In this video I’m going to show you how you
can use Scrivener’s Meta Data fields to create a flexible outline spreadsheet so you never
lose track of any story element when developing or writing. Hi this is Bela from the Writer’s Territory.
I want to help YOU find your perfect writing software and show you how the one you already
own helps your writing the most. A while ago I posted a blog article about
how to use Scrivener for outlining with index cards on the cork board. However, I have found another way to do effective
outlining in Scrivener using Meta-Data fields and it has helped me a lot to keep my focus
on what is happening in each scene during my writing. Let me show you. If you haven’t used scriveners Meta-Data fields
yet I’ll show you where they are. Make sure you see your inspector and on the panel control
strip click custom Meta-Data. Now you can define Meta-Data fields. Click the “+” to create a new Meta-Data field
and enter a name for example “want”. We’re going to use this field to define our heroes
want. I’m going to create a few others just as an example so you can see how this works.
I’m going to use here “challenge, “setting”, “opponent”, and “setup/payoff”. Just set it up so that you have all the fields
that you want for your outlining process whatever you want to call them. Next to the name field you can decide if you
want the text in this field, which will become a column later, to wrap or just to be cut
off at the end when you’re viewing it. If you choose “wrap”, the text will flow into
the next line and the line heights will increase the more text you enter. Additionally you can define colors if you
want specific Meta-Data fields to be highlighted. Let’s try this, let’s say I want “challenge”
red and “opponents” Blue. Okay. Now let’s see how this looks. Go to
your synopsis view and here on the right side choose which Meta-Data fields you’d like to
have displayed. Just check the ones you need. I’m choosing just the ones we created. As you can see this is kind of a spreadsheet
that you can now use for your outlining or for your brainstorming process. Just go through
each scene line by line – assuming you have one scrivener document per scene – and put
the necessary information in each field. I find this is a very convenient way to brainstorm
and also to track what is happening in each scene so you don’t get lost during your writing
process. The way you can set it up for your writing
is, for example, you can have the editor split in two and then can view your scenes on the
left side and your Meta-Data spreadsheet on the right. That way if you get lost or stuck in your
writing you can always refer back to the right side of your screen and check what you need
to accomplish in each scene. Or maybe you want to change the Meta-Data content if you
just got a better idea. You can also sort and reorder these columns.
To sort, just click on the title. If you click several times you can choose between sort
upwards, downwards, or return to your chronological order. To reorder just click and drag the title here
at the top. You might want to do this if your metadata spreadsheets is too wide to fit in
the right editor as a whole. So you can just drag the combination of columns you’d like
to see to the left. You an also activate this button down here.
If it’s pushed, Scrivener automatically opens the scenes you click on in the other editor
window. This can actually save you a lot of the because you don’t have to pick them
from the binder. Are you using Meta-Data fields in Scrivener?
Do you have other outlining methods that work well for you? If you like this video, please leave me a
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