Scrivener, Day 1

So now that my novel has come a-knocking, I figured I’d better get cracking with that writing software I wanted to check out. I checked out Liquid Story Binder, earlier this year, but it’s not really my kind of thing. Monday, I signed up for a trial of Scrivener, which has always sounded like a better bet for me (a more visual interface, a little less OpenSource look and feel [I’m for OpenSource, don’t get me wrong, it’s just not what I’m looking for in writing software, given that the price point for both, when I was looking at them both was identical.]) But I was making chutney (oh the canning I’ve been doing. Stand by for those tales!) and watching the Olympics, so I got really only as far as signing up on Monday.

Tuesday, I sat down with it, after making a not-too-elaborate dinner and walking the dog. I had the Olympics on, so maybe I’d have gone faster without them, but the Quick Start Guide took me at least a couple of hours to navigate— they promised the full user guide would be even more elaborate. I spent that time getting to know the software, and I like it. You can write full-screen, to minimize distractions, or you can view your structure as a corkboard while you write in another pane. You can keep it up in outline form or save media (including AV clips, photographs, PDFs, or other resource)s with your project so that they’re simultaneously available.

The scope of novel-writing has always daunted me— well, that and the persistent doubt that I had a big story inside me to tell (I do— that doubt has been lying to me to stop me from writing. And it worked for a really long time.) To me, Scrivener has a plan for managing infrastructure that I’ve found daunting, using an interface that makes sense to me. I really need to see things, to help mentally process interrelationships. I can boil it down to words once I understand it, but until then, I need to see it. With 50,000 words, theoretically (and let’s be honest, once I get rolling on this, not saying enough words is not going to be my issue), and a big, philosophical theme, I feel like I might need to see those relationships for longer. Remembering what chapter covers what and when we learn what seems like more than half the battle, for one so prone to rambling as I.

I’ll probably start putting my own information into Scrivener tonight, if I’m spared the grocery shopping as promised (she says she doesn’t need to go. I believe that [she seldom needs to go— she goes because she likes it], but I also believe she’s been taking advantage of my half-day Fridays to go grocery shopping on an unauthorized day, because she’s a rebel and feels like she’s pulling one over on me. It’s fine, but since it’s a summer-only benefit, my half-day Fridays are numbered, and I’m not actually going to sign them over for my least-favorite chore just because it’s not her least-favorite chore. I disclosed my more-fun plans for Friday [you can tell how much you like grocery shopping when “more fun” includes taking the dog for a bandage change and squeezing in an I-can-tell-from-here-it’s-not-nearly-going-to-be-long-enough trip to the art museum] and asked if she was sure she doesn’t want to shop tonight. She made a face. She gets Wednesday nights, or a quick trip if we happen to be out together— that’s the boundary) so we’ll see if I like it as much as I think I will.

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