In this post I will show you how to use the Metadata function in Scrivener to track all of the subjects in the Story Grid Spreadsheet. I find this much easier than having an excel spreadsheet open and then having to copy it over. Using the following steps, you can update the spreadsheet items in Scrivener and then export the information into a spreadsheet that looks like you actually did it all in excel.
I’m using version 3.1.2 personally, but I think it will work for 3.0 and higher (I don’t personally know, I just bought a Mac and didn’t see the previous versions). The Windows version can do something similar but more restrictive as the metadata function isn’t as easy to manipulate.
To get to the metadata you need to open your inspector (the white ‘i’ in the blue circle on the top right).
Then select the metadata icon at the top of the inspector (the third icon from the left in the inspector). Make sure the editor has a scene showing, not a folder. You can do this by selecting a scene in the Binder.
In the custom metadata section (in the inspector), select ‘edit custom metadata’. You should see this window pop up:
From here, add the metadata for your Story Grid spreadsheet. Don’t worry about word count, that will be computed automatically, and I’ll show you how to add that to your spreadsheet later in my next post. Also, don’t worry about the 5 commandments, literal action and essential action, that will also appear in the spreadsheet, but we’ll put that somewhere else and I’ll discuss that also in the next post.
IMPORTANT – make sure you check ‘Wrap Text’ in the box below the metadata for EACH metadata term.
Once you have the metadata inserted, click OK and you should see this:
All of the column names for your spreadsheet are in the inspector on the right side, which makes it easy to insert as you are writing/ reading/ editing. (I find this much easier than opening up the excel spreadsheet)
Once it’s filled out, it should look something like this:
If you haven’t clicked on the ‘wrap text’ in the ‘edit custom metadata’ window, you will not be able to see all of the words you type in the inspector.
From here you can enter all the columns that are noted in the Story Grid Spreadsheet as explained in the Story Grid Book by Shawn Coyne or on the webpage at www.storygrid.com.
One additional thing is the ability to classify the metadata item as a list. This might make your locations and POV easier. You can create lists for the different POVs and locations that your story takes place in and then choose from a drop down list instead of having to type in the words every time.
To do this, once again click on the ‘edit custom metadata’. Then click on the metadata that you want to make a list for, such as POV.
In the line marked type, you can select list, and then use the +/- in the bottom square to add different POVs to your list. When you are finished, click OK. Then in the metadata window, you can select from a list when you need to insert the POV.
I hope this helps everyone to integrate the Story Grid and Scrivener.
In the next post about integrating Scrivener and Story Grid, I’ll talk about tracking the 5 commandments of scene building in Scrivener and also how to export all of the information to include the metadata into an excel spreadsheet.
For More Information on Scrivener and the Story Grid, check out my Scrivener Post Page to see all of my posts on the subject.
I started out learning Scrivener on my own, and I loved the tools I found. I eventually paid for an online course called Learn Scrivener Fast. It was very thorough and professionally done, and I learned even more tips and techniques. I really loved the course, and I became an affiliate, this is my affiliate link to Learn Scrivener Fast. I do receive a percentage of anything spent through that link.
If you want to learn more about writing a story using the Story Grid methodology, go to the Story Grid Webpage to find free videos and articles on how to implement the methodology.
These articles contain information about the 5 Commandments of Storytelling and the Editor’s 6 Core Questions from the book The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne. They also give details on obligatory scenes and conventions for specific genres, such as the thriller, love story, war story, crime story, and more.
For an example of how these techniques are used, read Jane Austin’s The Pride and the Prejudice with annotations by Shawn Coyne.
Hi, my name is Randy Surles and I edit Thrillers and Action novels. I specialize in Fantasy, Science Fiction, and anything with a military flavor to it.