Monthly Archives: August 2014

75,000 words of draft two reached – so, so painful!

Well, this has been a struggle.

I hit 75k last night, but the last few days have been a trickle of writing that I just know will be obliterated in the now certain-to-be-needed third draft.

I’m not really sure what the problem is either. The outline is holding true, I’m still loving Scrivener, but it suddenly feels like someone’s drained 90% of my vocabulary. I look at earlier sections of the novel and I can literally see that the words were flowing so much more easily at that phase. Now, though, every word is a chore, every choice labored over for minutes before putting something down on (virtual) paper.

It’s frustrating, but trying to put a positive slant on it, it’s all a learning experience isn’t it?  I suspect deep down the reason I’m struggling is that there’s a flaw in the story that I’m writing around that I just need to identify and face up to. I don’t know what it is, but I’m sure it’s nothing that a good red pen and scissors exercise when this draft is complete won’t solve.

Anyway, I’m going to plough on with this draft, as painful as it has become. The end is in sight now (100K words), my main characters are all in their right places and the scene is set for the climactic battle. I just need to get there, as painful as that might be.

It’s a shame really – I’ve actually loved writing this novel, and compared to previous works I haven’t found it hard to put fingers to keyboard on a daily basis at all until recently. Earlier on I was nailing 1500 words + easily per day, but recent efforts are 600-1000, and a lot of it could/will be cut with no real impact to the story. Hey ho!

On the plus side – still loving Scrivener – easily the best part for me so far is that each scene is a separate file, which breaks the story down into nice manageable chunks for me to deal with. I’m even trying the Linux version now as part of my transition to a Ubuntu-running laptop. This bit is working alright actually, it’s the Google drive integration that’s proving irksome. But that’s another story.

Anyways – back to the WIP. I was going to lay my cards on the table this week and put down an anticipated release date but I think I might hold off from that, at least until this draft is completed.

Mike

Scrivener – One Writing Tool to Rule Them All?

Hey,

** I am in no way affiliated with Scrivener or it’s makers. I am simply a fan of good software **

As a software developer by trade I’m a big fan of finding any utility that aids in making my writing process more efficient. I’ve mentioned StoryBook in a previous post, but now I’m heavy into draft two I’m now testing the excellent tool, Scrivener, in order to make it less painful.

Now, I tried Scrivener previously and just couldn’t get into it. I couldn’t see what benefits it gave me over my tried and tested method of using Word for the main draft (plus copious use of the excellent commenting function) plus an accompanying synopsis/outline and my StoryBook plan.

Anyway, I tried Scrivener again after reading more and more positive feedback about it, and I’m glad to say I did. Why do I like it? Well, the main thing, and this is massive for me, especially now I’ve got a 100,000 word doc sat in front of me, is the ability to break chapters down into a scenes as separate files. As I chop and change the order of the narrative and make my edits, it’s as easy as moving the files around as required. There’s also the cork board functionality  which simulates the old index cards for scene planning. Again, this is easy to manipulate as you sort out the structure of your novel, or just put together placeholder cards for “scenes you know you need”.

There’s a lot more to it, as I’m still finding out. There’re options to held research information, character and location notes etc. The learning curve isn’t too bad, and there’s some excellent tutorials there to help you get started.

Negatives? Well, it’s not free, but there’s a 30 day trial where days are only used up as you use the tool. There’s a good discount on the app store for the iOS version but the windows version is $40, so not too bad in the grand scheme of things.

I’m still working through it, and the hardest bit was copying my book into Scrivener and splitting the work out into separate scenes. It’s easy to do, but with hindsight it would be better to have started in Scrivener from the off.

You could also say that all of this is doable with existing tools – You write your WIP in separate Word files, similar to Scrivener. You could use separate note applications (OneNote, EverNote etc) for other things like locations, characters and so forth. I think what Scrivener does well though is put all of this into one all encompassing package that keeps it all together.

I haven’t found anything else negative yet – although I’m still to test exporting back to Word when my work is done. I will come back and report on that when I get there. Hopefully it will still be a positive experience 🙂

Do any of you fine fellows use Scrivener? What’s your experience been using this tool? At the end of the day as long I get the text written down I’m happy, but anything that helps me along the way is a good thing to me…

Novel Outline (Manuscript – Act – Chapter – Scene)

Scriv1

Cork Board

scriv2