Yoda, Wise He Is

Lest you think this is going to be a philosophical post, or even a commentary on current events, allow me to disabuse you of that notion. Not that we don’t occasionally stray into more thoughtful subjects, one of those occasions this is not. Sorry. I’ll stop.

No, this is about how K R  Brorman, S A Young and I are going to be taking part in an online seminar this afternoon to learn how to use Scrivener to better advantage.

Years ago, we did our first NaNoWriMo  and part of that insane idea worthwhile undertaking allowed us to acquire Scrivener software* at a significant discount. Scrivener is an application created and sold by Literature and Latte. It’s a rich and powerful program that allows a writer (whether a novelist or a PhD student) to compose, organize and publish long and complex documents. When we first got it, I spent a lot of time with the tutorials, which are excellent by the way. I think my first project was pretty well organized, and I used many of the available tools for keeping track of notes, ideas, research, character bios, etc. It really is user friendly. You just have to use it … As time has gone by, I’ve been backsliding. I still use it for composing, organizing scenes and chapters and keeping a place for my character bios and backstories, but some of the cool tricks have fallen by the wayside.

We three also love the “compile” feature that allows one to compile into a Word document some or all of the manuscript. We’ve used this function regularly when we gather for our periodic retreats. Compile the doc, take the thumb drive to Staples, have them print three copies of the manuscript and we’re ready to roll.

It’s also a handy tool when we need to circulate some or all of a manuscript for each other to review, add material, edit or proofread. The trick is for the responsible writer to remember to overwrite the Scrivener sections with the new, modified work resulting from this round robin. Which is what I need to do right now, before I forget, with the first several chapters of Winter’s Thaw that we’ve been working on lately.

For collaborations, such as we’ve been engaged in, Scrivener is perfect. We can share entire project files with each other, either by email or in Dropbox as a backup. Always good to have backups, as anyone who’s lost a major document into the ether can attest.

Fast forward to today! There is a one-hour, online course this afternoon on how to maximize our use of the features of Scrivener. We will all be there. Virtually.

I’m actually looking forward to getting way more out of Scrivener! Now maybe we can find an online course to help us with Hemingway

* This is not a sales pitch, although we definitely recommend Scrivener!