2013-02-25

02-24-2013: Peacekeeper update

I'm working on the final battle scene in Peacekeeper.  Added about 700 words this weekend.  I've been transitioning to night shift so my normal morning writing sessions over the weekend just didn't happen.  I still think I will be able to have the first draft of Peacekeeper complete by the time I start working 12-hour days but in order to do so I will have to get my butt in gear.

I was thinking about my up-coming schedule where I'll be working 12-hour days, 6 days a week and I came to an interesting conclusion:  I might be able to actually get some writing done.  I will be working days which means on my one day off (Tuesday) I will be maintaining my day-shift schedule.  This means I will be getting up early (my wife is a bit of a night owl) and I will have a few hours to write.  This means I might be able to finish the second draft of Peacekeeper by the time the outage is over.

I thought I would update you on Scrivener.  I've been using it long enough now to offer a conclusive recommendation to use this product if you are a serious writer.  If you have a Mac you will find the version of Scrivener for that platform to be full of cool features.  The Windows version (the one I've been using) is behind the Mac in features but is still a handy program.  The cost is very reasonable as well.  Here are my pros and cons--bear in mind these are for the Windows version:

Pros:

  • Returns to the last location you were at when you reopen the project even if you reopen it on another computer.
  • Compiles the document into many formats.
  • Can automatically generate chapter headings and number them.
  • Built-in name generator is handy.
  • Split-screen dual editors are a very handy way to keep track of notes, characters, things to do, etc.
  • Can be used to outline the entire novel either as you work (if your a SOP writer like me) or before you get moving.
  • Works very well with Drop-Box.
Cons:

  • Windows version lacks many of the nicer features found in the Mac version.  These are mostly associated with the output formatting options.
  • Document generation options are limited but can be overcome by making editing changes in the final output.  For example: I have a few places where there is a break in the action or a scene shift and I use a blank line followed by five centered asterisks and then another blank line.  Scrivener can easily handle this as a sub-document but cannot automatically generate the centered set of asterisks.  I have to resort to putting it in manually but during the outputting process (called Compile) the center formatting of the asterisks is stripped.
  • Every once in a long while a huge section of text seems to vanish as I type.  This is easily reversed with CTRL+Z but it represents a strange bug in the program.

All in all I really like Scrivener and I highly recommend it.