What I'm Up To

Scrivener, Where Have You Been All My Life?

Yesterday, I was reading a Tweet Chat from some of the folks (particularly agents and editors) that I follow. One of the participants mentioned using Scrivener as a tool and a bunch of folks chimed in that they loved Scrivener. Having never heard of it, I decided to look it up. It looked neat, so I decided to download the free trial. I spent 2 hours going through the detailed tutorial and… OMG I love it!

Upon completing the tutorial, I promptly copied my novel into it and formatted it properly. I discovered a few things. One, my last chapter in 90 pages long. (Yikes.) It’s half my book essentially, so I have to fix that some. Two, some of my sections are WAY too short. Three, I LOVE Scrivener!

There’s a few tools that come with Scrivener, namely the ability to import pictures and websites into Scrivener as part of the research section. It’s incredibly easy to navigate around in. Before, if I wanted to reference something in my book, I first had to remember where in my book I was and then pull up either another word document or the web to find what I’m trying to look up. While I’m doing that, I’m not looking at my book. Also, if I ended up changing something on page 90 that I also remembered referencing early in my book, I had to scroll back and search until I figured out where exactly that scene was. With Scrivener, each scene now has a short description with it and I can easily click between scenes or split screen the two scenes so I can make sure they both are reading accurately!

I’m not describing it very well, but if you are a writer, Scrivener might be a useful tool for you too.

I’ve got a bunch of pictures under my research section now as well. Another of the people mentioned (in that Tweet Chat last night) that they cut out pictures of models from magazines to help visualize their characters. Instead of magazines, I went on the web and found people that represented what I thought my characters looked like in my head. Turns out my main character is best represented by Evangeline Lilly! I found models who represented the looks for Julius, Jerrod and Anna. Nitha looks just like Miss Bolivia 2010. And Charlie is a dead ringer for the actor who plays Jason Stackhouse on True Blood. At least in my head. Knowing better what they look like will definitely make it easier to write about them.

I was also able to port in my short story that I wrote about Julius and Jerrod’s friendship that I mentioned in my last blog post and the way Scrivener works, it definitely encourages me to write more shorts for backstory.

I love this program. Yeah, I spent today not so much writing as setting up to write, but I think I’ll be a lot more productive now that I have a really good tool for writing.

Side note: My youngest (who is 6) saw me working with it and downloaded it on his own computer. He’s now writing his own story.

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