A Writing Journey

I have a system that works. I do. It’s called write everything on paper, in little notebooks, and keep it in shoe boxes (you know, the big ones that winter boots come in).

But there is a problem with this system. You know what it is? Organization. I’m a fairly organized person, so how did I get so out of control with my writing stuff? Is it that I insist on saving a hard copy of each iteration of QFS (each having the edits and rewrites attached)? Is it that keeping notebooks with half the pages ripped out and the rest scribbled on is a terrible idea? Is it that all my little notes and sketches don’t have a real home? Is it that I just don’t have enough folders to keep everything organized?

Yesterday I spent over an hour looking through all of my QFS notes and drafts trying to find my most accurate map for the world (I needed it for reference for part of book 2). Do you want to know where I finally found it? The first place I looked. Except, it wasn’t in the folder with the rest of the maps so I assumed it wasn’t in that box.

I’m hitting a wall with keeping my writing stuff organized*. Even my computer has folder after folder to try and keep it all together. I’ve been thinking about getting Scrivener, but have my reservations. After all, I can’t put it in my purse and take it with me (unless I can, I don’t know!). I also do almost all of my original writing by hand – I feel like if I got Scrivener, I’d feel pressured to use it and perhaps my writing would suffer? But I’ve heard excellent things about it!

So here is a question: would you recommend Scrivener to me, knowing everything I’ve told you in this post? Or would you recommend investing in a filing cabinet (or some other REAL way of organizing). Because something has got to change.

*I will say that I keep my current drafts in the top desk drawer, and I believe that is all I have in there. I don’t even keep  pens in there for fear they will explode and ruin my work.

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Comments on: "To Scrivener or Not to Scrivener" (5)

  1. I do both. Write by hand first (think better that way and the feel of pen in hand is like magic) and then type it up, making an initial stab at edits at that point. I use scrivener for software as well (also introduced to it through NANO) and like the versatility of it. I will compile drafts in different formats like print (varying margins) but also mobi or ePub to review on an e-reader. The different layouts let me see the story differently each time and new tweaks and pesky typos pop out better. For the price, it is a heavy piece of writing equipment with lots of possibilities.

  2. I have never used Scrivener because I can’t be bothered to learn it. MS Word and old-fashioned notebooks/binders work just fine for me. But if I hand-write anything, I try to transcribe it into a file on the computer — I am running out of room to put hard copies of anything! And I keep all my old drafts, which are mostly hard copies. Every time I try to get rid of them, I manage to come up with some kind of excuse to keep them.

  3. I have to say, after winning NaNo several times I finally invested in Scrivener and I really LOVE it. I used to write by hand, but honestly I hate transcribing it into the computer. Then I tried OneNote, which worked really well, but just seemed to become a mess. I also use a couple of online sites, of which I still use honestly. But Scrivener has become my number one go to for all my novels, and even other writing now days!
    That said, I also have a “file box” that you can get at places like Walmart, and it holds hanging file folders that I keep my writing in. I also write a lot on my tablet and phone while on the go, and the only downfall I have with scrivener is when I write on different devices there is no easy way to just have it across all systems, like my phone, tablet and laptop. But, if you are writing by hand, it would be easy to then add it to your scrivener.
    There is a bit of a learning curve, but you can make the program and use the program in the way that works best for you! Which is what I love the most about it. You can add pictures, research, character sheets, really anything for the book, and at the end, you can export the book as an ebook right from the program! And, it will leave your notes out of it!
    One other really good thing, is layout of the program. You can open more than one part of it across, so you can actually see your notes or research or a snapshot of a previous version of the story at the same time! Oh, that is something else I really love, you can take snapshots, so when you are ready to rewrite, you can take a snapshot and it saves it just like that and you can start fresh, or make changes and not loose previous versions!

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