Sunday, February 1, 2009

My Word!

It's been a month since I last blogged. Time flies when you're having fun writing a book!

Well, to be honest, the last hundred pages of the book was quite a struggle. The 40C/104F temperatures didn't help. I finished it at 3am last Tuesday morning and now I actually miss hanging out with the characters. Not to worry--I'll be revising it soon.

Until recently, I never thought about using a word processor other than Microsoft Word. Apart from a few confounding niggles, Word is easy to use. But what I found when writing the last book is that I had a pile of separate research documents and I wrote many scenes out of order every time I got stuck. I also had alternative versions of chapters, a number of synopses, inspirational pictures, character sketches, "what if?" scenarios, etc, etc. After a while, my system became chaotic. What I really wanted was to have all the files related to the ms in one document, with easy access. I didn't want to have a million windows open at once.

[Here's where I go into infomercial mode. Sorry.]

So, after a bit of searching, I found a brilliant piece of writing software for Macs called Scrivener. You create one file for a project and stick every bit of information related to it in subfolders within that project. Then you can get on with writing the book. Once you've done that, export the book to Word where it is magically formatted to industry standards. Almost. I found I can't get the mandated 25 lines per page after exporting, so there's a bit of finessing to do in that department.

You can read all about it here, and if you like what you see, download a 30-day trial version for FREE. The full version is US$39.95. If you don't have a Mac, you can check out a program for PCs called Page 4.

2 comments:

Gail said...

Hi Vanessa,

Just stopping by from Yahoo contest alert loop to say hi. Great blog, great website. Good luck with your writing.

Authorness said...

Hi, Gail! Thanks for stopping by. Great to see another contest trouper here. All the best with your writing, too.

Vanessa :)