Questions about sub-documents and folder text

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Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:03 am
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Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:07 am Post

I'm in process of trying to wrap my head around how best to use Scrivener. What is the use case for sub-documents or making a folder also be a text document?

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Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:16 pm Post

One use-case for folders is a novel's chapter heading. By using a folder, you can distinguish between the beginning of a chapter and the beginning of a new scene within that chapter. During compile, the chapter folder would get an automatic "CHAPTER 10: [folder title]" and then formatting would create vertical space before the first words of the chapter, which come from a sub-document.

You might want to put words into the folder's text area if you wanted to have a short quote or poem just after the CHAPTER 10" bit, formatted in a distinct font from the main body text, possibly even centered instead of left-justified.

By creating separate scene documents, you can globally alter how you want the scene breaks to appear (three centered asterisks, a special symbol, a blank line, etc...), which can--and probably will--differ between a manuscript format and a self-published paperback format.

For non-fiction, I usually write introductory text before the first section heading. In that case, since the formatting of the text is the same as the section and sub-section texts, I use text documents instead of folders, but I still represent the hierarchy by indenting the sub-documents.
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Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:43 pm Post

Key Scrivener Concept: the working structure that the author uses doesn't need to match the structure the reader will ultimately see.

Quite often, I'll break the structure of a piece down in a fair amount of detail -- say five or six index cards/sub-documents for a 2000 word article -- but actually write it all in one chunk.

As is the nature of outlines, the lines between topics aren't as clear in the text as they were in the outline. I don't find it useful to switch documents in the middle just because I encounter an arbitrary divider that doesn't match the text anyway, so all (or most) of the text ends up in the top level item (sometimes a folder, sometimes a document).

Scrivener doesn't care. I just throw the (empty) sub-documents away once they've served their purpose. If I need more granular structure as part of the editing process it's easy enough to split the top level document back down into smaller chunks.

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