Scrivener

NaNo and VSS365 Double Header

Been doing a little planning for next month's NaNo attempt. Unlike in 2016 when I just used Pages on my MacBook I'll be using Scrivener. It'll be interesting to see how it helps. It certainly should as far as planning and sketching out some ideas and the view for distraction-less working is nice.

This morning I transferred some background info about the settings into the 'Places' folder in Scrivener. So far that is basically some headline words rather than any detail - in fact I haven't put anything in yet about Unique Features, Sights, Sounds etc but the standard sheets in the folder could prove quite useful to consider to help focus on the writing when it comes to November rather than looking things up on the inter web and all that (and the inevitable distractions that will bring).

Talking of distractions I'm hoping it's not bad timing for me being in charge of the words for #VSS365 in November. It may well mean I can't read and reply as much as I would like to all the contributions, which is a bit of a shame. I may also have to find another automatic Twitter timetabling programme as I currently use Buffer to upload the link to my daily song every morning (Class Song of the Day). If I use this then I will have to log in and put the links in every five days instead of ten (you can only schedule 10 messages on a free basis), which will be a bit of a pain. Will see if I can find another free (and easy) way of uploading the message each morning - of course I could go 'Old School' and just type it out each morning when I get up... How old fashioned? But then the messages would potentially go out at rather random times.
Comments

Maybe, Just Maybe

Thanks to Scrivener I managed to quickly and easily convert a document into Kindle format. Woo hoo! I had chosen the NaNoWriMo effort from 2016, 'Fergie Time' for no particular reason other than it was formatted in chapters and pretty substantial (50k+). It certainly wasn't the aim to do anything with it. I hadn't looked at it for ages, but seeing in on the Kindle it looked better than I expected and reading the first couple of chapters at it with fresh eyes after so much time made me think that maybe, just maybe, there is something there.

Talking of fresh eyes I made a shout out to several Flash Dogs to see if anyone would read the first few chapters and feedback whether it was worth working on to finish it. Within about an hour each said they'd look at it and almost as quickly - these Flash Dog types are super fast and super friendly - I've already got feedback and far from disheartening too. It wouldn't have been the end of the world if it had been all negative given it was effectively written over a single month. I'd really enjoyed writing it, but with the time gone since looking at it I don't feel overly invested in it at this point. Perhaps that is about to change.

Each Dog has carried on reading beyond the first two or three chapters, which must be a good sign. The humour seems to be okay. Though some of the pointed barbs maybe need to be less pointy. And I probably need to make it less blokey. I know everyone says writing humour is hard and I get that, getting the level right for the story and not putting in funny line after funny line or throwing things out there just for a punchline to come along, or then again not having enough fun in it so you forget it is supposed to be funny... well it's not something I've really tried before.

I wrote it back in 2016 and maybe I didn't think about it enough before hand, for my story is chock full of real people i.e. named football players, managers and pundits (as well as Mary Berry and Sue Perkins). Let's face it the clue is in the name of the book. But I hadn't considered any legal issues of having real people in a fiction story. It could kill it dead in the water in terms of publishing it.

So I was in a bit of a quandary as to whether to finish it anyway, whether or not it could ever get published. Or I could spend that time on a fiction with all fictional people in it. Bearing in mind it's 50,000 words long and I reckon it'll take another 10-20 to finish it I'm minded to finish it for my own sake. Maybe I'll end up with a book that can't be used but I'd have a complete novel length story and know that I can do it. And there may well be lines, passages and ideas I can use in other projects.

The genesis of Fergie Time goes back beyond 2016 to an idea I had years before which I presented at the Writing on the Wall 'Dragon's Pen' event at the Bluecoat in 2013. The panel consisted of AL Kennedy (writer), Kate Haldane (agent), Esther Wilson (playwright) and Gordon Wise (literary agent) and it was one of the scariest things I've ever done in public. I got good feedback from them and from the audience despite my wobbly legs, but never progressed it until NaNo.

So it's gone from a Writing on the Wall project (2013), to a NaNoWriMo project (2016) to maybe just a reopened current project (2018).

Anyways, I now need to finish reading it all myself and get a notebook out whilst I do. Maybe my NaNo 2016 will bear more fruit than the 'Winner' sticker at the end of that month. Maybe I'll properly finish a whole book. Maybe just maybe.



Comments

Will It Ever Be Fergie Time?

Getting 'Fergie Time' on to my Kindle was great. Both in terms of seeing how to do it with Scrivener but also in revisiting the NaNoWriMo story from almost two years ago.

