Saturday, July 16, 2016

Scrivener: Yes or No?

From Scrivener website.
Great books have been written without Scrivener for millennia. But, then, great books were also written with quill pens. 

You don’t HAVE to have Scrivener … but, wow!, what a difference it makes. For months, I’ve slunk toward Scrivener like a thrice-kicked dog salivating for a bone just out of reach. I wanted it, and I feared it. I grabbed a quick taste and the pain of ignorance and overwhelm threw me backwards to lick my wounds.

Then, I attended a free webinar offered by Joseph Michael of Learn Scrivener Fast. It was like someone said, “It’s okay. You can do this. And, this is a really great bone.” Joseph, of course, tries to sell you his super course, and you may or may not want to buy it.

I hope you will give Scrivener a shot. As I’ve gotten knee-deep into my novel, I’ve begun to realize what a complex operation writing a book is. The details, the characters, the locations, the timing, the interactions, the research, the rewriting, the ideas and possibilities … all are just endless.

It wasn’t long before I started looking for answers about how other writers handle that flood of information. That led me to Scrivener … and to my first Scrivener failure. I couldn’t figure out where to go and what to do with what I was finding.

So, I began to kluge together a process using Evernote (love it!), Pages (or Word - ok but too many shortcomings for the writing process ), Scapple (easy visual mapping tool - love it!) and spreadsheets (useful). Things were getting lost and frustration was common. Every once in awhile I’d revert to index cards but that ancient, cumbersome process just added to frustration.

I wasn’t happy and I kept getting bogged down in my story. Who did what when? Did Stella say that or Janey? What do I do with all these ideas that come in the middle of the night?

Then, I attended the free webinar and got it! I could see how it could all work together … I just had to learn the software. I could either purchase the package or figure it out myself. I was impressed by Michael’s free webinar. He’s well-organized, visual and clear.
But, I decided to strike out on my own … which may, or may not, turn out to be a mistake.

My problem with the Learn Scrivener Fast package is that it is almost as overwhelming as the software itself. It’s too big. I want one bite at a time … and I want exactly the bite I want, not a Thanksgiving feast every day of the week.

I am a practical learner. I need to be able to apply what I learn. And, I need a map that says “Start here and take these steps to go there."

So, feel free to follow along on this journey … I'll put what I find on the Scrivener page. Obviously, my answer to the subject question is “Yes.” You’ll have to make your own.

BTW, I reserve the right to change directions and buy a training program. I’ll let you know if I do.

Three Hours Later:  I'm throwing in the towel and buying the Learn Scrivener Fast program. There is a TON of tutorials out there. Some are good; some aren't. And, you really don't know until you're 5, 10 or 30 minutes into it. If I have to be overwhelmed, at least I'm going to be overwhelmed by an expert.