So, I’m just now getting around to doing actual research and planning for the rewrite that I have coming up in February. I’ve been thinking about it before, and doing reading about related topics, and making little notes to myself, but this is the first time that I’m sitting down and writing out information that I will need, doing character work, etc.
I’m using Scrivener for all of this, and I have to say that I love it.
My work has always needed organization and annotation, especially once I start my rewrite. I have a lot of ideas, and I tend to be forgetful on the details, especially where names are concerned. I’ve needed a way to keep track of all of this, and have tried a few options before.
I tried keeping a notebook. It’s good for a quick jotting down of an idea, but not so great on organization. If I start writing on a page, and then end up reorganizing, I can’t move page three further back. It’s stuck jumbled chronologically how I think of it, and that’s bad.
I’ve tried using yWriter. It does allow for you to add a lot of information, but it fairly rigidly defines the categories of information that you can input. Characters, Locations, and Items are all there, but what if I need something else? What if I need to define a race, or a system of magic (these are not uncommon for me)? There is no good place for it.
But with Scrivener you can! You have a list of folders, and you can nest folders in these, and underneath are text documents. It assumes nothing about the content of the information, making it free to be tailored to your needs. You can use templates to help structure the information that you input, though I’ve yet to figure that out well.
The important thing is that I can have a top level folder for systems of magic, or races/creatures, or vehicles, or whatever I want. It finally gives me a good way to organize my sprawling thoughts and notes on a manuscript, and for that alone I currently love Scrivener.
In very related news, I am making progress planning my February/March writing project. I’ll post a jacket blurb soon (it won’t be a synopsis, because I don’t like giving things away; instead, it will be more of a teaser/setup, or an explanation of the concept (both fit)). Not tonight, though, as I have more writing to do.
Just thought that I would share my thoughts! All you NaNo winners can get Scrivener for $20, and try it free for a month. I recommend that you do so, as it’s already helping me quite a bit.