Sunday, October 11, 2015

Chaos Managed..

This year I am using Scrivener to write my NaNoWriMo novel. I downloaded the free trial, but I think I am already convinced. Typically, I jump right into something new and figure it out along the way. Scrivener begged me not to do that, so I read the entire tutorial on the use of the program. I'm glad I did!

Why did I download this program? NaNoWriMo is just a couple weeks away, and I am not ready. I've a very vague idea for this book, but it's currently one sided. There's no "bad guy" or plot twist to keep it interesting. Perhaps that will come later when my inner editor forgets to show up for the day. In an attempt to gather what little thoughts about this book I currently have, I downloaded the free trial of Scrivener. The trial lasts for 30 non-consecutive days... meaning it last for 30 days of use. So if you only use it every other day, then you'll have access for more than a month. At the end of the trial, you have the option to buy. The program is not as expensive as I was imagining - $40 bucks for Windows. NaNoWriMo gives you a discount as well.

When I opened the tutorial, I was disappointed to see no video training. Wait.. you mean I actually have to read this? I turned off the TV, found my reading glasses, and focused. So. Much. Information. This tutorial took me two days to get through at about 2 hours per day. Granted I did watch a Bourne movie during one sitting. I suppose that could have distracted me a little.

The best features are the ability to split the screen to view different sections of the novel at once, to search through the entire novel for key words, and to see them all at once in a side bar. I'm starting with the "fiction" template and will build on it to make it perfect for my style. Once I do that, I can save the template for future novels. I skimmed through areas like exporting and importing. I won't need these until much later in the game.

Literature and Latte - Scrivener
Literature and Latte - Scrivener

I also like the idea of keeping my files in the program. I download pictures, quotes, ideas, etc... that remind me of my characters. I can keep all of these files within the program and see them instantly. I guess the organization is what I like. I won't feel so scattered. I'm typically a "pantser" for NaNoWriMo, but I can see the value in a bit of organization.

The initial use of this program may be awkward for me, but the work I'm doing now will make future novels that much easier. It's like any new thing. The first few uses are weird and questionable, but once you figure out how to make it yours... it's a breeze!

Well, Scrivener awaits.. 

Oh wait! Here's a link to a well written explanation of the Ten Reasons Scrivener Rocks by Tara Walker. You can find her on Twitter (@imaginepageant). There are many blog posts about this program and why it's awesome ..

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