NaNoWriMo daily update

>> Sunday, November 02, 2008

3,462 / 50,000
Words Completed

Another disjointed scene. Why do I do this to myself? Oh, yeah--because I like it.

And so it goes.

Writers Café is proving to be a mixed blessing. I think there are things that I wish I could do differently, but the StoryLines tool and Pinboard are looking like they'll mostly be what I hoped. Today, for instance, I wrote a little vignette scene where a character contemplates suicide--I don't know where it goes, but I made a little notecard for it in StoryLines and I can kind of move it around to where it fits. It also has allowed me to sort of outline what little I have in my head, so I'm getting a better sense of structure. Normally I just write and hope it goes somewhere. And it's giving me a good place to put odd notes, like the names of the protagonist's family members (none of whom actually appear in the story) or details like what kind of firearm somebody might be carrying.

This is more organized than my brain, for whatever that's worth

I could keep writing, and should, but I'm doing this update now because, frankly, I'm not sure I have much writing in me today, and I'm going off to hang out with a buddy in about an hour-and-a-half.


Jeri Monday, November 3, 2008 at 2:04:00 AM EST  

I am a huge fan of Scrivener - similar corkboard and visual components and research filing capabilities. But - it doesn't have the storylining that I think I see you using there... Maybe Scrivener has an update?

Way to go on the writing!

Eric Monday, November 3, 2008 at 7:33:00 AM EST  

I think it was a review of Scrivener that sent me out searching the webs for a Linux-flavored alternative. Scrivener is an extremely well-reviewed piece of software.

Nathan Monday, November 3, 2008 at 8:44:00 AM EST  


I'm just making a big ole Word document. And I've realized I'm going to be in trouble later when I need to remember what anyone's name is.

Random Michelle K Monday, November 3, 2008 at 9:04:00 AM EST  


Two things:
1) Create a dramatis personae at the beginning of your Word document

2) Use Word to create a table of contents. That will allow you to relatively quickly jump to specific places in your document. Just remember to update your TOC. I use Ctrl+Home and the TOC to navigate all the documentation I write at work.

Eric Monday, November 3, 2008 at 11:57:00 AM EST  

Nathan, you can also download the demo version of Writer's Cafe for Windows, Linux or Mac and see if it'll help you any. I'm realizing myself that NaNoWriMo is kind of a bad time to try to learn new software, but some of the things (like the virtual corkboard and post-it notes) are pretty intuitive and might help you keep characters straight.

I'm not really pimping on purpose: although I went ahead and paid to register my copy, I'm still evaluating what I like and dislike about it. I suspect Scrivner is better, based on its reviews, and that may ultimately be the program you want to use (you're a Mac user, as I recall). But if there's a tool that'll help you out, I'm happy to point it out for you.

Jeri Monday, November 3, 2008 at 12:50:00 PM EST  

I would not try to write a novel without Scrivener at this point (although I'd sure try Writer's Market as an alternative). It's very easy to use - it took me less than an hour to get very comfortably up and running on all features.

MWT Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 1:25:00 AM EST  

I'm a huge fan of Jer's Novel Writer fan myself.

Jer's and Scrivener are set up for different styles of writers. Jer's is more if you're the sort that just wants to start right away, and have little to no notes to begin with. There's an awesome Margin Notes feature where you can jot down quick notes to yourself ("fix this later", "look this up" etc.), and there's a databasing feature where you can right-click someone's name into it without stopping, then fill in who they are later when you've reached an actual break point. The outline is also completely draggable so you can rearrange the ordering of volumes, chapters, individual text blocks, etc. - and you can turn them on and off for which ones you actually want to see at the time. (So for example if Party A is in Chapter 1, then you write Party B in Chapter 2, but go back to Party A for Chapter 3, you can turn off Chapter 2 and see Chapter 1 right above the next part of Party A.) And there's an unlimited blank notepad feature for longer-winded notes.

Oh, and Full Screen Mode. (Which Scrivener also has.) It blocks out all the distractions. :)

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