Best Laid Plans…
I keep telling myself that it’s a brand new year and time to think about making a few plans for 2023.
Not sure why, but for some reason, I wasn’t listening. I have been busy writing. After long months of dragging my heels, the words have been pouring out of me at about 1000 a day. I am really enjoying feeling like a writer again.
I have also been threatening to conquer Scrivener, something I have tried to do in the past. Something about this new burst of enthusiasm has made it seem essential, so I am following my instincts here.
The fact that Microsoft Word has been tinkering again and made some diabolical changes that are definitely not helpful might have something to do with it.
Do you ever get fed up with having all the different parts of your WIP all over the place?
I know I do.
I like to gather all the specific information and ideas long before I start to write the story.
First, there is the setting to create, whether it is based on a real place or not. Then you need your people. Not a lot of them to be fair but creating at least four people from the ground up can be hard enough.
Next are the problems. The ones your characters turn up with and the ones that smack them on the head in no time at all.
The trouble with all of this, it usually ends up as several files, requiring you to hop about like a dog at a flea party.
Wouldn’t it be lovely if you could access everything on the screen at the same time?
I had heard about Scrivener before and did my best to learn it. Either I wasn’t in the mood to learn a new system back then, or something put me off. I don’t usually have much luck with complicated technology and that could have been the problem.
The more I have thought about it since I wish I had persevered.
So, I will have another go, and you never know; I might just get the hang of it this time. Based on the older and wiser adage, of course.
The first thing I did was the usual way I ever learned anything. I opened Scrivener and tried to figure it out by all the different parts. Toolbars are something I know about, after all. I learned this tactic from a friend of mine. Whenever she wants to learn something new, she presses all the buttons to see what happens.
I have to report that this didn’t work for me, and I retired, defeated again and more confused than ever.
I had already read through the Dummies Guide to Scrivener, which was as much help as a chocolate teapot. Just when I thought I would be stuck with Microsoft Word forever, I remembered YouTube, although it didn’t help me with PowerPoint. I decided to have a look anyway.
The first one I found was from Joanna Penn from The Creative Penn. She recommended Scrivener and was very helpful. I made a lot of notes, confident that my worries and confusion were over. Then I tried Scrivener again, armed with my newfound knowledge.
Well, I tried. Even with my notes, I just couldn’t crack it. I tried to enter the title of my book. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? But it wasn’t.
Nothing made sense to me, and there didn’t seem to be any logical sequence to follow. By then, I was desperate to learn how to use Scrivener, as I don’t like feeling defeated.
The next day I was back on YouTube.
This time I found William Gallagher, a man with a kind face and an easy voice to listen to. Too many people on YouTube speak too fast and shout at you, which I don’t find helpful.
William’s video was an hour long, and he explained everything in words I could understand. His instructions were easy to follow, and he showed me what to do every step of the way.
Armed with this helpful advice, I couldn’t wait to put it all into practice, only to find myself far too busy over Christmas. But when I clear the decks and free an afternoon, I will have one last try to master Scrivener.
When, and if I do, you will hear about it…