Scrivener makes it so easy to get a Kindle copy sorted anyway. Let's face it the last thing you want to do is spend lots of time messing about with formatting and importing and exporting and effing and blinding. Unless you are a sadist you want your time spent on the creative bit.

Fergie Time 300

Going to read the thing on the Kindle over the next few days and send to a couple of canny volunteers just to see if the story idea works and whether there is any mileage in revisiting and finishing it. Or whether I should just concentrate on one of my other projects and leave it as a NaNo experiment. Not expecting them to read the whole thing just the first two or three chapters.

Talking of NaNo who's doing it this year? Doubt I will. But we'll see.
Comments

Kindling

Last night I finally got Kindlegen to work so that I could save something I've written in Scrivener direct to Kindle format and hence on to my Kindle. A few things of note here;

1) I'd downloaded the Kindlegen app to my Mac then spent a day wondering why I couldn't find the .zip file I needed. Schoolboy error; Safari automatically unpacks the files and so the folder I was looking in (for the zip file) was actually the folder of unzipped files! ('These are the files you're looking for')

Anyway then it was just a question of saving these files in the Applications folder then pointing Scrivener to where it was. Simples!

2) I saved the story to the Kindle format with a single press of a button. Huzzah!

3) Now it was a question of dragging the file into the Kindle. Well it would have been if I'd known where it was - I haven't been using it this year. Looking at Goodsread only one of the twenty one books I've read this year has been on the Kindle ('Heart of Darkness' back at the beginning of the year). Found it eventually and of course the battery was drained. So it's on charge now and once it's got some juice in it I can put the file on it.

Seeing how little I've used it made me look back on Goodreads to see how that's changed and the result was: not as much as I thought lately. I found that last year I only read two of forty eight on the Kindle, four of forty one in 2016, two of fifteen in 2015, and eight from twenty six in 2013 (I'm not sure where the records for 2014 have disappeared). Oh my, so much data there. Only read fifteen books in 2015? Clearly in 2013 I read a lot more on it with almost a third of my reading on the device. I'm surprised at how few books I've read on the Kindle overall in recent years I used to use it a lot more. Mind you I have targeted reading more books from my shelves, that have been hanging around for years, and I do keep popping into second-hand book shops both of which pushes back the requirement to read from the Kindle. The other thing is I've not been commuting on trains and buses or traveling much in the last few years. When I was the Kindle was ideal.

Anyway, now I'm ready to put my writing on it I can use it for reviewing something old and substantial I've written, rather than printing out 120 pages, carrying that weight around and requiring the consideration of carbon offset and chiropractor.
Comments

Some Writing. Some Bull.

Bit of a bulshit day today. Was told to go in late for work. Then told. Ah, sorry there is no work for you. Enjoy the day off. Bull.

Anyhow, meant I could do four things a) do some writing b) update the website c) catch some of the World Cup and d) get my haircut.

I have a writing project I'm working on which is due for finishing over the next week so I've got stuck in with that. This afternoon I've eeked out 1700 words on it, which means I'm about 1/3rd through and have sketched out a little where the story will go. Have been using Scrivener for it, along with another 5000 word project. I must say I do like the writing environment and also the appearance of the finished product. Once I've finished these two medium sized (for me) projects then I'll get stuck into a larger one and see how Scrivener really works with though. Doesn't need any bells and whistles for a short story.

Have got the song buffering up to ten again for Class Song of The Day and updated the website with this week's songs from the Beatles - and then this blog of course.

Just watched Belgium ease past Tunisia in a quite enjoyable match. Now it's time to print off today's story as it stands and go get my haircut.

And maybe catch up with some more footy later. Maybe? Of course I bloody will.

Comments

Real Life in Fiction

I haven't yet decided whether to run with Project Jaipur or Sarah Hughes yet, but I have done a little more thinking about Jaipur. It is (expected) to be a buddy road (well probably rail) movie with beer - okay an epic pub crawl across many miles and days. It would like to grow up to be a comedy, but who knows?

I've already set out the nine chapter headings, which are largely geographically based, and I've the three main characters (and the princely sum of 2769 words down in Scrivener for it).

Peveril

So it's basically the story about a pub crawl. I should be on firm ground here, right?

I started of thinking I should use real pubs, to almost produce a travelogue that could really be followed. There are several issues with this. For a start I'd need a week or two off to 'research' this which would be costly (if fun) - and the notes each day would get progressively more patchy and scrawly. Of course the way the pub business is things change so fast that by the time the story was finished a couple of the places would probably be closed, have their names changed or at the very least refitted - and the people change all the time - making any focus on real life descriptions pretty pointless.

