Do you change your character’s names a lot? I do. They grow into different people, or maybe I begin to really see them after they’ve been around for a while and create the story or have the story done unto to them. Or maybe their name sounds too much like another character’s.
Scrivener has a great tool called Project Replace. It means I can change a character’s name or place names or whatever and change them whenever they need to change.
The Project Replace command is buried deep in the Edit menu. Whether you use Scrivener for Windows or Scrivener on the Mac, here’s the path: Edit > Find > Project Replace.
A couple of things to keep in mind:
- Scrivener will change the name throughout the project. In this example, it changed Martin to Malcolm in a bunch of different scenes and Character Sketches—anywhere the name, Martin, appeared.
- But if I’d had a note in the Reference section, say, about Martin Sheen—and hadn’t unchecked “Notes” and “Project Notes”—Scrivener would change his name to Malcolm Sheen, so make sure to uncheck those Scope items and afterward, search for all instances of the new name by using the Edit > Find > Project Search command.
- Scrivener didn’t change “Martin’s” to “Malcolm’s.” I had to make a separate command.
- I made sure this request included the “real” apostrophe. On the Mac side, I had to use Option+Shift+] to make an apostrophe in the Replace and With fields.
- But since I don’t know how to create that extended character using the Windows keyboard on my laptop, I had to change the instances of possessive after the fact, again, using the Project Search command.