Taming the Wild NaNo #amwriting

That’s what I’m doing this year. I’ve “won” NaNo several years, ending up with a bunch of rough drafts that I’ve been too busy to finish. So, this year, I’m Taming the Wild NaNo: taking one of those manuscripts and finishing it. I posted an excerpt yesterday.

Here’s my plan: I find my manuscripts badly in need of organization, so I decided to take the time to copy the book, scene by scene, into an organization program.

Some people swear by Scrivener, and NaNo gives you a 50% discount on it if you finish your 50,000 words by the end of November. I have a copy. Me, I don’t like Scrivener, for some reason. It doesn’t float my boat.

I’m a fan of yWriter5, although I’ve never completed a project in it. Every time I start to use it for a short story, all the bits I need to organize fall into place in my head and I don’t need it. Which, in a way, means it works, right?

This is the first time I’ve tried to use it for a book, and it’s working right fine. So far, I called the whole manuscript Chapter 1, and I’m cutting and pasting each scene into a separate scene file. In that file. I’m making a Character file on each character, and can mark them Major or Minor characters. I can make files on items (like clues or things people habitually have with them) and locations. So, in each scene, I can list what characters are in it, whose viewpoint the scene is from, what items are – or need to be – mentioned, and what the location is. At any time, I can get a view of what scenes each character is in and if the scene is from that character’s viewpoint. I can see where the clues appear; so, if I move a scene around, I can see if I need to change that appearance.

Taming the Wild NaNo

taming the wild nanoI do a quick read-through as I clip and paste the scene, refreshing myself on the action and characters. When I get all the scenes plugged in, I can organize them into chapters, easy-peasy, just drag ’em and drop ’em. I can export ’em as one rtf file and work on the book that way, or do the writing and editing in yWriter5.

Wish me luck!

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A character has to get organized.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Taming the Wild NaNo #amwriting

  1. Jane

    November 10, 2014 at 9:33am

    And, in yW5, you can print out various forms of reports which can act as an outline, an oveview, a check list, etc.

    Also, when you arrange your scenes and chapters, the rtf file places your scene breaks, chapter headings, etc., in good RTF-ese, so your file, when exported, aready looks like a book, format-wise. You can edit it then however you please, in RTF, Word, HTML, etc.

    You can go back and check on stuff by tagline (if you filled those in); you can call a phrase an Item and find where you have that, in case you were callling the Prince, Your Majesty, and that’s what you only call the King. See?

    AAAdditionally, you don’t have to set up all this stuff right off. You can just keep going with scene after scene, and when going back, you can hit the tabs and add stuff while you are working on that very scene. I looked at this program once that was harder to set up that a new D&D character. Whew!

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      November 10, 2014 at 10:20am

      Sweet! I’m glad I started to use the program. The more I use it and hear about it, the gladerer I am. 🙂

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  2. Pamela Turner

    November 11, 2014 at 12:44am

    I like yWriter too, and used it for one of my books. For NaNo this year, I’m using Write Way Pro. Not a Scrivener convert so much, but I’ve been playing around with the trial version.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      November 11, 2014 at 8:20am

      Do you see much difference between yWriter, Scrivener, and WriteWay? I find yWriter easier for me to navigate, understand, and use, but I’ve only started.

      For those who want to check it out, WriteWay has a 30-day free trial version, and the Pro version is only $35.00. It only works on Windows. No Mac version, and they don’t even MENTION Linux, so I’m totally not interested, but most folks wouldn’t have that limitation. Here’s the link: http://www.writewaypro.com/product_info.php

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
      • Pamela Turner

        November 11, 2014 at 11:02pm

        I find both Write Way Pro and yWriter a bit easier to navigate than Scrivener. Although the one quibble I have with WWP is any online research that I bring into the Research Folder has to be via Internet Explorer. But for someone who has research and plot notes scattered about, having everything in one place is good. 🙂

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