York

While as a real ale fan and even more a fan of actual pubs it was quite attractive to make these places real. But in reality it is the story and the characters which matter most. The settings will be important, but they can be totally fictionalised. Should the finished article ever get read by anyone the important thing will be the story not whether the pubs and bars are real places and they could in fact distract the reader if I did a bad job of it.

Wellington

So whilst I may use some real pubs in my head to set the stories in I'll change the names in all the cases to protect the innocent (and the guilty). This will mean less worrying about getting descriptions 'right' and more focus on getting the story right. When I wrote 'Fergie Time' I had a few real named places in it, but there were a lot less of them than would be in this story and the settings were less important than the narrative.

In summary, with Project Jaipur I have decided that while I will have lots of real venues in mind I'll change all the names. It'll be important to evoke the sense of these venues be they genuine or totally fictitious. Of course there will be plenty of real named places in Jaipur - just not the pubs - let's drink to that.

Over the next week or so I'll be deciding whether to run with Jaipur or Sarah. Looking forward to making the decision and then going with it.

Sheffield
Comments

Scriv and NFFD

Not had much chance to get writing in Scrivener yet. Have actually imported the legendary "Fergie Time" into it in case I decide to get back into it at a later date. It was nice and easy to do. So now I have three projects in Scrivener with the decision not yet made on which one to go with. Hoping to make a decision on that over the next week or two; Project Jaipur or Project Sarah Hughes. I think I know which one it will be, but I'll see how a bit more writing on each goes first.

Fergie T - Scrivener
Fergie Time

Have written a first draft of a couple of flash stories for the National Flash Fiction Day competition (theme: Food). Still got a few weeks to iron them out or re-write! Will have to write a few 100 word flashes for it too at some point (closing date is a bit closer - 17th March).

Comments

Scrivener: Bit the Bullet

Getting the FlashFeed done was my first and probably only bit of writing to be done today; other than this couple of blogs. But there is writing news in that I've bitten the little financial bullet and purchased Scrivener 3 from Literature & Latte. I am 99.9% sure it'll be an investment well worth every little pound. The only way it won't be is if I stop writing, which I have no intention of doing.

I'm moving the PDF of the manual from my mac on to my Paperwhite so I can scan through that a bit and get an idea of all that it can do, which is patently a lot. It'll be especially great for both novel and any non-fiction work I want to do; for Flash Fiction pieces I can stick with Pages or a notebook. I'll have to do occasional updates on the blog on how I am using Scrivener and finding the software. Forty odd quid for something that I should get years out of is only a few pence a week, I shouldn't have procrastinated about getting it.

If you fancy looking at it you can always get a Trial Version of it over on their site (click on the link below):

ScrivernerLogo
Literature & Latte


So I've bought Scrivener, written my FlashFeed and written two blogs. Anyone think I may have been off today?

I did brave the Beast from the East which seemed more like the pussy from Wussy when I went out for a drug and alcohol test. I must say I'm always disappointed when they don't bring out a range of beers and spirits for me to identify. All they do is ask me to pee in a bottle and blow into what looked like a vibrator. How boring?
Comments

Project: Jaipur and Thanks Vicente

Well I downloaded Scrivener 3 the other day and have had a couple of days using so far. Not got to grips with all it can do yet but I am liking it so far. I didn't use it on Friday for Microcosms, I just stuck with Pages. Nice to get a quick story out and today it got a Honourable Mention from the first time judge Vincente Ruiz. Thank you Vicente!

Be Happy

Yesterday in forty minutes of writing I completed the first 700 words on Project: Jaipur. That works out at about 1000 words an hour; I can happily live with that for now. Not sure how long I wrote for today but it was another 1400 words or so - (so maybe an hour and a half) and I also wrote a quick story for Flash Feed, where I am currently ranked as a St Bernard. Woof! The prompt is the grinning bearded man above. If it strikes you as interesting then there's still time to get on over there and get a story out.

Bernie
That's me on the right.
Comments

Scrivener Trial

Downloaded Scrivener 3 for a Trial tonight. It was always going to happen, wasn't it?

It's nice that the 'thirty day trial' is for thirty days that you actually use it and not just from when you download it (the seven days of the iA Writer flew by and I probably only used it on three or four days). Should get me plenty of opportunity to see what it can do. It's obviously a lot more complex that iA (understatement). The pdf guide on the website is almost 850 pages for crying out loud!

Will let you know how it goes ...

Scrivener



Comments