Kinks in the Machine

The bug that forever exasperated the early computer forefathers has visited The Quill in its current form of software and cPanels. After much consternation, we are happily back on. Thank you for your patience and we will continue where we left off.

Have you written today?

Here is a good article to get your Muse in gear:

A bit of advise from Ernest Hemingway that fits perfectly with the Pomodoro Technique we spoke of here :

“The most important thing I’ve learned about writing is never write too much at a time,” Hemingway said, tapping my arm with his finger. “Never pump yourself dry. Leave a little for the next day. The main thing is to know when to stop. Don’t wait till you’ve written yourself out. When you’re still going good and you come to an interesting place and you know what’s going to happen next, that’s the time to stop. Then leave it alone and don’t think about it; let your subconscious mind do the work. The next morning, when you’ve had a good sleep and you’re feeling fresh, rewrite what you wrote the day before. When you come to the interesting place and you know what is going to happen next, go on from there and stop at another high point of interest. That way, when you get through, your stuff is full of interesting places and when you write a novel you never get stuck and you make it interesting as you go along.”

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. 😉