In First Draft Pro, you can organize scenes within your fiction manuscript into plotlines. Plotlines are essential for keeping track of specific storylines or character arcs.
Before we delve into the steps, let's understand some crucial points about plotlines in First Draft Pro:
Scene creation: You can only organize scenes that you have already created into plotlines. You cannot create a new scene or chapter directly from the Plot Outline view.
Unallocated scenes: When you first switch to the Plot Outline view, you will see a single column of all your scenes titled "Unallocated Scenes." This means these scenes are not yet assigned to any plotline.
Vertical organization: Plotlines are organized vertically and display your chapters and scenes in the order they appear in the Chapter Outline. If you reorder scenes and chapters in the Chapter Outline, these changes will automatically reflect in the Plot Outline.
Chapter minimization: You can minimize any chapter in the Plot Outline to see a summarized total of scenes per plotline in each chapter.
Steps to organise scenes into plotlines
1. Switch to plot outline view: Open your project and navigate to the Plot Outline view. This can typically be found in the navigation menu or tabs.
2. Create a plotline: Click on the "+ Add plotline" button to create a new plotline. After creating a plotline, click on "Add plotline title..." to name your plotline. This will help you recognize and manage your plotlines efficiently.
3. Position the plotline: If you want to change the position of your plotline, click on the three-dot menu next to the plotline title. Select the option to move your plotline to the left or right as desired.
4. Move scenes to the plotline: To assign a scene to a plotline, hover over the spot where you want the scene to go within the plotline column. You will see a prompt that says "Move scene here." Click on the spot, and the scene will be moved into that plotline column.
5. Minimise chapters: If needed, you can minimise chapters to see a summarised view of how many scenes are in each plotline within that chapter using the toggle to hide scene descriptions.
Deleting a plotline
If you need to delete a plotline:
1. Click on the three-dot menu next to the plotline you wish to delete.
2. Select the option to delete the plotline.
Please note that when you delete a plotline, all scene cards allocated to that plotline will be moved back into the “Unallocated scenes” column.