At best guess, I’m 6,000 words from completing my third novel. I’ve been at this point for the past three weeks. Beyond, at one time. I’ve added, deleted, revised, rewritten. I moved the fifth chapter to the beginning, deleted the entire third chapter, and combined two others.
I’ve mapped numerous bright orange post-its across a magnetic board near my workspace, rearranging events and inserting new characters and plot points. I’ve scribbled lines of illegible notes inside my marble composition book. My desk is a disaster of index cards and post-its. Reading over some of my notes, I wonder why I wrote them. What did I mean by she needs new shoes first?
So I caved. I admitted defeat. I joined the present day. See my post on Organizing.
I purchased the highly touted Scrivener app. (Hard to resist at 50% off.)
Good buy? After making my way through 30% of the 23-step tutorial, I’m wondering if the program can help my current project. After all, if I were to employ Scrivener now, I’d need to type up all these crazy notes. I’d need to discern which are about character, setting, theme, and so on. Not an impossible task, but still time-consuming.
Finish this book and save Scrivener for my next, you say? Perhaps.
In the meantime, here's what I like about the tutorial and some of what I've learned thus far.
1. The tutorial is lengthy, but it's reader friendly.
2. It employs the “I do, we do, you do” teaching method – gentle hand-holding and encouragement for you to try.
3. You can make mistakes (in the ‘you do’ time, your practice does not delete the original tutorial).
4. There are many bells and whistles, but you choose which to blow, ring, or ignore.
5. The writer uses gentle humor and intuits when your cup has runneth over. In fact he encourages you to get a cup of tea at that point and have a break.
We’ll see how much further I get into the tutorial before next week. There’s always a struggle to balance writing and learning. I’m hoping Scrivener eventually provides that balance for me. Isn't that what its icon suggests?
Have you tried Scrivener? I'd love to hear your impressions. What do you like? What works? What doesn't?