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WritersEra |OT| Publish before you die

Oct 27, 2017
1,352
Welcome! Wishing you good luck for the rest of the month. I kicked off my writing "career" through a NanoWriMo a few years back. It both freed me up to put words on the page and instilled discipline in the practice, so I hope you continue to do it!
Thank you! I'm having a lot of fun writing and even if it leads to nothing other than a hobby I plan to stay with it!
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,256
North-East England
I'd say a hook doesn't need to even be exciting or eventful - all you need to do in the first chapter is catch the reader's interest. Giving them a character or place they want to know more about is enough, especially for a slower-paced novel.

Some of the great popular novels have slow starts - look at Wuthering Heights
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,263
I see a lot of articles about the necessity of a opening hook, but what do you guys generally feel is a word target for that hook? Trying to hook in the first chapter? First 200 words? 100? First? Wondering what the general consensus is here. Can tell if I'm jumping the gun or taking too long.
I'm a big fan of the first chapter hook, finish with some sort of big reveal or revelation and then lead into the more usual build up from chapter 2.

There is just too many books to read, too many games to play and well, lets face it all that porn isn't going to watch itself, so you really need to hook hard and early if you are trying to get people to keep reading.
Once you are famous of course you can then "feast for crows" the shit out of a novel and still do very well.
 
Oct 26, 2017
4,644
I’ve got a lot of personal things that hold me back from writing, but I think the number one issue is that I can’t decide if I’m better suited to tell a story visually or traditionally.

As someone who grew up with comics, anime, RPGs and so on, I find that you can easily express a whole page worth of exposition into a single shot of a character looking internally torn, or a moody shot of a city covered in darkness, and so on.

Of course, the main problem is that I can’t draw for crap, which leads me to wonder if I should focus more time on learning to draw rather than write rough drafts of stories where I can’t properly convey the words that compliment the visuals in my head.

And before you say “try doing both”, well...a 40 hour work week and a shitload of videogames makes that easier said than done.
 
Oct 30, 2017
3,787
I remember taking an English class in middle school and the teacher discussed grabbing the reader within the first paragraph of your story. You needed that hook that would maintain a reader's attention and keep them interested in your writing. One student in the class took this to heart and began each of his stories with something akin to, "BANG! That was the sound of the gun firing." I guess onomatopoeia can work because I still remember the hell out of that story.
 
Hi writingERA! I mainly write poetry. Have some--not many--journal publications and do editorial work for a small poetry press.

I also have a manuscript that has been a semi-finalist/tiered rejection many times, but I can't get it over the line. I've since completed a follow-up manuscript. Feels kind of bad to have a publication backlog. O well, something will happen eventually.

I've also recently begun submitting fiction pieces, I think poetry will always be my strength, but a few stories seem good enough--I figured why not.

I will be teaching college Intro to CW in the spring, if anyone has any questions about MFA stuff or really anything related I'm happy to answer.
 
Oct 28, 2017
437
USA
Hook early and hook often. :P

I like to use Hunger Games as an example because it does it so well: in the first paragraph we learn that "the reaping" is taking place later that day, an ominous opening and a solid minor opening hook. This small mystery helps pull us into a chapter of setup and building, and we're then pulled along by getting to see the MC in action as a badass archer and getting more mystery hints, with shades of Shirley Jackson. Finally, right before the reaping takes place, we learn what it is and how it works, and we realize that obviously it's going to result in the selection of the MC as one of the "reaped" children.

And then in an absolutely killer chapter-ending hook, the author flips our expectations as the MC's little sister is chosen instead.

Seriously, the placement of this is perfect. And it works because the opening hook and the little interesting bits pulled us along through the setup that was necessary to make it land.

So that's my answer. You don't have to blow your best hook immediately, but you do need something to keep the reader interested. Reel them along long enough to put your hook in the place it will have the most impact.
I really love this example too. Sometimes I see people take the idea of a hook a little too literally, like something stunning needs to happen in the first two sentences. But The Hunger Games has a simple hook and the opening, on its face, might appear "slow". But there's enough mystery and suspense to keep the reader going and then, when Suzanne Collins is ready, she gives us the big moment with Prim's sister being chosen. If Prim had been chosen in the first two sentences, since that's the most important hook, it wouldn't have an effect on us. We don't care about any of the characters yet. But since she draws it out more, it works.

