As can be assumed from the title of this post, I aim to publish a series of posts on my experiences using Scrivener during the next few months. (UPDATE: The complete series can be found HERE.)
Let's start with a little history. Probably like most of you, I have been a user of Microsoft Word for many, many years and it's always seemed the best tool to use for writing my novels. And seemed is the correct word here. I mean, after all, it's a word processing piece of software. That's got to be the right thing to write a novel, hasn't it? And Word does a fairly good job of allowing me to write my manuscripts. Okay, it does get a little difficult managing an 80,000 to 125,000 word document; I can never seem to find the exact piece of text I want to edit. Oh, and I do have difficulty remembering what I wrote about Joe the Plumber four chapters back. Not to worry, I'll just page back through my manuscript and re-read it before I start writing the new part. And cutting and pasting that section of story from chapter twelve to chapter sixteen is a little dangerous. I'd better make another backup and then make sure it still all flows. Oh, and then Jane. What color was her hair? Was she last driving a blue car? I can't remember. But it doesn't really matter, I've got a really super-duper word processor. Nothing else is important.
Does any of this ring any bells with you? It's been a constant annoyance to me. As well as my ever-growing, unwieldy manuscript I am forced to keep other documents containing character descriptions, plot points, ideas, location names, etc. Oh, and don't forget the whole folder of photos that I need when I'm writing some of the descriptive scenes. It's all driving me crazy.
Enter Scrivener, which has been available on the Mac for several years, and is now available on the Windows platform (yes I know, I'm old-fashioned). This single piece of software claims to solve every one of my problems and create a project for each one of my books (or series of books - to be explained in a later post). In my scrivener project I can keep all my character information, all my reference materials, and my manuscript. Not only that, it will allow me to break my manuscript up by plot point (or whatever other element I want to - like chapter), attach metadata to that plot point (i.e. POV Character, Location, synopsis of scene, etc.) and then also attach the actual writing. My head is already spinning.
So what does all this mean in reality? I wish I had a hundred hours to tell you. There are so many ways in which Scrivener is going to help my writing. And this is the purpose of this series of blog posts. Like I said at the beginning, over the next couple of months I am going to blog my experiences and relate how Scrivener is helping my novel writing and editing process. Today I just wanted to introduce the software to you, and tomorrow I'll tell you how I've started to use it. We'll call it Scrivener - The Early Days. So, until tomorrow.
I would love to hear any comments you have.
The complete series of blog posts on Scrivener can be found HERE.