Sunday, July 28, 2013

My "Harriet the Spy" Spirals

A month or so ago I grabbed a download of Scrivener when Amazon had it on sale for 1/2 price. I was in the middle of editing my finished manuscript and 10k words into my current WIP so I did nothing with it. I still haven't even "taken it out of the box." It just sits there on my desktop, winking at me. But, I didn't buy Scrivener to just be eye candy, I want him to be my really hot mechanic. You know, someone who can help me take things apart, put them back together, and have my MS running like a well-oiled machine. So, to that end, I signed up for an on-line class from my local RWA chapter, "Demystifying Scrivener." The class runs the month of August and I'm pretty excited to see how it works and if it'll be helpful.

I've heard it even has virtual index cards, and since I use the index card method to plot my sounds like it should work for me. Now, no matter how much I ramp up my technology, there is still one thing I don't think I'll ever change. I like to jot ideas for scenes and brainstorm in spiral notebooks. I really do. I'm pretty sure I can track my love of spiral notebooks back to the book, Harriet the Spy. I loved that book when I was young! Usually, I just use leftover spiral notebooks from my kids at the end of a school year. They always finish a semester with notebooks only 1/2 (or often less) full. So, I just rip out their used pages and use what blank paper is left. It saves on the guilt of throwing perfectly good paper away. Sometimes though, I splurge and buy something fun for the start of a new book like puppies, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or the PowerPuff Girls.

I'm thinking of transferring the 10k of my current WIP onto Scrivener when the class starts. I don't want it to slow down my writing though, so if it's too hard to pick up, I'll wait until starting my next MS.  I'll probably know the 1st week of class if that's a good idea or not. Anyone else used Scrivener and have any tips or opinions?


  1. If it is important to you to keep your prior formatting intact, then I would recommend against importing. Scrivener primarily shines when you have not yet started any formatting at all.

    If you do decide to import into Scrivener, there are two major choices. One is the automatic route. You choose "Import and Split" tell Scrivener what your section divider is (by default it split at each Paragraph).

    The other which is my favorite is Split with Selection as Title.

    I have sent an invitation to your Google Plus account for the Scrivener User community on Google Plus:

  2. Thanks, Shewmaker! I think I'll take your advice and not import. At least until I've worked with it for awhile. Thank you for the invite to the Scrivener User community. I'll definitely check it out once my class starts since I'm sure I'll have lots of questions and lots to learn.