The Reformatted Beast

Lately the weather has had its fun of yo-yoing between Winter, Spring, Summer, and then back to Winter. It seems just as soon as you feel like Spring days are here to stay, a cold snap moves through and makes us worry about our freshly planted seedlings in the garden.  I am trying to roll with it and use the cold, dark days as an excellent excuse to shut myself into my office and finish (as I lovingly refer to it) “the damn book”, but sometimes sitting still when it’s cold does not sound appealing.  Nonetheless I have made more progress and I even let John read a few chapters.   That was nerve-wracking.  He is not really the audience for the book but I respect his opinion and I know he will gracefully give a critique (and chocolate or bourbon if needed).

A funny thing happened a few days after he read the first chapter, he quoted it back to me not realizing where he had gotten it from.  We quote random lines from movies and books all of the time, but it took me a moment to realize he was actually quoting me.  Sometimes we share a brain, but I know I had never said that to him before outside of the book.  I laughed and teased him about it, but I took as a sign that the writing wasn’t as bad as I feared if he had committed something to memory from it, but we shall see.

While John was researching various things (like he does) he discovered the writing program called Scrivener.   It is a program that will be helpful for both us.  Seriously, you need to check it out.  I had been writing my novel on LibreOffice and while it is pretty much like Word, it has some serious formatting issues when you try and send it anywhere.   It had always been in the back of mind that someday I will have to reformat it, but since I already had a chunk of the novel in Libre I figured I would keep it there and reformat it in one big swoop.  Then I found out from just from sending a few chapters to John that was going to be a larger task than I imagined, but yesterday I put the novel into Scrivener and it took care of a lot of things for me.  I even got to see a preview of it in E-book format.  It was so cool! *wipes tear from corner of eye*

Beyond the formatting benefits it also allows you to organize your chapters, scenes, characters, photos, or any other documents you reference right there on the binder next to the text you’re writing.  It has given me a completely new perspective on the book.  Instead of it being this large beast that I have to navigate by using the command F function, I have my chapters broken down by number and scene.

If I want to change the conversation my main character had with her mother, oh look here it’s in Chapter 16 under the a notecard with summary of the scene.  Awesome!  It also help me realize that a problem I thought I had for the last month with some character development was not a problem, though I found another-darn.

I am only scratching the surface of what this program can do, but give me some time and some more YouTube videos and I’ll have it mastered.   In the meantime it’s nice to only have only one “beast” on the desk.

Hitch is watching


5 thoughts on “The Reformatted Beast

  1. I have heard that the program is fantastic. Another thing for me to research. So will we get the chance to read your novel soon? Sign me up!

    • What program do you use TB? Do you format for e-book release on your own or do you have another party take care of it?
      I hope to finish the “first” draft here in the next few weeks. I have been dragging my heels but honestly I really only started giving it the proper attention it needed in the last four months. Hopefully someday I will become as prolific as you are.

      • I’m old fashioned and still use word
        Both my editor and formatter prefer word but if I remember correctly your program creates word docs as well.

        Best of luck finishing and remember when you send it to an editor that he or she is your friend even though you may not think that at the time.

    • I’ve actually learned more from my editor than all of my teachers put together. It’s a wonderful learning experience and makes you a better writer and reader.

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