Sorry if I'm restating your post too much, but I just wanted to say to people - don't stress about your hook! It can be simple and you're really just making a case for why your story is interesting. And you're probably trying to "hook" people throughout, aka keep them interested. You can re-assess your opening, so just try something now and move on.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,988
Of course, the main problem is that I can’t draw for crap, which leads me to wonder if I should focus more time on learning to draw rather than write rough drafts of stories where I can’t properly convey the words that compliment the visuals in my head.
Sounds like you want to write for comics then. You only have to write the script, which is essentially dialog for readers plus "stage directions" for the artist. Writing for comics is an interesting format. I've always found it kind like writing a story for one person, the artist, and then collaborating on how that final story is told. That way you get your ability to tell stories, but if you just want that single image of a face that says it all, you get that too.
 
Oct 26, 2017
4,644
Sounds like you want to write for comics then. You only have to write the script, which is essentially dialog for readers plus "stage directions" for the artist. Writing for comics is an interesting format. I've always found it kind like writing a story for one person, the artist, and then collaborating on how that final story is told. That way you get your ability to tell stories, but if you just want that single image of a face that says it all, you get that too.
That’s how I’ve felt as well. I even looked at and dabbled in scriptwriting for comics.

But, as another dumb barrier I put on myself, I haven’t gone too far in it because I wonder how hard it is to submit a comic story for approval these days. I know, it’s arrogant to think I would have better odds writing a novel, which I haven’t done either.

Don’t suppose there are some comic publications more willing to take a pilot script seriously? I think I read once that Dark Horse was one of the more open publishers. I also wondering if having character designs and concept sketches would boost the chances of getting noticed as well (another reason I should take drawing more seriously)?
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,256
North-East England
That’s how I’ve felt as well. I even looked at and dabbled in scriptwriting for comics.

But, as another dumb barrier I put on myself, I haven’t gone too far in it because I wonder how hard it is to submit a comic story for approval these days. I know, it’s arrogant to think I would have better odds writing a novel, which I haven’t done either.

Don’t suppose there are some comic publications more willing to take a pilot script seriously? I think I read once that Dark Horse was one of the more open publishers. I also wondering if having character designs and concept sketches would boost the chances of getting noticed as well (another reason I should take drawing more seriously)?
2000ad have (or did recently) an open door for scripts from new writers - though it has to be a one-off rather than a pilot.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,988
Don’t suppose there are some comic publications more willing to take a pilot script seriously? I think I read once that Dark Horse was one of the more open publishers. I also wondering if having character designs and concept sketches would boost the chances of getting noticed as well (another reason I should take drawing more seriously)?
The biggest issue with submitting seriously to comics is you need to have a pretty comprehensive package. Of course they value both the art and the writing, but they focus heavily on the art. So with some of the publishers, like Image, that are open to submissions from amateurs, you still need to present a sample of finished pages. They don't need to see an entire issue, but at least a few pages inked, lettered and colored (unless it's a black and white comic) are usually needed. I got lucky in that regard; I happen to be married to an illustrator, so we've collaborated on comics together, plus I've had access to her extremely talented friends on those occasions when I've needed an artist, but for aspiring comic writers, aside from the challenge getting good at writing itself, the next big hurdle is partnering up with an artist.

Logistically, you're right that novels require far fewer outside resources. That's one of the reasons I like the format. That and I'm a little bit of a control freak creatively, so I like being able to just handle everything, when it comes to a novel.
 
Oct 26, 2017
4,644
2000ad have (or did recently) an open door for scripts from new writers - though it has to be a one-off rather than a pilot.
One-off as in a self contained story? Could it be a one-off that could be open enough to be pitched as a series?

The biggest issue with submitting seriously to comics is you need to have a pretty comprehensive package. Of course they value both the art and the writing, but they focus heavily on the art. So with some of the publishers, like Image, that are open to submissions from amateurs, you still need to present a sample of finished pages. They don't need to see an entire issue, but at least a few pages inked, lettered and colored (unless it's a black and white comic) are usually needed. I got lucky in that regard; I happen to be married to an illustrator, so we've collaborated on comics together, plus I've had access to her extremely talented friends on those occasions when I've needed an artist, but for aspiring comic writers, aside from the challenge getting good at writing itself, the next big hurdle is partnering up with an artist.

Logistically, you're right that novels require far fewer outside resources. That's one of the reasons I like the format. That and I'm a little bit of a control freak creatively, so I like being able to just handle everything, when it comes to a novel.
Even if you just wanted to apply as a writer? That’s weird that they would want sample pages as well, unless it’s so that they can see how the story flows?

