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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Scrivener #9 - Adding A New Plot Arc

This is the ninth in a series of blog posts based on my experience with Scrivener - A Swiss Army Knife of a tool for writers. The complete series can be found HERE.

Recently I've been making edits to a soon-to-be-released book after receiving feedback from my beta readers. Firstly, thank goodness for Scrivener. Being able to find those things that my readers have pointed out and then changing them has been a breeze.

But, on a more challenging note, one of the recurring pieces of feedback I received was about plot tension. It seems that although the story is really good, there isn't enough rising tension in a certain area. It was enough to make me scream. How could I correct this? First of all, I slept on it. And again. In fact I slept on it for several nights. Then I had an idea. What I needed was a whole new plot arc that spanned the book. I even knew what it had to be. Phew, book saved! But then the question remained, how exactly did I get the new plot arc in?

If I had written my manuscript in Word it would have been almost impossible. First I would have to identify all the places where the new plot parts needed to be, and then I would have to insert them, cutting and pasting liberally. But thankfully I use Scrivener. Scrivener is designed for tasks like this. Now the process goes something like this:

  1. Decide on overall plot arc
  2. Split plot arc into parts (in my case 10)
  3. Create descriptions for each plot arc part
  4. Create 'cards' for each plot arc part (see screenshot 1 below)
  5. Write each plot arc part
  6. Insert each plot arc part into the relevant place / chapter in the manuscript (see screenshot 2 below)
And that's all there is to it! It couldn't be easier could it?

Screenshot 1

Screenshot 2

So there we have it; how to insert a major plot arc into a completed manuscript in 6 very easy steps. If you haven't already given scrivener a try - get a copy today. You won't regret it!

1 comment:

  1. This is cool stuff, Paul. I just started using Scrivener myself recently, so this is handy. Thanks a lot!