Monday, April 13, 2009

Scrivener--Importing My MS

I decided to import my third MS/WIP into the Scrivener Program and play around with it. I know. I said I wasn't going to do it, but I took the plunge. First I did a blank, non-formatted document. Then I cut and pasted all my individual scenes into different folders. Then I called my CP and we spoke about it. She said she uses the Manuscript format. So I imported all I had worked on into the MS format for novels. Now I have folders and scenes cut and pasted but I am miffed because I have no idea how to use the program's specific formatted chapter headings and I've tried by playing around with various buttons and so forth, but to no avail.

A few things I found cumbersome:

*cutting and pasting (obviously) an entire doc into either the blank or formatted MS
*not being able to figure out how to add a "CHAPTER" formatted folder into the MS when if full edit mode
*not being able to get word count for total MS in MS format, but able to do this in Blank formatted doc (blah)
*clicking around from keynotes to the main body of the doc
*not sure how to undo erasing an entire amount of work as I was cutting and pasting, but easy to fix by going back to the imported scenes on blank format and copying and adding into the document later.

A few things I loved:

*seeing the notecards with the synopsis of each scene in the format as I worked. I wrote a synopsis for each scene (great memory tool!). It's easier to see how the story is progressing with these mini pictures on a cork board
*the ease I anticipate in the future of juggling the scenes
*working on an individual scene, focusing on the scene in it's own space before doing it in totality with the rest of the MS
*KEYNOTES -- while a pain to start them up, I have labeled each main character that is in the scene. I can go through and do a search for the characters and make sure there is balance or OOPS did I forget about one or three? I haven't done it for all of them, but as I revise I will add them in.
*I used the top of the scene card to note the setting in brief. Interesting to see where they are at a glance on the cork board view.

In a way, just going through the process of importing and reviewing each scene really set the stage for the next phase of this revision. The changes I make will be noted in the note cards. I think this will be easier to do from scratch, because less cutting and pasting, just adding and moving around. But the effort will be worth it. My CP LOVES it. And she and I write in similar styles, so far I see the benefits outweighing the negatives.

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