Scrivener Tip – Outlining and Structuring – Freestyle with Freeform Mode on the Corkboard

Here’s a quick tutorial on Scrivener’s freeform corkboard mode.

This training is provided by Literature & Latte, creators of Scrivener.

Once you’re a few documents into your project, you might want to spend some time experimenting with the structure. 

The Corkboard is a great tool for doing this, especially in freeform mode,  which allows you to freely drag around and reorder the index cards,  and it won’t make any changes to your project structure unless you tell it to. 

To demonstrate I’ll load up this folder in Corkboard mode. You’ll see each of my chapters already has a title and a synopsis,  making it easy to see what’s going on in each chapter. 
Clicking this icon will switch to freeform mode. The cards no longer appear in a fixed layout. Instead, they can be dragged and dropped wherever you choose. It’s worth noting that none of this has affected the order of chapters in the binder as you might expect it to if you drag cards around on the regular Corkboard. 

The freeform Corkboard is there for you to experiment. With the synopsis visible, you can play around with what it would be like if one scene came much earlier in the manuscript than another.

If you decide you actually quite like that order, you can click on this Commit button in the bottom row. Scrivener will present you with a few different options to choose from,  depending on how you want it to interpret the order of cards on the Corkboard. 

For example, it may make more sense to you to arrange your index cards in horizontal rows, starting at the top, but moving right to left, or vertical columns starting from the left-hand side, and moving from top to bottom.

As soon as you click on any of these options, you will immediately see the binder update to put the document in that order. 

Remember of course, that this new order isn’t locked in for good. You can always change it later in a variety of ways if you need to.