Writing a Book Series (Need Ideas/Suggestions)

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Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:51 am Post

I've been using (Windows) Scrivener to work on a my novel and am pretty much delirious with happiness. My draft, revisions, notes, and research are all in one area, sometimes in a chaotic mess, but a mess that I have no trouble accessing or sorting out when I need to. (Couldn't do that with paper or with multiple Word documents all over the place, nosiree!)

This arrangement works great for writing one novel--but I'm a little stumped on how I'm going to work on a novel series. Originally, I thought I'd create an separate Scrivener project for each book. But what about my worldbuilding notes that may be relevant to all of the books. I could make copies, I suppose, but what if I make a change in project B, will I remember to make that same change in project A where it might have some impact?

Alternatively, I could have one massive Scrivener project for the entire series, and have each novel in its own section. (My concerns would be the performance and how easy would it be to compile each novel into its own document from the same project).

Or...I could have another Scrivener project just for my worldbuilding notes, but that would require me to have notes project and book project opened.

Has anyone tackled this scenario? Has anyone found a method that works for them and would like to share? I'd be interested for any ideas or suggestions.

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Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:56 am Post

Just keep everything in the same project. You can easily compile only portions of what is called the "Draft" folder, so you would have folders below it you would call "Book 1", "Book 2" and so on.

Performance does not depend much on the size of a Scrivener project. This is because every document remains a file within the project, and Scrivener loads only that file every time you select a document in the binder. (The backup takes longer, of course.)

Keith once explained that even if you'd spend the rest of your life writing in only one Scrivener document, you would not run out of its limitations. In fact, you would not even come close. (Might be another thing if you'd spend the rest of your life importing PDFs, pictures and movie clips … :wink: )

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Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:00 am Post

In addition to Andreas' very good advice, there's also this.
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

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Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:37 am Post

Thank you both! This is exactly the information I'm looking for.

My own concern right now is the Windows version is still in its baby stages, but now I feel more confident that it'll get to that performance handling stage, if it hasn't already.

Thank you again.

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Sat May 28, 2011 3:57 pm Post

Hugh wrote:In addition to Andreas' very good advice, there's also this.

This is a great article! I am working on the first of what I hope to be a series of novels and many of these ideas will be very helpful. Thank you for sharing.

"Nothing beats the love of a good woman, but the affections of a naughty one are a close second. - Pocket Philosopher :D

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Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:49 pm Post

Hi Scribbles

I too am working in a similar fashion (on a trilogy) and for that reason simply use folders for Books 1/2/3 as mentioned already. Each folder has the relevant scenes etc - any of which can be moved easily from book to another should the story dictate as such.

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Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:38 am Post

I'm glad to see something on writing series. I'm working on book three in an on-going series. My Series Bible is currently in Word, but I like the idea of having it also in Scrivener. I didn't even think of running two instances of Scrivener (I'm on a PC). Great idea!