Scribbling with Scrivener

For the past few months, I have been trapped in the block writers dread. No matter what I did I couldn’t come up with a single word for my work in progress. I tried stepping away from the file. I threatened to bury the file. Neither of these offered me any peace of mind. Nothing was working for me. The only thing I could do was fret about staring at a blank page before me.

Then one of my comrades from my NHRWA group, Lisa Olech said, “Linda, why don’t you do some plotting. Did you plot your world out yet?”

My answer was no.

So I tried to plot the world. But then it dawned on me, maybe I need to do a lot more research before I can even start the world. I have to get back to the basics of writing what I know.

But I don’t know anything. Or so I thought.

I have a series that is waiting to be finished. I know the characters, I know – sort of – the world of this series (which is more than I know about the other work in progress). And, I know what the inciting incident is to get the next book off the ground floor.

Nope, I still don’t have any kind of word count to report. I have been doing as Lisa O suggested. I’ve been world building with setting sheets and character sheets.

In the meantime, I was sort of wasting my precious writing minutes while browsing around on Amazon, and I couldn’t help but notice Scrivener. I’ve heard a lot of nifty things about this program, but I had never used it before now since I have a windows machine and not an apple. Last year, as far as I knew, Scrivener was only for Macs and not for Windows, but alas, it is now available and I took the trial version.

The plotting Gods have answered my dreams!

Once I loaded the program I immediately found myself being prompted to check out the tutorial. Good Idea!

I had heard Scrivener being complicated to use, and I have to agree, it is. There are so many different features found in this program that I don’t know where to start. I think the best feature is the cork board followed close behind by the note cards. The way the program allows you to have multiple windows open for, say your plots and character cheat sheets without having to move the word processor around to accommodate the extra windows.

The other neat feature this program offers is the fact that when they say you have a 30 day trial they mean it. Trial days do not count the days you do not open the program. It only counts the times the program is opened. The creator of the program must feel pretty confident we will purchase the key code when our time is up.

Do you know what?

I will be getting mine. (Two thumbs up for Scrivener)

ROW80 Check In:

Lisa O will be pleased with me. I have most of the next Orgarlan Saga book plotted out and then some. I scoured through the first two books so that I could make a list of every character appearing in the story, even if they had a very minor part. Then I gave them wants, wishes, and fears.

The neat thing about Scrivener is how you can write in scenes, leaving a short synopsis of each scene on a note card. Then, when you are in the editing mode, you can rearrange these scenes just by click and drag to where you want it to be. Pretty nifty. No more cut and paste while editing. I like that.

With a little bit more of brainstorming, I should be good to go and get writing this story.

How are you doing on your work in progress?

Have you ever tried Scrivener?

Did you like it? Tell me what you did and did not like about the program. I’d love to hear about your experiences. Did it do what you were hoping it would do?

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About Linda Nelson

Linda Nelson is a writer, blogger, daytime worker and student of business management and social services. Her studies are taking up a significant portion of her time while she finishes up her associate's degree and begins working on her bachelor degree with the intent of acquiring her MBA for Human Resource Management. Linda is a member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). She is the author of Along Came Neil, a Young Adult Sweet-romance which is the last book in her Wings From Ashes trilogy released in 2013. Linda is working on other romances, but their release dates are still undetermined. Linda lives in Southern New Hampshire where she attends college at Franklin Pierce University. You can reach Linda at her website lindajnelson.com.

2 thoughts on “Scribbling with Scrivener

  1. I hear you. I have pages of notes for each of my works in progress. I tend to spew them all over my office and recollect them when the file is done. That is the only time I seem to organize my notes, when I’m not using them anymore.
    I’m hoping Scrivener will help me change my ways 🙂

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