Welcome back, Scrivener!

September 16, 2014 Leave a comment

For about two weeks now, I’ve been picking at Legend, trying to figure how I felt the book. For so long, it was going to be the one that I started out the series with before I dumped all my effort, focus, and creativity into Spirit. Over the course of its transformation, Spirit became the standard by which all books in the series was going to be judged. The problem was I didn’t want to judge Legend by those standards. It’s a complete book, why did it need yet another revision? Worse yet, where was I going to come up with the brilliant ideas to fill in the gaps?

After arguing with myself, I made a deal. I would only concentrate on making Legend match up with the changes Spirit made to the series story line.  I’d do it in Word because most of the chapters were already in that format. In fact, I started using the comment tool to remind myself of what I needed to do or what I want my characters’ reacting to. (Yes, there is a way to change the color and font size of Word’s comment feature so it’s more to your liking!) Then I needed to added a chapter. Okay, fine. Create a new one.  Rearrange a few? Wait a minute that is going to get ridiculous fast. I have a great tool that I use for bulk renaming, but let’s face it when the ideas are flowing, who wants to bother with stopping and renaming a bunch of files then continuing? Not me. Already did that with Spirit and while it didn’t mess up my juju, I wasn’t a happy camper. Never again!

I thought about dumping everything into one document and doing the document map technique for organizing a manuscript. I could leave the chapter numbers off and use the chapter headings. What if I wanted to edit the book on my tablet or other mobile device, though? I needed to keep the individual chapters because otherwise that would one heck of a large document to deal with. One final thought, what about saving? Of course, I would remember to, but just in case I didn’t, it would be nice to have something that did.

Going through all the tools I had used before (JuDoom, PageFour, and Scriviner), I found flaws with each. JuDoom would allow me to manage files, but I’d have to number them to keep them in some sort of decent order and it didn’t autosave. PageFour only stored files in RTF, but at least it was with the full titles. Scrivener had to be exported every time I wanted to work on the book on the mobile devices or create a version for my subversion repository.

I went back to Scrivener because I could make notes both inside the text and on the side of each document. Also if I wanted to make a global change on the project, I could do so with about two or three click. Yes, I have to deal with the extra step of saving to Word format, but since I fried my tablet, I’m stuck on my desktop for a while anyway. Versioning could wait as well because there was going to be so many changes being made. Also, I’m not as disciplined about it as I should be.

Last weekend, I started a new Scrivener project and dumped everything back into it. I could have used the old one, but I wanted a baseline to go back to, just in case there was stuff there that didn’t exist anywhere else. Since then, I’ve not only made change to bring Legend in line with Spirit, I’ve also started adding new material. Welcome back, Scrivener, and thanks for giving me the freedom to not worry about the technical stuff, so I can be creative!

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