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Organise your arguments in your non-fiction manuscript
Organise your arguments in your non-fiction manuscript

📍 How to organise your chapters and sections by plotline

Updated over a week ago

In First Draft Pro, you can organize sections within your non-fiction manuscript into arguments. Arguments are essential for keeping track of specific themes, topics, or logical progressions.

Before we delve into the steps, let's understand some crucial points about arguments in First Draft Pro:

  • Section creation: You can only organize sections you have already created into arguments. You cannot create a new section or chapter directly from the Argument Outline view.

  • Unallocated sSections: When you first switch to the Argument Outline view, you will see a single column of all your sections titled "Unallocated Sections." This means these sections are not yet assigned to any argument.

  • Vertical organization: Arguments are organized vertically and display your chapters and sections in the order they appear in the Chapter Outline. If you reorder sections and chapters in the Chapter Outline, these changes will automatically reflect in the Argument Outline.

  • Chapter minimization: You can minimize any chapter in the Argument Outline to see a summarized total of sections per argument in each chapter.

Steps to organize sections into arguments

1. Switch to the argument view: Open your project and navigate to the Argument view on the outline tab.

2. Create an argument: Click on the "+ Add argument" button to create a new argument. After creating an argument, click on "Add argument title..." to name your argument.

3. Position the argument: If you want to change the position of your argument, click on the three-dot menu next to the argument title. Select the option to move your argument to the left or right as desired.

4. Move sections to the argument: To assign a section to an argument, hover over the spot where you want the section to go within the argument column. You will see a prompt that says, "Move section here." Click on the spot, and the section will be moved into that argument column.

5. Minimise chapters: If needed, you can minimise chapters to see a summarized view of how many sections are in each argument within that chapter.

Deleting an argument

If you need to delete an argument:

1. Click on the three-dot menu next to the argument you wish to delete.

2. Select the option to delete the argument.

Please note that when you delete an argument, all section cards allocated to that argument will be moved back into the “Unallocated Sections” column.

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