I HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT
HOW TO WRITE MORE FLUIDLY
So, I wasn’t going to do this, but I decided against it because of how impressed with this program I am.
I have been writing for over a year now, and for months I scoured the internet looking for a writing app that was truly for writers! Now, I know that there are apps that dumb down your editing settings and colors and everything else, but that’s not what I needed.
I wanted an app that was like driving a stick-shift — one that gave me total control over my writing. I mean, think about it: all artists have their unit that makes them better. Painters have their best brushes. Singers have their best microphone. Guitarists have their best guitar. Why shouldn’t writers have their best word processor?
What happened to me is that I stumbled upon an app that has really given me a lot of versatility. Now this is not a sales gimmick, and I do not benefit from this at all. The app is $40, and I’ll admit, I was hesitant at first, because I hate spending money only to realize that I got shafted.
Before we begin…
The name of the program is SCRIVENER, and here are the benefits:
PICTURES WITH WORDS
When I write, I need pictures to help me continue the story. When I wrote my last series, I realized that what slowed me down the most was not the development of the story itself, but it was having to pause to remember what something looked like.
With this app, you can add pictures into a folder that will allow you to see your images on a canvas with just one click. Now, instead of having to turn back 57 pages just to find out how I described something, I can just click on that image, and I’ll see it right away.
Not only that, those images have text templates associated with them such as description, role in story, special features, etc., and with these templates, you can add text into them so that you can easily recall your descriptions.
I use this feature for characters and for places. What’s great is that there is one set template for characters, and there is one set template for places.
If you don’t like the templates, then there is the option to use text-only instead.
Creating chapters is great in this app. You can create a text field on the left, and that is your chapter, and then you type inside of the word processor.
When you’re done, create another text field, and then you have another chapter. This is great, especially when you get 20 – 30 chapters in, because all you need to do is click on your chapter, and you can jump right to what you wrote.
One of my favorite features about this app is that in each chapter, there is a small box. In that box, you can type a few lines about what the chapter contains, and then you don’t have to reread the entire chapter to figure out what the heck happened and where.
This app also allows you to easily recall unique details about your story, if you so choose. I have a habit of forgetting my currency and how much things cost or what creatures produce certain wares.
With this app, I am able to add a text field in the left window pane so that I can click on that field to remember how much a leather coat costs or what type of animal makes the best meal in whatever part of the region.
This also works for mysteries if you need to remember where Dr. Lucabee placed the knife. And for thrillers, it may be that you need to remember a sequence of passcodes to get from one corridor to the next.
One of the great features about this app is that it assists with formatting for ebooks, which is a huge deal for indie writers, as we know.
I did not use this formatting feature for my Pioneers trilogy, and I will tell you what: I most certainly should have.
My first venture with formatting took me several days, reading and learning and etc. etc. On book 2, the formatting did not take as long, but I had to switch between two different word processors just to get it right. Book 3 will not be as much of a challenge, since I know the system.
But I tested Scrivener’s formatting feature with my new book, and it worked seamlessly! I was thinking, “What the heck did I get myself into with the other books since this program works so well??”
The down side to this formatting is that you have to tweak the settings a bit, because when you compile it, it leaves in some “#” signs at the chapter breaks. That said, even if you don’t want to mess with the settings, you could compile your document as a WORD file, search for “#,” and replace it with a page break.
This program does have its downside. At first it’s a bit overwhelming, because there are so many features.
In fact, I have barely scratched the surface with this app, because there are so many different things that can be done.
I have not been able to figure out how to do a global search & replace. I know how to do it within each chapter, but if I wanted to change a character’s name throughout the entire work, then I’m not sure how to do that yet.
I have not seen too many other negatives. The real problem is that there are just so many features, which really isn’t a bad thing.
Anyway, this is all a lot of technical mumbo-jumbo, but I hope this helps, if you were looking for an app that would assist you with your writing.
Thanks for stopping by!