Sunday, April 12, 2009

Scrivener--The First Step into a New Program

I got turned onto Scrivener by my CPs back in NoVA when they got their MACs. I loved the index card format and the way they could shift scenes on screen at a glance. Very very cool stuff. And it suits my style of writing as I am big into index cards and I like creating character profiles and more before I start my first draft. Every since I saw that program, I've coveted one. And then my daughter got the Macbook Pro as an 8th grade graduation gift and a "sorry we're moving you away from all your friends and your life bribe." And then I REALLY WANTED A MAC. But the HP stayed alive almost one more year. 

Now the death of the wireless card has set me free.

Loaded the Scrivener onto the computer on Friday. Instead of using my current WIP to learn the program's bells and whistles, I decided to play around with a crazy YA idea I've had for about a year and input my ideas as they came, randomly, onto the index cards and into the program. As it builds, I'll learn more about how to utilize the program. After I finish my WIP and query it, I will start using Scrivener to begin revising my 4th MS and I'll let you all know how that goes. I will start by inputting all my index cards and then add my scenes -- after I import the written document from my memory stick.

Scrivener seems intuitive to me, except without anyone else showing me the bells and whistles, there have been a few "learn by doing" mistakes. I accidentally lost a few index cards when I pushed a button. Oh well. But the "trash" doesn't empty automatically so I didn't really lose them. And the tutorial kept talking about a "snapshot" you can take of your work, but I didn't see that feature on the program. I'll look at the tutorial again and maybe this time I'll retain the information.

So far I have set up 6 cards. Each card can be custom labeled and given a color. I have character cards--attached to the main page next to the index card onscreen, concept cards, and cards about the specific subject matter. Each are color coded and each are labeled. You can see the entire set of cards on a corkboard via the "draft" button. That allows you to see the story as it is building at a glance. You can see it as an outline or each page individually. I will add scene cards as they come to me. Eventually I will need to separate out the categories so that all the scene cards are in their own document (I think). 

Stay tuned. I plan to add a few more cards/pages to my playing around story tonight. And after I get my 4th MS into the Scrivener program, I think it'll be fun to share how the process unfolds.

Happy Easter to Everyone!


MaryC said...

Thanks, Christine. Maybe I'll give it a try since my notes on the WIP are way out of control. I've been using Google Docs so I can switch easily between laptop and desktop but that's not helping with the organization.

Good luck to you.

Christine said...

Mary; I just took the plunge and imported my current MS WIP document into Scrivener--quite possibly insane of me but an interesting way to avoid truly revising -- yet -- and to see the story in a different format.

I went through and made each scene stand alone. I accidentally cut and lost two scenes, but I copied and pasted them back into the document from my original doc on my memory stick. I numbered each scene and am going back into the doc to label the cards/synopsize each scene.

I am calling my CP to ask how she is tracking her characters. She lovers it. I think if we give it a whirl, it'll help us in the future!

I will blog about my experiences tomorrow