Week 33

This week has all been about Scrivener: setting it up, importing my work so far, even going through the tutorial (never done that for software before - next I'll be reading an instruction manual).

The important thing about Scrivener is it's built by someone who a) can code and b) writes. Not a frequent combination. It does everything you want it to do - you can write in full screen, write a synopsis and notes alongside each document, count words and paperback pages (I've got 138 so far!), navigate sections by keywords and labels, and it gives you a overview of all your documents, as both a folder explorer and a corkboard.

I'm using the novel setting, so can't speak for how it works with scripts and other forms of writing, but in short, it's awesome. Just writing my name and the title of my book on the title page made me sack off the rest of the day, so pleased was I with the results.

[redacted] by Kat Sommers

Done! Royalties please.

The only problem is there's a niggling feeling that I'm cheating. When I was university it wasn't until my final year that I started writing essays longform; until then, I wrote them all on my computer. Until I wrote out essays with a pen from start to finish, every argument felt like the result not of lucid reasoning but of an elaborate cut and paste job.

And here it is again - that paranoia that breaking everything up into bits, shuffling them around a board and stringing them together is somehow less honest. Less authentic. Requires less artistry. Basically every step away from a parchment and quill makes me feel like a fraud.

I'm also a little worried that having constant access to an overview of my work will encourage me to fiddle with the structure (which I could do, and think about, for the rest of my life if I didn't stop and force myself to look at the blinking cursor on the blank page). But so far it's working, and writing feels simpler and more comfortable than in Word.

I can see how much I've written and how it fits with other pieces, and though it's a bit of a mess, there's something like a story emerging behind me as I go, there's fragments I know I can expand on as well as great swathes of crap, and seeing those keep me going.

Word count this week: 2,710 Total word count: 64,852 First draft: 46,954