Monday, January 23, 2012

Revision is Hard - The Right Tool

Revision is hard, and Scrivener is awesome.

In my last revision post, I mention it was time for me to do something most writer's do befoer they write - outline. So I took a little notebook and wrote a small summary of every chapter of my book down. I also took any notes about new scenes and put them into this new outline as well as deleted scenes that weren't important. Then, I spent a week trying to look at those pages in that little notebook as a whole story.

And that's really hard. I got so frustrated with trying to figure out if I wrote enough details down. Trying to see the holes in the story that I knew were there. I needed a better way of looking at outline, and a little birdy told me to pull out my handy dandy Scrivener.

I could write a whole ode to Scrivener (because I love this program), but I'll stick to talking about what I'm doing with it. I pulled out my copy and realized that I need to update. A major update that was going to cost me $20 bucks. Well, with Christmas just passing and my health insurance sucking, I couldn't afford that week. So I almost let my story lapse. (And I'm sure I'll soon write about avoiding procrastination, because that's sort of what this was.)

But I wouldn't let myself lapse, so I did something new, I rewrote the first scene of the book incorporating some of the changes I knew I wanted to make. It might have only been about 300 words, but it helped pass the time until I could get the $20 bucks to upgrade Scrivener.

And thank god I did. The layout of Scrivener is just what I needed to look at my story a little better. Which leads me to the point of this blog, know what tools work best for you.

Once upon a time, I wrote everything long hand. I swore by long hand. Then Nanowrimo came along and long hand can be the kiss of death. Yet, because of my history with long hand, I returned to it for this revision. Turns out it wasn't working for me - at least not like I wanted it to. Since I've been writing digitally, I need something digital. Scrivener fit the bill.

Everyone is going to have different preferences on what tools they need. But having a good tool is a great resource to sticking on track with revision. For me, that tool is Scrivener. But I think it's important for writers to mess around with all sorts of tools. Finding something that helps in the revision process is priceless, so download that free trial and see what's out there!

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