Much as I love the idea of having total freedom in my works, I still don’t know if novel-length descriptions are my forte. The simple answer would be to dabble in both, but that’s on me to push foward and stop being lazy in that aspect.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,371
Hi writingERA! I mainly write poetry. Have some--not many--journal publications and do editorial work for a small poetry press.

I also have a manuscript that has been a semi-finalist/tiered rejection many times, but I can't get it over the line. I've since completed a follow-up manuscript. Feels kind of bad to have a publication backlog. O well, something will happen eventually.

I've also recently begun submitting fiction pieces, I think poetry will always be my strength, but a few stories seem good enough--I figured why not.

I will be teaching college Intro to CW in the spring, if anyone has any questions about MFA stuff or really anything related I'm happy to answer.
That's awesome. I don't do poetry but I always admire people who do.

I know what you mean about not being able to get over the line. I've had several personal rejections and longlist for one piece this year and I'm not sure what to do other than to keep shopping it around. Hate to move on from it completely.

Can I ask how you got into the teaching gig? Do you need an MFA to do it?
 
Shoeless’ comics submission info links
Oct 27, 2017
3,988
Even if you just wanted to apply as a writer? That’s weird that they would want sample pages as well, unless it’s so that they can see how the story flows?
Well, it might be different at the smaller comic publishers, like Slave Labor Graphics, but for the "big boys," yeah. Here's a list of the requirements for the major comic book publishers. Of them all, only Image readily accepts writers via online submission, and even then, they still require finished art work. It's not a huge surprise; comics are a visual medium. You have to be prepared to say "I've thought this out, and here's my artist." They're not so keen on taking on a completely untried writing talent and assigning a new artist to them, hoping it will turn out for the best.
 
That's awesome. I don't do poetry but I always admire people who do.

I know what you mean about not being able to get over the line. I've had several personal rejections and longlist for one piece this year and I'm not sure what to do other than to keep shopping it around. Hate to move on from it completely.

Can I ask how you got into the teaching gig? Do you need an MFA to do it?
Yeah, hard to push "over the line." I keep getting close, but no actual home for the manuscript. Poetry book publication has largely become contest-based, so it's not enough that your book be liked--it has to be better-liked than all the others. I get a few semi-finalist nods a year, which sounds nice, but there's no book deal to go with that. I've been shopping it over five years and across three major revisions. Results have improved during this time, but not enough. I don't know what else to do other than keep sending it places, just like you say.

Yes, the teaching gig became available due to my studies in an MFA program. However, if you are interested in teaching for the experience, there are often volunteer opportunities in even modest-sized communities. In the US (my state at least) arts instruction is woefully underfunded. It's a good way to get experience and looks good on a resume/CV.
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,256
North-East England
One-off as in a self contained story? Could it be a one-off that could be open enough to be pitched as a series?
It's a very specific format - they regularly do one-off sci-fi 'twist' stories called Future Shocks, and your initial pitch would have to be one of them. Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Garth Ennis and Grant Morrison all got their start at the magazine, and most recently Al Ewing from their writers has made the jump to Marvel, I think?
 
Oct 25, 2017
352
Massachusetts
Well I just stumbled upon my first questionable literary agency. Started with me questioning all the formatting instructions for submitting manuscript samples (while also telling you to copy it to the body of the e-mail when much of the formatting wouldn't adhere.) only to discover after a google search that they seem to simply shop your book around to all the low bar publishers that accept direct queries anyway. Dodged a bullet I guess.
 
Shoeless’ agent review links
Oct 27, 2017
3,988
Well I just stumbled upon my first questionable literary agency. Started with me questioning all the formatting instructions for submitting manuscript samples (while also telling you to copy it to the body of the e-mail when much of the formatting wouldn't adhere.) only to discover after a google search that they seem to simply shop your book around to all the low bar publishers that accept direct queries anyway. Dodged a bullet I guess.
Yeah, it sounds like you did dodge a bullet. If you're interested in doing a decent search of literary agencies, try using the Query Tracker website for useful stats on various agencies, and if you want more in depth "dirt" on what each agency is like, ask around the Bewares & Recommendations sub-forum of Absolute Write. There's literally years worth of writers there sharing their experiences with different agencies, so it's a great resource for finding out whether you're interacting with a reputable agency, or one that's a scam.
 
