Is One Writing Software Able to Truly Go from Draft to Published?

writing software

writing softwareIf you are like me, you have tested every available tool for the various stages of your novel creation; outlining with mindmaps or Excel, using yWriter5 for outlining and then Word for writing the draft, the list goes on and on.Thanks to our friends across the pond we have an all in one software package. But is it really able to help writers compile their manuscripts into the formats they need?

 

I tested out Scrivener and compared it to all of the other writing software available on the market. Finally, this skeptic was convinced that for my hard earned money, this was the software I wanted on my laptop to hold my drafts and refashion them at each pass.  Do you see my writers tip to the right of this post? It is no longer necessary, as of last year, for me to open a different program as this software allows me to mark up my document and refer to the notes later.

 

The compiling functions and breadth of formats are amazing. Each person that I have read, reviewed a video for, or talked to uses Scrivener in a unique way. That shows you how powerful this tool is for writers. Some writers use mindmaps to outline and then import them into Scrivener. Mindmaps have been a large component of my writing life since they first appeared. But Scrivener does one better in providing you a live document for an outline within the program itself.

 

See the video from writer Karen Price to understand more how one writer uses the software and just how powerful this program is.

 

Scrivener is available now for Mac or Windows. I was able to get it with a $10 discount and use it for a month prior to paying to make sure I was satisfied with it. Literature and Latte is the website and people behind the development of this program. There is a very active forum for anyone who needs help with a specific question, and the tutorial you get is both extremely helpful and prompts you to start writing once you see the ability of the tool before you. In fact, I  started outlining writing one of my books before I was done with the tutorial; I just could not wait. Now that is a writer’s block solution.In addition, there are thorough videos for both Mac and Windows on the Literature and Latte page. Scrivener has templates for essays, novels and screenwriting. You can also download templates for all types of projects from the press page.

 

binder and research

Scrivener puts everything you need for structuring, writing and editing long documents at your fingertips. On the left of the window, the “binder” allows you to navigate between the different parts of your manuscript, your notes, and research materials, with ease. Break your text into pieces as small or large as you want—so you can forget wrestling with one long document. Restructuring your draft is as simple as drag and drop. Select a single document to edit a section of your manuscript in isolation, or use “Scrivenings” mode to work on multiple sections as though they were one: Scrivener makes it easy to switch between focussing on the details and stepping back to get a wider view of your composition.

With access to a powerful underlying text engine, you can add tables, bullet points, images and mark up your text with comments and footnotes. Format as you go using the format bar at the top of the page, or use any font you want for the writing and let Scrivener reformat your manuscript after you’re done—allowing you to concentrate on the words rather than their presentation.

 

 

Note; You can find the Kindle preview tool. You can find that for free here .

 

Julie Kenner has a many terrific videos on her YouTube channel. This one on Scrivener which is one of the best out there as it is to the point and shows how Scrivener can be more powerful than Word when working with your live draft. I highly recommend subscribing to her YouTube page.

 

My favorite area of Scrivener is the corkboard. This is where the  magic and power of the software is keenly felt and seen.

 

powerful writing tool

The cork notice-board is one of the writer’s most familiar organisational tools. Before Scrivener, though, the index cards were not connected to anything; any alterations made to the sequence of cards on the corkboard would have to be replicated manually in the draft. In Scrivener, every document is attached to a virtual index card onto which you can jot a synopsis; moving the cards on Scrivener’s corkboard rearranges their associated text in your draft. Mark common themes or content using labels, or stack cards, grouping related documents together. Scrivener’s corkboard gives you the flexibility of a real notice-board while automatically reflecting any changes you make in your manuscript.

 

(I also suppose that since I started writing using 3×5 cards, this is the virtual equivalent…but certainly not as powerful!)

 

The Outliner Tool as well is more right brain to my way of thinking:

writing tools

 

So why the funny name? Well, this goes to the key of what the software is about.

Scrivener’s innovative “Scrivenings” mode allows you to move smoothly between editing your document one piece at a time or together as a whole. It’s up to you how small—or large—you want to make the individual sections of your manuscript: novelists can write each scene in a separate document or whole chapters as one; scriptwriters can work scene-by-scene or act-by-act; academics can break down their ideas into individual arguments. However finely you break up your work, Scrivenings mode allows you to collect the constituent components into a single editor, so that you can edit them as though they were all part of one document: in Scrivener, you’re only ever a click away from seeing the forest or the trees.

 

Hope you try it if it’s not on your computer already. It beats the quill. 😉

Other Lives, Other Loves

This is a piece of mine that I shared on my more personal site. As I have a handicap, I thought I’d share it with you. If you followed me on both websites, you will be acquainted with this one

Other Lives, Other Loves

 

I was reading today a beautiful piece of writing sent to me in Brad Listi’s latest newsletter. If you haven’t yet acquainted yourself with The Nervous Breakdown, it’s a crying shame.

It reminded me of my first true love. A man with a red corvette, curly brown hair and a heart of pure gold. We lived a long-distance relationship throughout our college years. Many trips from either of our college towns down the nine-hour drive to a large southern city populated with either Limos or Toyota Corollas and, for a few weeks a year, one red corvette and two people in love.

