Welcome to One Word More!

Welcome to One Word More! The Writing Blog of Erin Phillips!

Here, you can find out all about Erin Phillips, her novels, how she writes, what she is writing, and how to contact her personally!

Erin Phillips’ newest thriller novel, POLARITY, is now available on Amazon

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How I Scrivener

I wrote a post about Scrivener a few years ago, but as I am working in Scrivener now, there are couple new tools I am using a LOT, so I want to share them with you!

First off, if you don’t kow what Scrivener is, it is a writing program that is perfect for all kinds of storytellers! I use it primarily for writing novels, but I also use it for formatting and editing the musicals I write with my husband (which we write together in GoogleDocs first and then I transfer to Scrivener).

It is basically a binder for everything and anything related to your novel! You can have links, pictures, folders and subfolders for worldbuilding and characters, and, of course, your manuscript! It has great options for editing, formatting, and exporting your manuscript, and it also allows you to import templates from writer resources (such as my favorite outline by K. M. Weiland).

In my previous post, I shared about the binder and notecards, meta-data, status labels, keywords, and full-screen mode.

Today I’m going to talk about my new favorite tools: split screen, project targets, and the dictionary shortcut.

Split Screen in action, featuring snippets from my current WIP.

Split Screen Mode is entered by clicking the little square on the upper right hand of the currently opened file. Then, you can select either the left or right screen and open a different scene or file from the binder to view it.

In my current WIP, my main character, Roxana, can read minds, and she will often recall things that other people have thought or said. Split screen mode is so helpful for accurately recalling words and moments with ease. It also helps a lot with continuity when I am checking how I described a setting or someone’s appearance without having to scroll all around in a document or even click between scenes. I can see them both at the same time.

My current project almost always has two scenes open at one time as I reference between them, and it has been invaluable for this story especially.

Project Targets is found under “Project” on the toolbar.

Another tool that I can discover and has been a great encouragement as been the Project Tracker, which I use to track my word count, both overall and each day. You can change your target number of words by clicking the second number and changing it. It will save your overall manuscript progress even if you close the window (which can be moved around) but your session target will automatically reset each day.

One thing you have to do to use this tool effectively is to make sure only your manuscript scenes are “included in the compile”, as this is what Scrivener uses to calcuate your total written words. You can change whether or not a scene (file) is included in your manuscript by going to the middle tab (General Meta-Data) in the Inspector window.

I didn’t want to use “fraternize” twice, so I looked up some synonyms!

The final tool I have been using a lot is the Dictionary/Thesaurus shortcut! When you write click on a word, go to “Writing Tools” and you can look up the word in the Dictionary and Thesaurus right from Scrivener! This has become such a great trick when I’m in the writing zone and need a different word, because I don’t have to pull up a internet browser and go to the thesaurus website or Google and now I’m distracted! This shortcut keeps me engaged with my story and finding that new word quickly by cutting out the middle man, so to speak.

You can also open the word in Google or Wikipedia too if you are looking for more information on something, which has also been a fun little way to research.

Half-Way Thoughts

I’m half-way through the first draft of my current work-in-progress, so I thought I would share just an unorganized list of thoughts that have crossed my mind in the process:

  • I’m not following the Three Act structure close enough.
    • That’s okay; God wrote this story…kinda…well, the original version.
  • Does the story spend too much time in the harem?
    • Well, it sets up everything else so, I guess not.
  • Ugh, if my readers turn Xerxes into a ‘bad boy’ romantic architype, ima be disgusted.
  • Woof, am I making Mordecai too self-centered?
    • Meh, makes his redemption better.
  • Is this story too dark for the YA Christian genre?
  • Is this story too religious for the YA secular genre?
  • Just keep writing. Worry about that later.
  • The greatest struggle for a Christian writer: figuring out how to have characters curse without swearing.
  • Wow! There are so many amazing self-published authors out there!
    • Do I really want to pursue traditional publishing?
    • Why do I want to be traditionally published?
    • Have I made an idol out of being traditionally publishing?
      • (insert repentence.)
    • So do I still want to be traditionally published?
  • Just keep writing. Worry about that later.
  • I should read some of my other books to inspire myself!
    • I have grown a lot since writing The Keeper. Woof.
    • No, be happy about what you have accomplished!
    • Should I unpublish my Eviryia books?
  • Just keep writing. Worry about that later.
  • Yay! I finally get to write an action sequence!
    • That felt kind short.
  • Are people gonna hate me for this plot point?
    • Nah, they should be used to me killing off major characters at this point.
    • (If you aren’t used to it, you haven’t read any of my books: read one now!)
  • I can’t wait to kill that character.
    • And that character.
  • What am I going to write after this? I don’t want my writing muscle to go flabby again!
  • Just keep writing.
  • Worry about all of that later.

Why Pursue Traditional Publishing? (Are There Enough Good Reasons?)

Half-way through the first draft of my current work in progress and it is causing some anxiety about the querying process. However, I came across this article in the question for some comfort in light of the daunting task of traditional publishing, and I found it quite encouraging, so I thought I would share it!

What’s the overriding reason for an author to find an agent and a traditional publishing deal? Is it possible that the reasons may be flawed?

Source: Why Pursue Traditional Publishing? (Are There Enough Good Reasons?)