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.
You 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!