During our summer breaks, I spent many a day or evening at his college-town apartment; until 11 pm or three am-if we fell asleep in each others arms. He was the quiet shield from the beatings at home of one parent or the crass treatment by a step-mother that only wanted me gone. She got her wish; mine were not granted. Truth is slayed by hatred so often.

He has a family now, and that door has been shut to me long ago Though, for a minute, I allow myself to wonder what our life would have been like to entwine into each others limbs as the evening turned into night, and we grew closer through the years. What would our baby we lost to miscarriage have looked like? His chin, my ears, his feet, my hands. The minute has ended, and I must deal with the truth of today and count my blessings. My friends, my faith, the strength I have to fight each minute of pain. Nothing would stop me from working before, and nothing will stop me from working through this dying disease today.

The minute has passed, and I must deal with today. I count my blessings and move through the pain. Happy that it is in my bones but not my heart. That pain would be too much to bear.Those questions I also look at askance. Lot’s wife taught us not to look backward No matter how much it hurts to move forward in this body, at least it is moving ahead.

Regrets? Yes, many. But I only acknowledge them peeping at me from the corner of my eyes. There is no point at looking them straight on. I must gather my strength and keep my faith for the current fight; alone, with this disease and its unending pain.

Count your blessings and be happy for what you have. Be happy in your heart for who you have become and, whatever war you face today; keep strong and carry on.

Can Anyone Give Me a Hand?

espejo

 

 

(from http://thepointofthequill.wordpress.com/?p=554&preview=true)

 

It is time for me to roll out the red carpet for my awards ceremony thanks to TLN and his award. I will have to wait a bit though as I have had an injury of sorts.

Before I go further, I want to thank the beautiful Cheryl Moore for dedicating part of her ongoing story to me. She writes and draws at Unbound Boxes Limping Gods , an incredible work in progress. Both her words and artwork are a dream. I had written her after being transfixed with a drawing of one of her characters, Ancille , that seemed to me to move off the page, so enlivened was her artwork. The amazing thing is she thanked me for her work of art. How that generosity of spirit manifests is itself a thing of beauty. Thank you, Cheryl.

I haven’t written lately due to a hand injury. I had lost the use of my dominant hand. I couldn’t will a finger up if I tried. Now there is a revolving door of sweet nurses, talented physical therapists, occupational therapists; and I must leave shortly for a doctor’s appointment.

Thanks to an angel of a friend, I have now Dragon, the speech-to-text software which still is trying to learn the funny ways of my speech and thanks to a dear friend, Jen, a wonderful headphone and mic. Thank you, Jen.

The hand is getting better, but it has been very frustrating. This happened just after I was accepted with a scholarship to The Story Cartel. I am reminded of the injury my brother sustained as a violinist when he broke a wrist bone. He went into a severe depression due to his limitations. Though my reaction has been somewhat different, there have been periods of, well, even a writer finds it hard to find words for the abysmal feelings we must fight against as if our very soul depends upon it. In many ways, I believe it does; our soul must create, and any wall we encounter to that goal seems higher as our spirit is crushed further. My fight has been both physical and spiritual; but I am fighting. I am fighting the good fight, as a writing friend has stated.

Though it sounded quiet Freudian to me, it turned out to be an autoimmune reaction; as it was explained to me. The circuits between the hand and brain just stopped. Okay. Whatever; I just wanted my hand back. It was quite timely as May is the month of Lupus Awareness Month. Ironically, the Lupus Association decided this year that a symbol of awareness and solidarity for a cure would be to hold your right hand up in an L-shape. I just had to laugh as this disease is nothing if not ironic.

I must go to the dreaded doctor, but I will be back to post more and will be visiting all of you as I have missed you. Be well and happy.

Image credit: Agustín Ruiz via Compfight  

Are You a Self-Published Author? Can Your Readers Find Your Book?

72/365 - And Your Point Is?

Helga Weber via Compfight

 

First, I am working on a multi-part series on self-publishing concentrating on the marketing of your book.

I can tell you from authors I know, this is still a topic they are learning, even after going through the process themselves.

The series I’m working on is just the best of the marketing articles for self-published authors. This alone takes days and days to compile. For instance, the first day, I began at seven a.m. and, minus phone interruptions, didn’t stop until two a.m. I am fast with my research methods so that tells you how much material is out there.

An email I received today from Digital Book World, however, couldn’t wait.

DBW is running a webinar on the tools to make your e-book stand out in a very crowded marketplace. The webinar is summarized:

Finding Books Without Borders: Discoverability in a Digital and Social World

There has never been a shortage of books published. Digital is leading to an explosion in titles available as books no longer go out of print and as the barriers to getting published are coming down leading to a much greater output of new titles.

The challenge? Finding that perfect book, that book that grips and entertains us, that books we put down with a sense of satisfaction when we have reached the last page.

Online presents new opportunities for discovering books, but also challenges for a book to get discovered, for it to get picked out of the millions of other titles available. At the moment, online discovery is probably far more challenging than the discovery paths we are used to in the physical world, be it a book shop or library.

Join Digital Book World for a webcast exploring how readers find what to read next and how authors find an audience in the digital and social world.

The webcast runs on May 14th and information can be found on this page.

Please look for updates included in the post http://thepointofthequill.com/bring-your-writing-to-life-closer-to-publishing/