A little help from my friends…

June 14, 2010

Categories: Scrivener

I am in love with Scrivener. I used the corkboard feature when writing my last book, Hostage, but for my latest book, Six, I have started to tap into its real capabilities. I have yet to discover the real strength of the program but there are two features that I am loving at the moment.

The first feature is the ability to type in a document while the rest of the screen is blanked out. It’s just you and the page, no little icons at the top of the page telling me the time, telling me whether my Internet is linked etc etc. Just me and the page. If I want to I can pull my mouse over the bottom of the page I can get information if I want to.

The second feature, the one I really love, is the statistical information window that I can keep open while I’m working, setting a projected number of words to write per session and watching the bar in the overall projected number of words for my project inch towards my destination. It’s kind of like having a little friend on my shoulder, urging me to keep my seat for just 100 more words (or 1000).

It’s also easier to toggle between chapters — including character profiles — and return to the spot you were working on, or to check on a map that I’ve turned into a jpg and dragged into the program. You can also link the chapters and edit it as a whole document, then toggle back to chapters again.

Writing can be a solitary occupation. Which is why it’s always good to have a little help from a friend…

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If only life were like Scrivener…

November 16, 2008

Categories: Chris Miles, Lili Wilkinson, Scrivener, writing

For anyone who hasn’t used the software program Scrivener, it’s a little like the amazing gadget in the Adam Sandler film Click. When Adam couldn’t be bothered sitting through a family dinner because he wanted to get on with his project, he just forwarded through the event to where he wanted to be. In the same way, Scrivener allows the writer to jump from one scene to another, while keeping the two scenes completely separate. My first fumblings at writing were short stories and I relied on my memory if I had an idea about a character or the plot line. Years down the track, and some longer stories later (and the filing system in the memory banks now full of useful information like all the words for American Pie, how to make a health cake with five ingredients, and the postcode for every suburb I have ever worked in), saw me making notes at the end of a MS word document as ideas interrupted my story flow. After recommendations from some fellow writers (Lili Wilkinson and Chris Miles take a bow) I finally took the plunge and looked at the Scrivener software. Am a babe in the woods at present, but I’m already liking the corkboard and scene cards that can be colour-coded, additional notes added to, images added to etc. Kind of like the Click machine, but using it for good instead of evil…

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