Scrivening

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Scrivener is writing software that I have been using to work on the novel I am writing. If you are thinking of writing anything, I highly recommend it. Thanks, Andra, for the suggestion. It has been the best money I’ve spent in a long while.

screens2You can use it as a word processor, and you can use the corkboard feature and post index cards with ideas on them. You can easily shuffle and move things around either by cutting and pasting or dragging and dropping. What I have enjoyed the most is the scenes, places and characters features.

The town I am writing about is a fictional one, but I have based it on a real place. I was able to research the real town and pull information, links, photos, etc. right into  pages in Scrivener. I have a page for the town, the high school, stores, buildings, etc. wherever my characters go in the story. I can attach the locations to the chapters. I have found homes for sales in the area (with descriptions and pictures), and I’ve pulled those in and labeled them as the various characters’ houses.

My favorite part is the character pages. I searched online for a general description of what I had in my head; for example, someone’s mother was an “older female reddish hair, green eyes”. For each character I found a generic image. I purposely didn’t use any people that were known or had names and identities listed in the image I found. Then I built a personality, description, etc. to go with the image. The image is at the top of the page and the person/character’s description is below. I have found it so helpful to visualize my people, and my main characters’ images are also saved to the photos on my phone and I will often look at them for inspiration.

I am up to 25,000 words and am slowly building the story. I am sure it will go through multiple revisions along the way, but I do have an end goal in sight. That also has helped me to have the ending (or most of it) visualized and planned. That may change, too, but it helps to have a goal to work towards. I haven’t posted much here because the writing process has been consuming me. I will try to check in from time to time, and I do read other blog posts as I am able. I’m still here!

Image from https://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php

My Newest Obsession (Besides Squirrels)

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DSCN0788No, not the squirrel and not photography. Anyone who knows me knows I’ve loved squirrels for quite some time now. This is just my buddy eating her peanut snack yesterday while I stood out on the front porch, trying to catch a glimpse of the Blue Angels from my house. Unfortunately, all I could manage was one really far away shot as they looped around to make another pass over the airport. They don’t fly directly over my house apparently.

DSCN0796No, my newest obsession has become writing. After attending my first writers’ group meeting, I have been working on my novel. I have a pretty good idea for my book, and I’ve been just running with it. I was worried about where I was going though and what I would do when I ran out of steam. I have read suggestions about creating an outline. Outlines don’t work all that well for me; they never help me figure out what to write next. When forced to create an outline for school projects, I’d usually write the piece first and then create an outline after the fact. This morning I read an article that suggested I write the ending of the book first. What a great idea!

DSCN0800I sat down today and wrote most of the LAST chapter of my book. I was almost in tears as I wrote it – except I was smiling on the inside too much. It was such a relief to finally have it mapped out. It suddenly became so clear to me where I wanted to take the storyline. NOW I know where I am going, and I can continue writing the beginning and middle parts, knowing the destination that I have in mind. I can tweak things as I go along, but I’m happy with what I’ve decided.

DSCN0803I still have a children’s book starring the squirrels in mind, too. I wrote that one a couple of years back and never finished it. It’s just waiting for me to pick it back up again. Soon, my little squirrelly friends.

Writer’s Group – First Meeting

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That was interesting. It was also fun. I do have to admit that I felt like a bit of a fraud. I was in over my head. It was a group of approximately 10 people (if you count me, I believe there were 7 women and 3 men present). They were all older people. I was nervous, but I had it under control. The worst part was when I had to talk about myself (of course). I expected that, though.

They all knew who they were (as writers). Not all are published, but they had all written more than I have. One lady in particular was fairly successful – she’s written and published enough books to have purchased a second home in Florida on the waterfront where she spends half of her year.

I joined as a member, but I do feel a little out of my depth, and it wasn’t just the nerves taking over. I couldn’t really identify what it is that I write (or want to write) – it’s too much of an abstract for me yet. I will return for future meetings, and I really wanted to volunteer for something or contribute in a bigger way, but I don’t have enough experience yet. My hope is that I can learn from these nice people and maybe soak something up through osmosis.

surroundThe next meeting is what they call a critique meeting – there is no actual meeting; they just review each other’s writing samples. Unless I can write a lot more between now and then, I’m not sure I’ll go to that one, but we shall see. I’ve connected with some of them online, and I’ve signed up for various suggested newsletters, blogs and information.

In terms of my writing, I keep wondering if I should just write, or if I need to learn how to do it better first. There’s so much information out there on how to craft this and that, but most of it just serves to make me doubt myself more. Perhaps I should just write and then worry about making it perfect later on when I edit. I really want to do this. I just didn’t realize it was so hard.

Image courtesy of Pinterest

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