Oct 25, 2017
352
Massachusetts
Yeah, it sounds like you did dodge a bullet. If you're interested in doing a decent search of literary agencies, try using the Query Tracker website for useful stats on various agencies, and if you want more in depth "dirt" on what each agency is like, ask around the Bewares & Recommendations sub-forum of Absolute Write. There's literally years worth of writers there sharing their experiences with different agencies, so it's a great resource for finding out whether you're interacting with a reputable agency, or one that's a scam.
Thanks for the recommendation. I'd heard some stuff about Query Tracker, but was currently working through the Writersdigest spotlights as a way to sort dip my toe into things (which, as it turns out, was where I saw this sketchy agency) as I'm querying literary agents for the first time since changing my focus from screenwriting to novels. And yeah, it's actually Absolutewrite that I found while googling that clued me in! lol I'll definitely double check it if anything seems off again.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,988
Thanks for the recommendation. I'd heard some stuff about Query Tracker, but was currently working through the Writersdigest spotlights as a way to sort dip my toe into things (which, as it turns out, was where I saw this sketchy agency) as I'm querying literary agents for the first time since changing my focus from screenwriting to novels. And yeah, it's actually Absolutewrite that I found while googling that clued me in! lol I'll definitely double check it if anything seems off again.
To be fair, Query Tracker will be much more useful to you once start querying "hardcore" and start sending out batches of queries to different agencies. It's basically a query-specific database and organizer where you can start projects, keep track of what's out with who, and, if you pay for the subscription, get access to the agency stats, that will even show you things like the percentages that individual agents have positively responded to different genres, or even what word count of manuscripts an individual agent seems to most likely ask for partials or fulls from. I had a subscription with Query Tracker for years and it was a great organizational resource. The only reason I'm letting my subscription finally lapse is because I got an agent, so it's kind of redundant to keep that around now.
 
Oct 25, 2017
352
Massachusetts
To be fair, Query Tracker will be much more useful to you once start querying "hardcore" and start sending out batches of queries to different agencies. It's basically a query-specific database and organizer where you can start projects, keep track of what's out with who, and, if you pay for the subscription, get access to the agency stats, that will even show you things like the percentages that individual agents have positively responded to different genres, or even what word count of manuscripts an individual agent seems to most likely ask for partials or fulls from. I had a subscription with Query Tracker for years and it was a great organizational resource. The only reason I'm letting my subscription finally lapse is because I got an agent, so it's kind of redundant to keep that around now.
That does sound pretty handy, and since I'm closing out trying to sell some of my screenplays via services like Inktip, maybe I could shift the money that way. Again thanks for the heads up!
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,988
That does sound pretty handy, and since I'm closing out trying to sell some of my screenplays via services like Inktip, maybe I could shift the money that way. Again thanks for the heads up!
It's tough in the "query trenches." We're all in this together, man. Good luck!
 
Tookay’s Published Works list
Nov 15, 2017
238
Just wanted to say thank you for this thread. The original version on the old site got me through writing my novel... and now it's finally published on Amazon.

The Aurora War
 
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Oct 26, 2017
4,644
My other problem aside from format debating is that I’ll have a jumble of “ideas” or “moments”, and I can’t focus on a specific one and build from it.

I’ll think up a cool scene from a sci-fi space station, or an epic battle with a giant, or one character tearfully embracing their friend as they pass on....it’s all stuff without context, other than the emotional resonance I perceive from such scenes.

That’s why I think I’m better suited to visual storytelling, since I tend to focus more on the emotions that an image conveys, rather than its words. I don’t know if the two are actually interchangable and that I could create that same potential through pen and paper (metaphorically. it would be typed on a computer, obviously).
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,988
I’ll think up a cool scene from a sci-fi space station, or an epic battle with a giant, or one character tearfully embracing their friend as they pass on....it’s all stuff without context, other than the emotional resonance I perceive from such scenes.

That’s why I think I’m better suited to visual storytelling, since I tend to focus more on the emotions that an image conveys, rather than its words. I don’t know if the two are actually interchangable and that I could create that same potential through pen and paper (metaphorically. it would be typed on a computer, obviously).
Well, both of these ways require different skill sets in terms of evoking emotion out of an audience. Individual scenes in a book can absolutely tear up a person emotionally. A Prayer For Owen Meany left me a total wreck by the ending, and I had no idea a book could make me cry that much. I've had the same reaction to some films, though a comic has yet to get that kind of strong, sad emotional reaction out of me. But getting that emotional provocation in comics is as much about your skill as an artist--or finding the artist with the skill you need--to bring that image to life. Same for a scene in a movie, you need to have the eye to compose the scene, light it, and finally actors that can pull off the words and facial expressions. And of course, with written fiction, all you've got to rely on are word choices to shape the experience.

