LOOKING FOR WINNERS!
Celia Fowler, are you there? You were a winner of WHAT YOU SEE! Email me soon at h ryan at whdh dot com …or we’lI have to award it to someone else..
AND THE WINNER OF Linda Fairstein's DEVILS BRIDGE IS: Jennifer Gray! And the winner of Terminal City is: skkorman Please contact me a h ryan at whdh dot com with your address by today, please, or we’ll pick other winners!
This used to just absolutely drive me nuts, let me tell you. Well, it still drives me nuts, but I'm working on my third novel using the writing software Scrivener, and it has made a huge difference.
I used to do a chapter/scene outline in Word. (I still do a bit of that, but not nearly as much, and I use it more for brainstorming than for keeping up with where I am.) So, say for example, I had a scene with Duncan in Chapter 4 of a book, and Duncan doesn't show up again until Chapter 6. In order to keep track of exactly what happened in the last scene so that it synced with the new one, I could either look at my chapter/scene outline (not very accurate because scenes seldom play out exactly the way I've outlined them beforehand) or I could scroll back through pages of text or manuscript trying to find where the heck I was. (Are you cross-eyed?)
Now, the cool thing about Scrivener is this. Let's start with the whole screen. This is your Binder, which is your project, or in our case, your book. (This is To Dwell in Darkness, so don't worry, no spoilers for #17.)
See the outline pane on the left hand side in the photo below?
(This is a snippet from Kincaid/James #17, by the way. I always write in chapter/scenes, but this part can be organized any way you like.) When I mouse over scenes that are already written, or even scenes that I have just outlined on the index cards (see the right hand side of the screen) the little index card synopsis pops up and tells me exactly what was in that scene.
Now, see the little index card at the top right? (It's called the Inspector. I have no idea why.) This is where you put your synopsis, and this is what shows up when you mouse over the left hand side. Once a scene is written, I can change that synopsis to make sure the action matches what actually happened in that scene. This makes it so easy to keep track of the characters and the action! (My index cards always start with the day, time of day, and the viewpoint.)
You can put lots of things in your Binder besides Chapter/Scenes (or however you organize your material. See in the photo below, you can make a place for characters, research, timelines, notes...the possibilities are endless.
You can also put your index cards in a cork board format and rearrange them, and all sorts of other neat things, but that's enough info for now.
Scrivener is a powerful program that can be used for many kinds of projects other than writing novels, so I highly recommend David Hewson's Writing a Novel with Scrivener. This little e-book gave me the courage to dive into Scrivener, and I'm so glad I took the plunge.
(Scrivener was originally designed for Macs but works fine with PCs, too.)
So, dear REDS, what do you think? (Clear as mud?) Would it work for you? It really is so easy once you get the hang of it.
And READERS, when you're reading, do you wonder how writers keep up with what's going on in their stories?