Monday, September 26, 2016

WRITING A NOVEL IN SCRIVENER: PART I

I am writing something new. It has dual narrators, two major settings, a fair number of secondary characters and, oh yeah, blackmail and murder. Not my usual teen romance! I was struggling to keep things organized and well-paced when I remember reading Justine Larbalestier's comments about writing her amazing novel, LIAR, in Scrivener. Daisy Whitney, Maureen Johnson and Lisa Yee can all be found gushing on Scrivener's "Testimonials" page. So, with feelings of hope and desperation mingling inside me, I clicked over, paid my forty bucks and became...

A scrivener using Scrivener


The manuscript isn't finished yet, but here are my first observations:


  • It was pretty easy to learn, despite my mediocre technology skills
  • I have found myself WRITING DOWN more of my backstory and preparatory stuff (e.g., character worksheets, setting pages, chapter title ideas) and am glad they are there for reference and to offer a central place to record changes, especially things like names and subplot details.
  • I enjoy seeing a word count build for a given chapter or chapter section. I makes me feel like I've accomplished ENOUGH on a given day and not so overwhelmed by the larger task of FINISHING the whole novel.
  • I like being able to move chapters around in a more graphic, cork board format, instead of the old cut-and-past which, for me, often results in becoming mired in micro-edits which I know I should really save for later.
  • It's a little bit just...fun!
If you've tried Scrivener, let me know via FB or Twitter -- I'd love to hear from more experienced scriveners!