But in each instance, the problem remains the same. You have the idea in your head, and it may be strong, but without the necessary real world ability to translate that into your chosen medium, it can fall flat. A tragic death scene in a comic loses its power if all you can draw are stick figures. A sad deathbed scene in a movie can be comical if your actors are terrible, or you've chosen to shoot it like an action sequence with crash zooms and shaky cam. And a devastating confession in a novel can be dull if all you write is "He confessed and it was sad." And even after all that, if you've carefully crafted a scene, it may still lose its power if you don't have a story wrapped around it that earns that emotion. Otherwise, it's just a single scene with a curious emotional power to it, but no real resonance, since there's nothing before or after it.

To me, personally, it's just a matter of trust. For myself I made a choice to go crazy with novels as my medium of choice because it was the most feasible for pulling off what I had in my head. I haven't drawn in years, and even then, I was mediocre at best. And if you're a director, you need to be on your A-Game for working with other people, because it's such a collaborative effort. If your director of photography, actors, musicians, editors or effects people aren't all working in harmony with you, your vision can fail anywhere along the chain of production. With novels, if anything goes wrong, you really only have yourself to blame.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,454
I'm not a writer. I've liked writing in the past. I need an excuse to write.

Maybe this thread is that excuse!

I know it's November so a lot of people are busy, but is there any chance of a monthly or some other frequency writing jam club thing for shorter stories with prompts we all share or something? I've done that before and had fun. (Is this thread exclusively about writing novels, it seems like that's the dominant topic!)
 
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OP
OP
weemadarthur

weemadarthur

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,524
Twig
Yes, the regular biweekly challenge threads will resume in December.

The winner of the latest challenge (Alucard, whatever he's calling himself on Era) will be making it.
 
Oct 28, 2017
493
Australia
What do you guys think of changing focus characters entirely during a chapter?

I'm writing a story and it's divided into 16 short chapters per part, but it's 13 parts long, meaning I'm going to end up with a tonne of chapters. Do you think I should be combining some of these and just completely switch focus (ensemble cast) during the chapter?
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,695
Is this thread exclusively about writing novels, it seems like that's the dominant topic!
It's not, but if novels dominate the thread I can think of two reasons why:
1) November is National Novel Writing Month, so many aspiring writers are working on novels at this time.
2) Novels are slower turnaround just by virtue of being longer, so unlike short stories and such it's tougher to rely purely on experience to get gud.
I'm writing a story and it's divided into 16 short chapters per part, but it's 13 parts long, meaning I'm going to end up with a tonne of chapters. Do you think I should be combining some of these and just completely switch focus (ensemble cast) during the chapter?
Prioritize the reading experience over whatever format ideal you're wresting with. It's the content you're making that the reader's invested in, not how your chapters are structured. Formatting concepts exist to make the material easier to read, so if you think you're doing the opposite, don't. Whether that's shorter chapters or longer, that's up to you, but don't obfuscate your own content.

FWIW there's an intermediate between paragraph and chapter which is to just insert a break, a few lines of white space, to indicate mid-chapter transition.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,454
Twig
Yes, the regular biweekly challenge threads will resume in December.

The winner of the latest challenge (Alucard, whatever he's calling himself on Era) will be making it.
It's not, but if novels dominate the thread I can think of two reasons why:
1) November is National Novel Writing Month, so many aspiring writers are working on novels at this time.
2) Novels are slower turnaround just by virtue of being longer, so unlike short stories and such it's tougher to rely purely on experience to get gud.
Rad!
 
Nov 3, 2017
13
Hi! I just wanted to say hi, and thanks for getting this started weemadarthur. I'm not sure how involved I'll be with the weekly challenges after 7 years of never missing a beat, but I'm trying to take my writing in a different direction. So far, that's not working, so I might join you guys again -- after NaNoWriMo! Best group ever! Toddhunter, I also like Garamond.
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,256
North-East England
What do you guys think of changing focus characters entirely during a chapter?

