Of Swords and Dragons and Beta Software

I’ve been sketching out and pulling together background notes on my next novel, SHADOWS AND BONES. It’s something I’m very excited about – a fantasy novel that I’ve had lurking in my mind for years. I hope to start posting excerpts some time over the next month or two, but right now everything is still far too raw.  So for now I’m rotating between writing character sketches, histories, and plot points so that I can start the actual story writing in earnest.

I mentioned in my last post (now over two weeks old) that the real world and the time I was investing in looking for a literary agent for my first novel CHASING AFTER VANITY were consuming most of my time, so I don’t quite have the momentum on SHADOWS that I would like, but I’m happy to finally be making progress. But something I’m constantly confronted with is getting deep into my writing one day, and then being pulled away for various unavoidable reasons for several days. When I return, the writing has cooled a bit, and sometimes I wonder where I need to re-start.  That leads me to my new toy, Scrivener for Windows.

A few months ago I heard about Scrivener, and was impressed by the high praise it received from other writers.  For those who may not be familiar with it, this software has some interesting tools to help you develop your novel or screenplay. Although I’m not familiar with all the capability Scrivener offers, the corkboard is one of my favorites. You can arrange blocks of writing (say, scenes that you’re not sure what order you want them) on a digital cork board so that you can visually rearrange them. So I was a bit put off when I discovered it was for Macs only.  Yes, I am a PC user, and although I wouldn’t say I’m a passionate one, I can say that I’m an entrenched one.  No Macs for me in the foreseeable future. So after looking longingly at the website for a few minutes, I closed the link and went back to writing as before.

I guess there were quite a few people in the same boat that I’m in, because the good folks who make Scrivener started fielding a beta version for Windows.  It may have even been out when I first looked at the software, but I just now got a hold of it.  So far, I really like what I’m seeing.  I like being able to rapidly click through all of my writing fragments, which helps me to gel together fragile, nascent ideas. It also allows me to regain my bearings when I’ve been away from my writing for a while. I love the ability to pull up images within the same environment.  This will be useful once I scan in the maps of the fantasy world where SHADOWS takes place.

Because this is beta software, you’re given a temporary license, and you’re asked to report any bugs that you come across.  Once production ready, the software is expected to be priced at $40.

Here’s the link to Scrivener for Windows. If this sounds interesting to you, check it out.


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