Thursday, October 27, 2011

Playing with a New Toolbox

I have to admit, the first time I checked out Scrivener, I was underwhelmed.  Part of that was being mildly put off by their website's pitch, claiming that Word and other word processing programs don't work "like writers think".  I wouldn't say that I think the same way as other writers, necessarily, or that there is One Way in which writers think.  I also wasn't too keen on how that version of Scrivener worked, essentially as a specialized viewer for a folder full of text files.  So after little time checking it out, I ignored it and let the trial period run out.

However, a few months ago I decided to look into it again.  Maybe I had a new mindset, maybe it was a new version, or maybe it was that it didn't just create a folder of TXT files, but it felt different.  It felt more interesting.  It felt more useful to the way I was writing.

And perhaps that was because I was being more open-minded to writing in a non-linear fashion.  I had often used the, "I need four scenes in here that do this, but right now I want to write this bit" method.  On Word, this can get a bit unwieldy, especially when one is working on expanding or inserting scenes in the middle of a piece.  But it's definitely very useful for breaking the a novel down into scenes, and then figuring out where the scenes group into chapters, and such. 

I'm still messing with it to figure out all the features, bu I do like it.  It's what I'm writing Way of the Shield on, and I've now converted the current drafts of Maradaine Constabulary and Holver Alley Crew to Scrivener as well.  Both of those were, I admit, a bit time consuming in terms of copying and pasting each scene into its own separate bit, but now that it's done, I'm finding it very helpful.  Plus I can then keep the support information (Character lists, maps, potential future projects) all in there as well. 

So I may be a Scrivener convert. 

I also recently got Freedom, which is a nice little tool to temporarily disable your internet.  Always useful when one can get easily distracted by the shiny things and just read one more article before starting to really get to work on the writing.

Speaking of, time to get to work on the writing.  Signing off.

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