Juin Charnell

Outlining with Scrivener

I have always written as a sit-of-the-pants writer. This time around, for book 3, in the Perri Stone series, I have decided to outline. Why? Because I need a way to keep track of people, places and things. Really. I noticed that I called the facility where Perri works “Dexter Correctional Facility” in book 1 and “Dexter County Correctional Facility” in book 2, not a major slight and one the can be explained in book 3 but I don’t want to have to explain simple tracking like that.

And with book 3 clocking at between 200 – 250 pages, I can’t afford errors.

Perri and Cassidy are not done. With “Creep” as a bonus short at the end of book 2, people wondered if Cassidy was out of the picture. No, she isn’t. And “Creep” is set ten-years in the future. Plus it was a short story I wrote around the time I wrote “Inside Out” but included it with “Quiet Riot“. And there are people introduced in “After Shock” (tentative title) that I need to track.

My house has note cards, 8×11 slips of paper, legal pads all over the place because I want something to write on when I need it. And my purse overflows with paper nuggets. That’s why I thought I needed to outline and find software that supposedly makes the transition easier. So I am trying Scrivener so that my note cards can all be in one place. My plot points and eureka moments can not be lost (in my cluttered mind) but placed in a single location (okay, netbook and desktop in the cloud) and I can handle the real task at hand. Writing. And it was recommended by another writer who has over 30 books written. So hell yeah, if I can get organized in a big way, I’m all for it.

Now, if only I could find software that makes me focus on one story at a time without trying to distract me with “ooh, here’s a good idea”.

Category: writing

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