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Writing Tips: Scrivener

SCRIVENER:

Unless I’m wrong, I’m guessing that most of you write with a word-processor, most likely, Microsoft Word.  I started there too and couldn’t fault it for short stories and poems.  But, when I got stuck into my novel and a fellow writer suggested I try Scrivener, I reluctantly decided to give it a try.

I didn’t want anything to take me away from writing, but apparently Scrivener would help me to organise everything (index cards, notes, character CV’s, PDF’s etc) into one place for easy access – and it does!  You get to create virtual index cards, stack and shuflle them until you get them in the order you want and then pin them on your virtual corkboard.

Admittedly, it does take a couple of hours to get to grips with it, but once you do, you get to reap the rewards.  Microsoft Word is still necessary, in my opinion, but Scrivener works at pulling everything together for novel writing and makes it easier to keep track of all those missing scraps of paper and pages of notes.

You type your novel in the main screen while, at the same time, you can see your chapter titles on the left of the screen.  Scribbled notes and comments on the chapter you’re working on appear on the right of the screen.  The function that I love most; is where you can have a narrow window running side-by-side with your current chapter.  Here you can view whichever chapter you need to scan over to ensure that you’re familiar with what you had written earlier.  It saves having to scroll through pages and pages of Word to find exactly what you need.

I would recommend downloading the trial version.  You can find it here.  This allows you 30 days of actual use to try it out – so if you only use it two days a week, it lasts fifteen weeks.  I found it so great, that after two weeks I bought it – at $40 it’s a steal!

You can then export your finished novel into a wide variety of file formats, including Microsoft Word, PDF and HTML or even self-publishing formats.

If you’ve tried Scrivener already, please comment.  If you haven’t then give it a try and let me know what you think.

Writing Tips: Books

BOOKS  ON  WRITING:

Since I began writing some years ago, the one thing that has astonished me, is how giving, every writer I have met has been.  It doesn’t seem to matter if it is a writer, at the top of their game, with a bundle of published books on the shelves or someone on the bottom rung of the writing ladder. I’m sure I’m not the only one who pounces on these nuggets of information, shared by these wonderful people, especially when they seem to be especially relevant to my writing at that particular moment in time.  What better place to share with fellow writers than here! Hopefully, with your help, this post will grow and we will all pick up even more helpful tips and advice to push us to the top of that ladder.  To get started, I’ve included books on writing but watch out for future posts I’m currently compiling, on software tools and general tips:

‘The New Author’ by Ruby Barnes
A self-help guide to novel writing, publishing as an independent ebook author and promoting your brand using social networks.

 

 

 

Eats, Shoots & Leaves‘ by Lynne Truss
The zero tolerance approach to punctuation.

Eats, Shoots & Leaves


‘The Five-Minute Writer
‘ by Margret Geraghty
Exercise and inspiration in creative writing in five minutes a day.

On Writing‘ by Stephen King
A memoir of the craft.

Cover of "On Writing: A Memoir of the Cr...

 

 

 

 

How To Write Damn Good Fiction‘ by James N Frey
Advanced techniques for dramatic storytelling.

How To Write A Thriller‘ by Scott Mariani
This book is designed to help aspiring thriller writers to create exciting, suspenseful novels and to give you the best chance of getting your work published and into the bookshops.

Cover of "How to Write a Thriller"

Write And Get Paid For It‘ by Terry Prone

From Pitch To Publication‘ by Carole Blake
Everything you need to know to get your novel published.

Cover of "From Pitch to Publication: Ever...

‘The Author’s Toolkit’ by Mary Embree
A step-by-step guide to writing and publishing your book.

‘Becoming A Writer’ by Dorothea Brande
As recommended by @maryjoburke1
A reissue of a classic work originally published in 1934 on writing and the creative process, Becoming A Writer recaptures the excitement of Dorothea Brande’s creative-writing classroom of the 1920’s.

‘Elements of Style’ by Strunk and White
– As recommended by @n_appleton
First published in the 1930’s and considered classic and timeless by many. Mentioned as a must by Stephen King in his book ‘On Writing’.

Cover of "The Elements of Style, Fourth E...

How Not To Write A Novel‘ by Sandra Newman & Howard Mittelmark
– As recommended by @gutterbookshop
200 mistakes to avoid at all costs if you ever want to get published.

Write Away‘ by Elizabeth George
– As recommended by @JanetOkane
“Here’s what I tell my students on the first day when I teach one of my creative writing courses: You will be published if you possess three qualities — talent, passion, and discipline.”

Cover of "Write Away: One Novelist's Appr...

Getting The Words Right‘ by Theodore A Rees Cheney
– As recommended by @JanetOkane
39 ways to improve your writing.

Write To Be Published ‘ by Nicola Morgan
– As recommended by @JanetOkane
The Crabbit Old Bat whips you into shape and helps you make a publisher say ‘Yes’.

Writing Fiction‘ by Janet Burroway
– As recommended by @ValerieSirr
A guide to narrative craft.

The Writer’s Handbook Guide to Crime Writing‘ editor Barry Turner
– As recommended by @arlenehunt
With advice from Val McDermid, Ian Rankin, Tony Strong and Minette Walters.

The Art of Fiction‘ by John Gardner
– As recommended by @MWheelaghan
Notes on craft for young writers.

I’d love to hear your comments and any recommendations which can be added to this ever-growing list.

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