The Trouble With #Scrivener #amwriting

GetBackToWorkI got stuck on that story I’m working on in Scrivener. Over the years, I’ve learned that, if I’m stuck, then I’m doing something wrong. That being the case, I let myself stay stuck while I worried the problem like a dog with a bone. And I figured it out.

By breaking the story into scenes, I want to open every scene and make it a little story, but that isn’t what I need to be doing. I need to be selecting detail to be important later, expanding meaningful parts and telescoping other things that need to happen but don’t need emphasis.

When I write all in a piece, I do that more-or-less automatically, but concentrating scene by scene breaks that flow.

The correct title for this post: The Trouble With ME!  I need to learn how to break my story into scenes and then analyze them, choosing what to put where. Actually, I need to try yWriter5, putting motifs and behaviors and parallels in the Items database. That way, I can more easily track where I place my mirrorings and resonances and echoes.

Now, I need to roll up my sleeves and make some choices and decisions.

Anybody recognize this reference?

“You know what my grandfather says?”

“What?”

“Get back to work!”

That’s what I’m saying to myself. So here I go!

Step 1: Write the climactic scene first. I have the outline, so I know which one.

Step 2: Write the mid-point scene.

Step 3: Write the final falling action / wrap-up scene.

Step 4: Make a note of all the bits I want to salt into the story earlier.

Step 5: Salt ’em in.

Step 6: Trim off the excess.

Yeah, that oughtta do ‘er!

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Write about a character rolling up their sleeves and getting down to work.

MA

 

 

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About

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 “The Trouble With #Scrivener #amwriting

  1. Uh, yeah, Scrivener was like, the thing that actually proved to me how unorganized I am when I write. This is sad because I am such a natural when it comes to organizing actual things. Surely my writing would be well-organized, right? No. Thoughts are messy and my brain is cluttered.
    Chuck W helps me some, but honestly, organizing is about 100x harder than writing. I can’t deny it’s important, and oh, how I want to! lol It’s enough to make me wanna be a poet instead of a novelist.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen
      Twitter:

      August 8, 2016 at 10:56am

      Yeah, and now that I’m working on the story again, I am totally NOT following my plan! Oh, well, as I used to tell my Creative Writing students, you must ALWAYS follow the one unbreakable rule of writing: DO WHATEVER WORKS.
      Marian Allen would love to share..TURTLE FEATHERSMy Profile

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  2. Jane
    Twitter:

    August 8, 2016 at 10:36am

    Sounds like a lot of work! Yech!

    Since I mostly write in a notebook and THEN type into yWriter as scenes…I guess….hmm. What you’re describing sounds like a re-write or major edit.

    Although…I do often, as a big WIP gets bigger, start writing future scenes separately, because I’ve got several streams of story going by that time, so it’s not so hard writing those streams sort of all at once. And then salt them back into the main MS as they come up. Just depends.

    This is easy in yWriter, because I’d just park them in a future “chapter” and then drag them where they belong as needed. Sort of artsy, if you ask me. I’lll bring the ‘puter with the WIP in yWriter to our meeting this week!

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    • Author

      Marian Allen
      Twitter:

      August 8, 2016 at 10:58am

      This project is a major rewrite. It started out as a story-a-day May entry, so it was really just a sketch. Now I have to pull it apart and write it for realz.

      Yay for our meeting! Yay for learning yWriter!
      Marian Allen would love to share..TURTLE FEATHERSMy Profile

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  3. Sounds like that’s what’s wrong with me: every single scene I write is a short story – with all the trimmings.

    To be fair, I plot down to the nth degree, and everything in each scene is there with at least two purposes, many with more, and none of it is Scrivener’s fault – Scrivener just lets me do what I’ve always wanted to do.

    So it IS me.
    Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt would love to share..Is it a mistake to gut your readers emotionally?My Profile

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    • Author

      Marian Allen
      Twitter:

      August 8, 2016 at 5:45pm

      lol! That’s why I love your writing, Alicia — every word counts! When I saw how large PRIDE’S CHILDREN was, my heart sank, and I started it prepared to skim a lot. BOY, WAS I SURPRISED! Not a dull moment in the entire book. Now, my husband would probably disagree, because he doesn’t know the difference between padding and trimmings. ha! You know the best part about Book 2? When it comes out and I get my copy into my hot little hands, I want to go back and read Book 1 again and then Book 2. And when Book 3 comes out and I get hold of it…. ~grin~
      Marian Allen would love to share..Free ReadsMy Profile

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  4. And those tiny pieces you wondered about should connect up to why they were put there in the first place. There aren’t TOO many, I hope, but knowing where you’re going from the beginning means you leave signs when there is a fork in the road, like Girl Guides.

    I did design it that way – there is a LOT of stuff, and not just because it’s 167K words.

    And I left out EVERYTHING I could possibly leave out – consciously again. The notes for each scene are ten to twenty times longer than the scene. Condensing was my biggest problem. I trust the reader to supply more than half of what’s needed – but I can’t have confused or lost readers, not if they’re in the book’s tribe (which you obviously are – I love it!).

    It’s just slow work – alternate phrasings have to be compared, the best piece chosen and the rest discarded or barely hinted at.

    I don’t know why I write like this – it just seemed ME. now, of course, it’s too late to change the pattern until the three are finished. But don’t worry, they’re all of a cloth. I don’t even read books on writing right now – I don’t want to change how I do things until the whole is done.

    I just hope it doesn’t take another 30 years! I don’t think so – much of the first 15 were spent learning, and I think I’ve got that stuff either in blog posts or locked in my head, like math. You don’t forget your math if you use it.
    Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt would love to share..Mainstream: when your writing category vanishesMy Profile

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  5. Originally Posted By Marian Allenlol! That’s why I love your writing, Alicia — every word counts! When I saw how large PRIDE’S CHILDREN was, my heart sank, and I started it prepared to skim a lot. BOY, WAS I SURPRISED! Not a dull moment in the entire book. … You know the best part about Book 2? When it comes out and I get my copy into my hot little hands, I want to go back and read Book 1 again and then Book 2. And when Book 3 comes out and I get hold of it…. ~grin~

    May I quote you? This, as you know perfectly well, is the kind of feedback writers live for.
    Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt would love to share..Blogging topics can turn too seriousMy Profile

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  6. A.C.Flory
    Twitter:

    August 9, 2016 at 1:13am

    @Jane – That’s how I’ve learned to use StoryBox too. With the storyboarding function I can structure chapters on the fly, as and when I think of it, or just leave them ‘at the end’ until I know the best place to put them.

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    • Jane
      Twitter:

      August 9, 2016 at 8:34am

      Thanks for the remind about Storybox. I meant to go see it. Now I am. Bye!

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