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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Scrivener #10 - Creating Character Points Of View using Metadata

This is the tenth in a series of blog posts based on my experience with Scrivener - A Swiss Army Knife of a tool for writers. The complete series can be found HERE.

What? Points Of View? Metadata? What the heck are you talking about?

Scrivener comes with something called metadata which can be tailored to suit any project you are working on. Let me give you an example by way of a screenshot:

On the right hand side of the Scrivener screen (if "Inspector" is turned on), you will see something that resembles the shot above. It's a copy of the "index card" you are currently working on. Notice half-way down there's a label that says "General Meta-Data." I have configured my project metadata to show "Point Of View" and "SceneType."

What does this mean? Well, quite simply it means that whenever I come to write a scene (index card) in my story I know which character's point of view I am writing it from. This stops me from getting confused and mixing my viewpoints mid-scene. I also pick which type of scene I am writing so that I can take a look at all my plot points / scenes (index cards) together and make sure I have enough action scenes / fight scenes / etc. sprinkled liberally within.

But how do I do this? Under the "Project" menu in Scrivener there is an option named "Meta-Data Settings." Click that. You should now see an option box that looks similar to below:

Can you see what I've done? I've changed the default Label Title to "Point Of View" and then inserted all my characters into the list, each with a different color assigned (the colors can be used to identify characters in other views). Similarly I've customized the Status tab as follows:

So, going back to our original image at the top of the post, I can now identify every scene / plot point (index card) with a Point Of View and a SceneType. Furthermore, those metadata can be used to visually identify different characters and scene types. Take a look at the screenshot below:

Now I never get confused when I'm writing particular scenes using particular characters, interacting in particular ways. Oh, how I love Scrivener!

If you're still confused, send me an email or leave a comment and I'll try to explain in more depth. In the meantime, enjoy scrivener.

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