I’m taking a fantastic course on Scrivener, a software program for writers, given by Gwen Hernandez. In the second week we’ve covered:
- more about the inspector (i.e., the third section on the far right of the screen that has lots of things in it, like the Synopsis)
- the editor (i.e., the center part of the screen where you do your writing)
- full screen mode (that’s when all you see is the editor but you can access everything else easily)
- adding annotations, comments, and footnotes
- and other cool features and settings, like how to highlight sections in different colors and later search for them (i.e., perfect for the Margie Lawson fans)
The Moment I Knew (Day 11)
I wanted to look at a setting description of a cafe I used in my first Maggy book, while I wrote a similar description for the same place in the second book. I was concerned about: consistency, believability…all that good stuff. I didn’t want the music played in the background, or the color of the table clothes to change. I wanted to create a place that’s comfortable for the reader to re-visit – an immutable setting.
No problem, I’ll just split the screen, I thought. Put one piece of text below while I write on top. But you can’t do that in Word. That’s something you do in Scrivener. Hmmmmm. I sat back, and mentally slapped myself. I’m typing in Word and thinking in Scrivener. Now, that’s not a good thing. It’s like thinking in French and speaking in English. You can order some really bad wine that way.
But I didn’t want to change. Not yet. I wanted to be really sure before I made the jump, so I cut and paste a couple paragraphs from book one into book two and worked them over. The system was fast and didn’t take that long, but I knew the split screen would have been better. And better yet, having the setting description in the research folder of my Scrivener binder would have been the best option of all.
So that was my turning point. I’m now writing happily in Scrivener. I’m a total convert.
My daughter told me that it’s written by a man who started out as a programmer, became a writer, and then decided to write a program for writing. If you’re interested in writing software for fiction or non-fiction it’s worth looking at.
Note: Go here to find my comments about my first week with Scrivener.
Have you had turning points lately?