I'm writing a story and it's divided into 16 short chapters per part, but it's 13 parts long, meaning I'm going to end up with a tonne of chapters. Do you think I should be combining some of these and just completely switch focus (ensemble cast) during the chapter?
Some writers do it all the time - JK Rowling in The Casual Vacancy, for instance. I'd say the main trick is making sure your readers aren't confused - make the links between the characters obvious each time you do a switch, so you preserve the flow of events as best as possible.
My novel, Lamplight, does it whenever the characters text each other.
 

Fuu

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,120
Scrivener 3 is coming! $25 for existing users. Day one, love this software to death. I'm particularly looking forward to the enhanced outlining and writing statistics. Better, more intuitive compiling sounds great, and date fields in metadata is cool too as it's something I've already been improvising on 2.x.

Scrivener 3 for macOS: the Release is Nigh

Scrivener 3 for macOS will be released on Monday, 20th November 2017. Scrivener 3 is a major—and paid—update to Scrivener featuring a beautiful, modernised interface and packed with improvements we’ve been working on for years.



Features
  • Modernised, redesigned UI with all-new graphical elements and a flatter, fresher feel.
  • A true styles system, making it much easier to format headings, block quotes and more – all fully-integrated with Compile, so that you can reformat everything on the fly when you export or print.
  • Compile has been rebuilt from the ground up, making it much easier for novices while providing even more power for those who want to dive deep.
  • ePub 3 support and improved Kindle export, with fully customisable CSS for stunning ebooks.
  • View more documents alongside one another using the new “Copyholders” feature. You can even navigate your writing on one side of the UI and your research on the other.
  • Bookmark and then view and edit documents in the Inspector, right alongside whatever you’re working on.
  • Enhanced outlining. Scrivener’s corkboard and outliner are now more flexible, and show text previews for documents with no synopsis.
  • Writing Statistics: keep track of how much you write every day.
  • Track threads on the corkboard: Scrivener’s new “Arrange by Label” corkboard mode allows you to arrange cards along coloured lines representing labels. Great for working out different storylines or themes.
  • Improved custom metadata: you can now create pop-up lists, checkboxes and date fields in Scrivener’s Inspector and outliner.
  • Easy layout switching: quickly switch between useful UI setups using the new default layouts available from the Window > Layouts menu, or from the leftmost toolbar button.
  • Every single feature and UI element of Scrivener has been refreshed, overhauled and improved.
  • Scrivener is now 64-bit.
  • Much, much more.
More info at the link:

http://www.literatureandlatte.com/blog/?p=1185
 
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Xita

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
3,344
Sounds like none of that is coming to the iOS version for awhile, if ever. Oh well, the old version is already very good on its own.
 
Oct 25, 2017
9,487
Yeah I love Scrivener, but already feel like I don't use it to its full potential, let alone spending more for updates I likely won't use.

Been debating getting the IOS version so that I can sync those little notes and whatnot I write in bed for the next chapter or idea I've had. So probably can't justify spending £20 on that AND updating my Mac version. Be interested to hear some impressions though.
 
Oct 25, 2017
9,487
What exactly does Scrivener do, and what makes it advantageous for struggling writers like myself?
Not sure if a joke, but it's essentially just a really great Word processor aimed at long form writing. Be that novels, scripts etc. Lots of great tools (that need a decent amount of time to learn) for people really pumping the work out. It's just a really powerful tool for organising every part of a manuscript and then compiling it for printing, e-book or whatever.

Only...I've never got as far as that last bit, ha! I have lots of beautifully organised 1/4 manuscripts on my MacBook using Scrivener. Here's hoping this one allows me to use those compile tools.
 
Oct 26, 2017
4,644
Not sure if a joke, but it's essentially just a really great Word processor aimed at long form writing. Be that novels, scripts etc. Lots of great tools (that need a decent amount of time to learn) for people really pumping the work out. It's just a really powerful tool for organising every part of a manuscript and then compiling it for printing, e-book or whatever.

Only...I've never got as far as that last bit, ha! I have lots of beautifully organised 1/4 manuscripts on my MacBook using Scrivener. Here's hoping this one allows me to use those compile tools.
Wasn’t a joke honestly, I hadn’t heard of it before. Sounds like it might be ideal for someone like me with scattershot ideas?

Perhaps with that tool I can put out the random scenes in my head into writing and then stitch them together into something cohesive. That might be better for me then trying to write things in order; I do notice that when I do that I tend to rush my story just to get to the part that I planned out better (i.e. enough with the setup, let’s get to the action!).
 
