If you write, and you haven’t heard of Scrivener, go look it up. Right now.
I found out about Scrivener during NaNoWriMo last year. It’s a Mac program, but they have been working on a release for Windows, and it’s been in beta for over 7 months now. I’m anxiously awaiting the full release, which will hopefully be in July. I admit, I haven’t fully explored Scrivener and all it can do, but I can say, even with my limited use of it, it has changed my writing life. You can break up your book into moveable pieces, make notes, do outlines. You can easily find a scene you want to look at, without having to scroll through pages and pages (and pages) as you would in Word. I can’t wait to explore it more.
Someone on BoingBoing posted a link to a list of tips from writers, and wrote that the most valuable thing she took away from the list is Scrivener. Yep, it’s that awesome.
What I took away from the list:
- I would love a huge wall to write on. Whiteboard, chalkboard, or maybe just a wall I paint over every so often. A big place to write down ideas, storyboard, timeline events, etc.
- I need to write every day. I’ve known this for…ever, of course, but I really need to do it. Even if it’s only five minutes, I must write every day.
- I need to get my characters in trouble. I know this, but I love them, so I don’t want to hurt them. But pain is a key component of survival. I need to remember that.
- I need to find a way to deal with distractions. I read that Jonathan Franzen has an old laptop stripped of all distractions, including the internet, and has pretty much nothing but that laptop, a desk, and a chair in a room. I don’t know that I can do that, but it’s probably exactly what I need.
- I really need to get into a writing group.
- Maybe I’ll look into a residency program next summer…hmmmm.
I love sticky, noisy keyboard keys. I know, I’m a weirdo, I don’t care. I’ve wanted an old-fashioned typewriter for years, but I realize it’s not practical – you know, since it’s not in an editable format. I wondered if there was a typewriter-like keyboard somewhere out there in the world, and discovered you can make your own! It’s well beyond my technical expertise, but maybe I can get one of my technologically inclined friends to give it a go. Or, maybe I can buy one online...for $800…
Yeah, I’ll add that to my Christmas list…
One Story Blog made a list of the best short stories. I’m embarrassed to say I think I’ve only read one of those on the short list, and only a couple more from the long list. But it got me thinking about some of my favorite short stories:
- Happy Endings, by Margaret Atwood
- Lamb to the Slaughter, by Roald Dahl
- The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
- The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
- Shiloh, by Bobbie Ann Mason
- Mango Says Goodbye Sometimes, by Sandra Cisneros
How’s this for random fun? “Wikipedia trivia: if you take any article, click on the first link in the article text not in parentheses or italics, and then repeat, you will eventually end up at ‘Philosophy.’” No, really, try it!