A few days ago I wrote a novel in a day. A whole novel, in a single day.
I say “I”, but it’s only fair to point out that I had some help. Twenty-five of us got together and – over the course of twenty-four hours – produced “Made Man”, a 55,000 word tale of mafia life in 1960s Las Vegas.
Writing a novel can be difficult. The very act of staring at a blank page and then coming out with intricately woven stories can be an arduous task. And, if that wasn’t enough, after you finish writing your novel, you have to organize your manuscript, format it, and then mail it to your agent. Oh, what a pain!
Though we can’t help you with the writing part, we can definitely suggest some tools that will help you better organize your manuscript. These tools, which work perfectly on Linux, let you write your novel, organize it, and then format it according to publishing standards. Moreover, they also let you compile your manuscript and export it into multiple formats by the push of a button. So, once you finish writing your novel, you can simply click a button and your novel will be ready to be published on Amazon bookstore and many other online e-book stores.
When the first version of Scrivener for Windows came out in 2011, I put off following up on it because I was busy, and because it was the first version, but last fall I decided to take the plunge. Even though I’ve only scratched the surface, I’m glad I did. I have always been a very linear writer, and I think that’s largely because of the structure imposed by a novel-length file in any word processing program. Scrivener breaks a project into manageable pieces, and lets you work on them in any order without losing control of the whole. The option of jumping easily from one section (or scene) to another is one of the features I am fast coming to love in Scrivener.
I’m always refining my routine to keep my writing on target. Arguably the most important component is the software that I use, and I’ve tried everything from Microsoft Word and iA Writer for fiction, to Final Draft and Screenwriter for scripts.
Anybody who’s remotely paying attention should know that I love Scrivener. I’m near evangelical about its virtues for everything from novel-writing to blog-touring to academic blah organizing. (Yes, my academic blahs need to be organized.)
But there’s something that happens to me when I write in Scrivener. It’s so easy to start a new file that I end up with a file for every little bit of half-way coherent prose (I’m talking new files for single sentences, folks). Things get so fragmented that I feel like I need a vacuum cleaner to gather it all together again.
Fantasy writer James Eggebeen is offering a class on the use of Scrivener in managing a full-length fantasy novel. For details, read on:
Next week, I am doing a class on how to use Scrivener for fiction writing. The class shows not only how to use the various features of Scrivener, but how I use them to outline and manage the writing of a full length fantasy novel.
I belong to a writer’s group that meets weekly. I always tell them how much Scrivener helps me write so they asked me to demonstrate. After the class, I will post the handout (Scrivener notes and screen shots) on my web site for anyone who wants them.
If you are interested, drop me a line and I’ll let you know when they are available.
I have been having a blast with Scrivener! It is the best app for creative writing in the history of apps. Worth every single penny you would have to spend! The layout of chapters is great, you can add extra pages to add at the beginning of your novels, you can add character traits and development, you can give information about locations. It is fracking awesome! Basically better than sliced bread.