I wonder how many times I can say I love Scrivener in a title before I lose people with, “Oh, its just another ‘I love Scrivener post…‘” But its just true! And what happens when you love something? You want to shout it to the world.
Collections – Its found in the upper lefthand corner of the program if you have it in ‘viewable’ mode. For some reason I struggled with seeing the point of this function for quite some time. Maybe the descriptions or examples I came across just didn’t quite capture it right for my brain – wouldn’t be the first time. My brain tends to view things off in left field, I admit. But now that I’ve finally figured it out, I just have to tell you all!
First I should probably say – any character or group of files can be placed in a collection and more than one collection. I started with characters and thought… ‘Well, that’s just silly. Its just repetitive of what I have in the first place.’
BUT I have finally come to see the light. See, characters have groups they belong to. Family groups, friend groups, work groups… and there are histories, stories etc. for each of these groups! THIS is where collections turns out to be so awesome! And I wonder, ‘How did I ever do this before without Scrivener???‘ I want to jump up and down and tell you all to try this out! Its beyond sweet!
I’m pasting in an example and truly struggling to reign in all the things I want to tell you about this photo alone.
But to keep things simple -
On the top left you see the Collections.
Cameron – my hero fits into several collections. For example:
- He has a family.
- He’s part of a Tracker group.
- He’s part of the High Court group. And more but I want to keep it simple.
So I made up collections for these groups. Only 1 character sheet but remember you can have that character in many collections.
You can see that I have the Tracker collection active both on the left and in the top middle. Note…
- You can see all the members of the group in both places.
- I can click on any member and see details for them without leaving my writing which is on the bottom half of the screen.
- I can also add any data I need or want for that group alone. Like notes or photos.
- Any data I add to the character is reflected throughout.
What this also means is at all times I can be scrolling through all kinds of details I might need to double check while still always having my story front and center!!! And I can ‘see’ the connections without having to create any complicated diagram, or rewrite data again and again to make sure its everywhere I need it etc.. It actually does create some of that but I won’t go into that in this post.
One last sidenote: VIEW: So you don’t think it ‘has to be viewed this way only’ know – you can choose whatever layout works best for you. I have a small screen and thus have gotten quite quick at the keyboard shortcuts and I have found the layout that works for my brain. But know you have lots of choices. For example, you can hook up to another screen to spread things out or turn on or off 1 or all elements you see here etc… with just a click.
Okay, maybe that wasn’t the last sidenote. If you get Scrivener, don’t try to master it all at once! Just take it one element at a time and grow into it. I think I might just say that in every post.