New year, new blog entry titles. The Beatles may still crop up from time to time, but today this one popped into my head.
Cue the Elvis Costello music.
I’ve been spending the past couple of weeks going through every story (published and unpublished) set in Newtonberg and making note of every person, place, organization, or event mentioned. I’ve had to work through some contradictions between one story and another, and I even discovered a glaring error in one of the stories that has already been published, prompting yet another revision. Still, I think it has all been worth it.
I just wanted to take a minute to tell you about the program I’ve been using to do this: Scrivener, from Literature & Latte. So far, this program is well worth the cost. It is available for both Windows ($40) and Mac OS X ($45). Education licenses are $5 less if you’re a student or educator.
I installed it as a portable version on my USB drive so I can keep it with me at all times. The interface is pretty intuitive, but if you run into problems there are tutorials and help available, including a fairly in-depth user’s manual in PDF format. There is also a companion book, Scrivener for Dummies, by Gwen Hernandez. (Note that I have not seen the book and mention it for informational purposes.)
After setting up a project, you can add character sketches or settings sketches. It was easy to create an additional section for other things, such as for events and organizations. In my case, I have sketches for the local churches, boy scout troops, etc., and which characters are associated with each one.
One of the best parts is that you can copy these characters/settings/etc. between projects, so when I start the next batch of stories they will already be there for me to reference and add to. And since I finished going through the last story last weekend, I think I’m just about ready to do that.
Just about the only thing this program didn’t do for me was make a map of the town, but I’m working on that. Once that’s complete, I’ll be ready to start writing again, and I will be able to tell you about my experience with using Scrivener to actually write the next book.