Friday, November 11, 2011

Scrivener - the Word Processor for Writers

Like all writers, I've got a hard drive full of puzzle pieces - notes, photos, quotes, character sketches, plot points, calendars and so forth.

Referencing them is a chore - but what day did that even happen? And what was that character's motivation again??

A few days ago I saw a post on 'The Passive Voice' blogs about a program for writers called Scrivener. It is a converted Mac program - which will tell you that it is heavy on the visuals.

Literature and Latte.com is the home of this curious creature - a combination database and word processor that will 'print' a document to e-Pub or PDF OR it will keep all your research in a single file.

For example: The Dark Harbor Series

I have photos of the Harbor, the Iroquois, Mother of Sorrows Church scattered on my hard drive. I also have notes on haunted places in Ashtabula - Chestnut Grove cemetery and the Great Train Disaster. I've got sites saved, somewhere on my messy Favorites or Bookmarks in 3 different browsers.

Scrivener allows me to paste ALL that information under 'Research' which has a cute little cork board where all this stuff is visible at a glance.

I've only had this marvelous toy for a few days. Long enough to spend a couple hours sorting the Dark Harbor series notes into something I can actually GET when I want it.

What if I had the cover art, advertising blurbs, author bio of all my books on a cork board where I could see it, cut  it and paste it? Wouldn't that make it easier than clicking through folders, thinking 'where DID I put that?'

Even if it proves to be too unwieldy for finishing up a novel, a cork board is a great place to store ideas, darlings, web addresses and photos.

Oh, yeah the cork board becomes an outline as soon as you click a different button, and I can move scenes around by drag and drop. I can also label chapters 'first draft,' 'revised draft,' or 'final draft' so I can see what needs work and what is farther along.

All this and a bag of chips - for the reasonable price of $40.

I'm in love!

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