Oct 25, 2017
9,487
Wasn’t a joke honestly, I hadn’t heard of it before. Sounds like it might be ideal for someone like me with scattershot ideas?

Perhaps with that tool I can put out the random scenes in my head into writing and then stitch them together into something cohesive. That might be better for me then trying to write things in order; I do notice that when I do that I tend to rush my story just to get to the part that I planned out better (i.e. enough with the setup, let’s get to the action!).
It's absolutely great for that stuff. You can write individual scenes and organise them into chapters later. Tag things with keywords. Colour code things. Search by a characters name and bring up all the scenes that way. Just Loads and loads of options. Honestly more than I can ever use. It has a free trial 30 days of use, not days since you installed. So might be worth giving it a go today and then as of Monday if you want to buy it £40 iirc, you can get the brand new version. Just a one time purchase.

As eluded to, they also have an IOS app that can sync with your Mac version (there's also a windows version of Scrivener but it was primarily Mac software).
 
Oct 26, 2017
4,644
It's absolutely great for that stuff. You can write individual scenes and organise them into chapters later. Tag things with keywords. Colour code things. Search by a characters name and bring up all the scenes that way. Just Loads and loads of options. Honestly more than I can ever use. It has a free trial 30 days of use, not days since you installed. So might be worth giving it a go today and then as of Monday if you want to buy it £40 iirc, you can get the brand new version. Just a one time purchase.

As eluded to, they also have an IOS app that can sync with your Mac version (there's also a windows version of Scrivener but it was primarily Mac software).
I’ve got a PC and iPhone/iPad, will they sync without issue?
 
Oct 25, 2017
9,487
I’ve got a PC and iPhone/iPad, will they sync without issue?
Don't quote me, but I think so as the syncing is done through Dropbox. But as per the blog post, Windows won't be getting Scrivener 3 for quite some time, so best to just jump in with the trial now.
 
Oct 25, 2017
394
Hi writingERA! I mainly write poetry. Have some--not many--journal publications and do editorial work for a small poetry press.

I also have a manuscript that has been a semi-finalist/tiered rejection many times, but I can't get it over the line. I've since completed a follow-up manuscript. Feels kind of bad to have a publication backlog. O well, something will happen eventually.

I've also recently begun submitting fiction pieces, I think poetry will always be my strength, but a few stories seem good enough--I figured why not.

I will be teaching college Intro to CW in the spring, if anyone has any questions about MFA stuff or really anything related I'm happy to answer.
Glad to see another poet here.

Just recently finished my MFA this past summer and have started submitting to some contests recently, so I'm sure I'll know what that's like soon enough.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,534
The English Wilderness
What do you guys think of changing focus characters entirely during a chapter?
This is one of those questions, along with people asking if it's even okay to have multiple viewpoints, that makes me scratch my head a little and wonder where on earth it came from.

Yes, it's perfectly fine to change viewpoints in a chapter. The main issue is how you go about it. It sounds like you're writing third person limited, so you'll want to treat the viewpoints as separate scenes. As to which scenes you combine to form a chapter, that's up to you. Try thinking about each chapter as an act, with its own beginning, middle and end. Scenes set in the same location, or detailing a single event, could go together. Alternatively, scenes that have a similar tone or theme - or, on the opposite end, two scenes that juxtapose one another, therefore saying more taken together than they do apart.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,988
It's absolutely great for that stuff. You can write individual scenes and organise them into chapters later. Tag things with keywords. Colour code things. Search by a characters name and bring up all the scenes that way. Just Loads and loads of options. Honestly more than I can ever use. It has a free trial 30 days of use, not days since you installed. So might be worth giving it a go today and then as of Monday if you want to buy it £40 iirc, you can get the brand new version. Just a one time purchase.
I'm one of those writers that's just too old school or disorganized for Scrivner. I've tried using it a couple of times, and end up using it EXACTLY like MS Word, where, aside from the extensive use of the delete key, it's just a glorified typewriter. The outlining, chapter break, character profile stuff all goes unused, Every time I try to mess around with those features, I get nowhere. I'm just one of those writers that just sits down and writes, I guess. I've always done my first drafts from first page, first chapter, to last chapter, last page, so I've never had a situation where I needed to shuffle bits of plot around or fill in intermediary chapters. It's good to see something robust for people that need or what that kind organizational power in their writing software, but it's just not for me.