(This post assumes you’re already using Scrivener. If you haven’t made the leap yet, check out my post “5 Reasons You Should Be Using Scrivener.”)
I have a love/hate thing going with the Internet when it comes to my writing. On the one hand, I love that I can look up any damn thing whenever I need to. I mean seriously, how did people write novels before Google? On the other hand, it is so easy to get distracted once that browser window is open. Well, I recently discovered a little Scrivener trick that allows me to embed websites inside the project I’m working on so that I can reference them without going online. Brilliant.
Here’s how it works:
How to Embed Websites
When you find a website you think you may want to reference again, simply copy the url. Then, in your binder (on the left there), right click on “Research” to get a pop-up menu -> Add -> Web Page. A window will pop up. You paste the url in there.
Here’s an example from my own project. My character wants a job with the forest service and I knew I would want to check back to see what kind of salary she could expect, what the job requirements are, and what the application process is like. So I used this little trick and now I have the info at the ready, whether I’m connected to the Internet or not.
I love it!
But wait, there’s more!
Set Internal References
Any time I’m working in a section where I might need the info in that embeded website, I can drag and drop the link to the inspector, the right hand column with all the notes and such.
You can also embed a link to the content in the line of your prose, for super fast reference. When you do, it will appear as an underlined bit of text (just like a website hyperlink) like this:
The only trick here is that if you click on that link, the window will automatically open the reference in place of what you’re working on. If you’re okay with that, then go forth. But if not, you can make one quick change to your preferences so that when you click it, you can either 1) get a little pop-up window with the embed content or 2) have your writing screen automatically split into two, displaying your reference material above or below your writing. Go to Preferences –> Navigation and find this section at the bottom:
Play around with your options a bit to see what works best for you.