The Manuscript section is the most important part of the software, as this is where you write your novel.
You can get to the Manuscript Section by clicking the icon in the main navigation that looks like a hardback book.
At its core is a page, on which to write your story, but there are a lot more useful tools to help you as you write.
The Scene List
On the left hand side of the manuscript is the Scene List.
If you can’t see the scene list, click the little tab towards the bottom right to expand it:
This, as you might expect, is a list of your scenes. If you have created chapters, these will be shown here as well.
The selected scene is shown highlighted in a darker blue than the rest.
When you click on a scene in the Scene List, it is shown in the main word processor area.
You can hide the Scene List by using the little tab found towards the bottom.
Note – you currently cannot reorder scenes from the Scene List in the Manuscript section, but we hope to add this soon. To reorder scenes, you need to go to the Plot Manager, and reorder the corresponding Index Cards.
Scenes are automatically numbered, and the numbering updates automatically if you add new scenes or shuffle existing ones.
The Word Processor
The word processor works like most others. You can type in it, and use the rich text editing tools at the top to apply italics, bold, text alignment and text highlight (more rich text editing options to be added soon).
There is also a save button. The Novel Factory autosaves your work at frequent intervals. However, using this button you can also manually prompt a save.
Adding New Scenes
To add a new scene, click the green ‘+ Scene’ button.
The new scene will be added beneath the currently selected scene, and will be selected.
Note – when you add a new scene in the Manuscript section, a corresponding Index Card is also created in the Plot Manager.
To the right of the + Scene button is the Scene Statistics button, with an icon of a little graph.
Click on this to call up a popup with the following information:
- Scene Word count – the number of words in the selected scene
- Word Count up to this scene (inclusive) – the total word count of all the scenes up to and including this one
- Total Manuscript Word Count – the total number of words in all the scenes
In the right hand side of the toolbar, you can also find a ‘Settings’ button.
Click this and a popup will appear with the following options:
- Font Size
- Default Font
- Line Spacing
- First Line Indent
Note that changes made here affect new scenes, but not existing ones.
Turn Back Time (Version History)
It’s a good idea to save versions of your draft as you work, in case you make a change that you later wish to recover.
The Novel Factory makes this easy, by automatically saving copies of your novel in the background.
So, if you realise you’d like to see something from an earlier version, the Turn Back Time feature is what you need.
To use it click the icon that looks like a little clock with an arrows going backwards around it – this can be found in the toolbar, towards the right.
This will bring up a popup with further instructions. Once you don’t need the instructions anymore, you can hide them by clicking the little up arrow found towards the right, at the bottom of the instructions.
On the left hand side you will see your current content for the selected scene.
On the right is where you can view old versions.
Click where it says ‘pick an older version to compare’.
A list of options will be displayed. Select one and click on it.
The text from that date will be displayed next to your current content.
Where text has been added since the backup, it will be highlighted in green. Where it has been deleted since the backup, it will be highlighted in red.
Once you’ve found the content you need, you can either click the button ‘Revert to this Version’ to completely replace the current text with the backup text, or you can highlight the bit of text you need and copy it onto your clipboard – then click cancel, and paste it into the active scene.
If you’d like to delete a scene, use the ‘bin’ icon on the right hand side of the toolbar.
Note that deleting a scene will also delete the corresponding Index Card and any Character Viewpoint Synopsis text entered in Character details will also be deleted. However, subplot events associated with the scene will not be deleted, but will be moved to ‘Unassigned Subplot Events’.
Related Info Sidebar
The related info side panel can be opened by clicking on the little tab towards the bottom right of the screen. It can be tucked out of the way by clicking on the same tab.
This panel shows all associated information for the selected Scene.
Important note – as every Scene is linked to an Index Card, they share the same related info. So whatever you add to a Scene will also be visible when you go to view the associated Index Card in the Plot Manager.
There are a range of fields which are included in the Related Info of Scene as default, including: POV character, weather, date and time, and goal to decision cycle.
You can also link characters, locations, items and other scenes to a Scene.
Linking Related Info (characters, locations, items, scenes and notes)
To link something to the selected scene, click the little chain link icon towards the top right of the Related Info panel. This will expand the ‘link something’ field. (This ‘link something’ field may already be visible if you have opened it before).
Click where it says ‘link something’, and a list of all the available things to the linked will appear.
Select the desired item and click on it to link it to the Scene.
Note that if you start typing in the search box, the list of linkable options will be filtered by what you type.
Subplots work a little differently to the other things you can link.
In the subplot manager, if a plot event is aligned with a scene, then it will automatically show in the Related Info for the Scene.
If you want to move a plot event to a different scene, this needs to bo done from within the Subplot Manager.
Please see the section on the Subplot Manager for more information on how this works.
Important – we are currently in the process of updating the subplot manager, and this major update should be released very soon.
Filtering the Related Info
You can use the icons in the toolbar to filter which related info is visible in the Related Info sidebar.
When all the icons are set to visible, all related info will be shown. However, you can choose to temporarily hide specific sections of the related info as follows:
- Scene Details
When you click on one of those icons, a strikethrough will appear over it. This indicates that the related info from that section (i.e. characters) is now hidden.