, then it has only loaded that single document into RAM. Everything else is just on your hard drive, waiting until you select it's binder entry before Scrivener reads its text into RAM.
FKA: robertdguthrie
AKA: R Dale Guthrie, Robert, Mr. Obscure, and "Oh, it's you again".

An
AngDeaver
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Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:51 pm Post

Good to know thank you. :D