Monthly Archives: November 2014

Project Management

I finally downloaded Scrivener to give it a try and see if it can be of any help with the project of partially rewriting and then streamlining that long novel I’ve been working on since September 2011. You all remember, I’m sure: the one that’s been sitting drafted but in need of epic rewriting since around June 2013; the one that got put aside because of DragonCon prep the rest of that summer and then me being pregnant and unable to write and then me having a new baby and therefore no time to write. So here we are at the end of 2014, and I am realizing that I will never write again (okay, okay, for the next 3-5 years, depending on how many children we have) unless I learn how to do it at night. So I’m going to learn how to do it at night. And what could be more efficient on the nights when I have no easy scene sketching words to write than to focus on the project with the shortest number of words left? So I said, fuck it, I’ll give the Scriv a try and see if it can help do what I’ve been admittedly too intimidated and/or disorganized to accomplish on my own, and that is figuring out exactly what needs to be shored up and reinforced in the architecture of the story as a whole.

So. Scrivener.

I have thus far only imported my Word doc and split what was one huge file into 44 chapters (plus prologue and epilogue), research, and notes, and added a quick summary of the action in each chapter to the “note card” outline view. Whew, boy, that was a chore – it took an hour and a half, the entirety of baby’s nap last Sunday.

Just seeing it all laid out has helped it all make a little more sense to me, because I can see more of it in my mind’s eye at once. The parts that need to be revised seem smaller when taken as their constituent parts. Also, I had forgotten that at some point last spring I went through and made a legend (by highlighting swaths of my doc) of the parts that can be deleted because they are now irrelevant and the parts that still occur but need details changed. Some of the scenes that I originally thought needed to be reworked can actually just be deleted, and some of the details changed amount to about two sentences in a scene. The amount of work is assailable.

I am still intimidated. I can’t put my finger on why, exactly, except that the beginning is still weak, has always been weak, and in my head is still a bit fuzzy and squishy and uncertain, and I have never been good at writing without knowing exactly what it is I’m trying to get across.

But at least I can count up all the scenes that need to change now. Well begun is half done.

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