Friday, 24 January 2014

Getting to Grips With Scrivener


"How's the novel going?" I keep being asked.
"It's not," I answer.

It's not that I've been idle. Over the last two weeks I have been busy writing the third instalment for my serial and planning the fourth. I have also written three short stories.

When I totalled up the fortnight's word count, I realised I had written nearly 14,000 words - which would have been around 1/6 of a novel if I'd put my mind to it. So the question is, why didn't I?

Apart from the aforementioned procrastination writing, there are two more reasons:

Firstly - I am still unsure of my novel idea. It worked well as a short story and I know it could be expanded into something much larger, but it contains quite a large element that I know little about and flouts any 'write about what you know rule'.

Secondly - I have been getting to grips with Scrivener. I decided that time spent now learning how to use it will be time saved later. I have completed the online tutorial... twice! The first time was slowly, so that I could really try and understand what it was about and the second time was to try to reinforce it a bit.

So what were my first impressions. Well, I think I'm going to like it... a lot.

It seems to do everything it says on the tin. Namely, keeping everything under one roof as it were. You can import anything you like (research material, stories, files, weblinks) and organise them in a way that suits you so that they are easily at hand.

Here is another feature I particularly like:

 
It's a virtual cork board showing your scenes. These can be moved around as you wish.
 
The tutorial was very easy to understand... even for a techie duffer like me. How good is this...
 
'Another one you will use frequently is the header view. See that bar at the top of the text, the one that has the arrows on the left of it and says “Step 2: Header View” in it? Well, that is the header view.'
 
... with instructions like that, even I could do it!
 
Anyway, unless I actually use it for my own project, I shall never know for sure if I like it - so I need to get on with it. But that will be next week... after I've written my stories!
 
Wish me luck.
 


18 comments:

  1. Have you done Gwen's class yet? It REALLY opens up all of the Scrivener windows and lets the light shine in. She wrote the "Scrivener for Dummies" book and has classes easy online classes coming up in February. Even if you are an expert, there is so much to learn. Here is the link to sign up:
    http://gwenhernandez.com/2013/12/19/scrivener-online-courses-now-open-for-registration/

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    1. You made it sound so good that I went across and enrolled for it! So far I'm the only Australian and I notice some of the classes are "live", so I guess I'll be up in the middle of the night, lol.

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    2. This is a great link, Susan - thanks. Please do let me know how you get on with the course, Parlance.

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  2. You're certainly working hard, Wendy! Thanks for sharing your experience of Scrivener so far - must admit it sounds quite good.

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    1. Will let you know more when I'm using it properly, Rosemary.

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  3. That sounds very interesting, Wendy. And those instructions sound great x

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    1. The instruction are pretty idiot proof, Teresa... they have to be with me using them!

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  4. Well done for testing this out, Wendy. I really like the cork board for scenes. I use coloured index cards but have a habit of dropping them all over the floor!

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    1. Yeo can even stick virtual pins in them, Tracy - so they don't fall!

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  5. Thanks, Wendy for sharing your experience with this program. I bought it months ago and didn't get my head around it, so now I'm going to sign up for the class Susan mentioned.

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    1. We'll have a competition to see who gets to grips with it first, Parlance.

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  6. I'm very good at writing one thing to avoid writing something else. At least it's poductive procrastination.

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    1. Yes, that's the way I looked at it, Patsy.

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  7. It all looks so interesting Wendy! I downloaded a trial, but have not got to grips with it really. I know I will spend far too long trying to master it, and therefore waste hours I could be writing. I think I'll stick with word (which I am STILL learning how to use effectively) and my masses of notebooks :) Keep us posted on your progress with it won't you?

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  8. Hi Wendy, good to hear how well are you doing writing-wise and with Srivener. I have tried to use Scrivener, got the free trial etc, because so many people I know use it and swear by it, but each time gave up cause got confused! Now, fter reading your post, I'm thinking maybe I should give it one last go ?!
    :)

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