Wednesday, February 3, 2016

IWSG: Organizing My Life

The Insecure Writers Support Group meets online every first Wednesday of the month. Founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh, IWSG was created to support and encourage writers in every phase of their work, from writing to marketing. Click here to join, and for information, writing tips and more. 

Co-hosts this month are Allison Gammons, Tamara Narayan, Eva E. Solar, Rachel Pattison, and Ann V. Friend!


I recently purchased Scrivener, a software program for writers that I've known about for some time now. The tutorial is quite involved, but after spending two days going over all this software has to offer, I'm glad I made the purchase. I was a little put off by the terminology at first. The Table of Contents is called the Binder. The writing space is called the Editor and the research area is called the Inspector. But once I understood the layout and the three root folders--Draft, Research and Trash, I knew Scrivener would work for me. I like that you can easily move chapters around, create character and setting sheets, create an outline and synopsis as you flesh out the plot. There's a cork board when you need a visual breakdown. There are ways to track themes, plot points, etc. I worried that setting things up would be tedious or feel too confining, but so far it's been fun to use.  

Hubby and I purchased new Smart Phones and with the purchase received a nice Tablet. We needed the phones. Our old phones worked okay for online searches or email, but the phone service was horrible. We are so remote here (an hour from anything major). 

The Tablet has been fun. We're sharing it, but have separate sign-ons. No really, sharing works fine for us! Vince wanted it for his aviation apps and I wanted it for online communication, organization apps, and games. I haven't downloaded any games yet, but no doubt will. I like scrabble, crosswords, and solitaire best. 

I downloaded an app called ColorNotes and love it, a glorified set of sticky notes that you can design anyway you wish. I'm using it to track some of my goals for 2016. It's something you can play with relaxing in front of the TV at night. For instance, I wanted to track the number of books I read, not titles necessarily, but Types of books. Here's my list: The Classics, Books on Writing, Books by Other Bloggers, Books I Review, Book Club Books, and Other Books. I'm also tracking Writing projects and Cozy Comforts I make (I joined a group that makes blankets for the needy).     

"Meercat"
So I guess you could say, I've been organizing my life this month :)   

Found a quote on plotting and writing outlines by Ray Bradbury I like: 

“Remember: Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations. Plot is observed after the fact rather than before. It cannot precede action. It is the chart that remains when an action is through." 

Isn't that great advice?

And something else I thought good: Think of outline as a  "living map." Things are bound to change and that's a good thing. >>>>You can read more at: How to Abandon Your Outline to Improve Your Story
// Writer Unboxed


Coming Soon! 
Also: Signed up for the A-Z April Challenge. Anyone else do this? It's a whirlwind month of reading other blogs and learning about a topic of interest, and I have to ask myself....Am I crazy? But it turns out, I really enjoy the challenge. The A-Z was my first introduction to the blog community and it changed the way I blog. This will be my fourth year and I hope to see some of you there. Click here to learn more and sign up if you like!

27 comments:

  1. Sounds like you've been busy! Do enjoy your tablet, whatever brand it is. I would hate to be without my iPad now!

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    1. We got a huge discount with our new Verizon phone service, but I love the iPad. Almost went that direction. Maybe next time :)

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  2. I've never used Scrivener. But ColorNotes sounds neat! I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the tip!

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    1. Scrivener is complicated, but I still love it. You can import so many different projects and there's an export to traditional pub or epub feature that is so cool when you're ready to submit. ColorNote is just plain fun :)

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  3. Getting organized is a great way to start off a new year. I just did that for my taxes. This time I'm going to have everything simple and clear. I swear! Check back with me at tax time in 2017.

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    1. Ooh, good for you :) Taxes are bugaboo with me. I spent a week organizing paperwork for filing this year's taxes. Need to get all done before the A-Z.

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  4. Abandon your outline? The action comes first and then the plot? Yikes! I think I just had a mini heart attack. I could never do it that way. I'm a tortoise, slowly plotting and even slower at writing. But everyone has their own style. Congrats on getting Scrivener. I've heard great things about it! :)

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    1. The article is pretty interesting. I'm not abandoning the outline just yet, although I hate writing it. I'm working on one now and can't pinpoint who the villain is. I'm working on character sketches and writing random scenes, but nothing is clear yet.

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  5. I'm still getting organized for the new year, too. It appalls me that it's February and I'm still doing it. Shouldn't I have completed it around the New Year?? Have found a better KanBan app that syncs across my desktop as well as my IPad. (I used to use one that worked on IPad only, but this one is much better--even includes a timer that helps you work via the Pomodoro technique. It's called KanBan Flow. Also trying out something I downloaded for the IPhone called Swipes, and it integrates with Evernote, however I haven't gotten so far as to figure out how to integrate it, so far. I think I've done enough for one day. Finally got my Living Faith apps downloaded on my phone and Ipad, and am up-to-date on my Bible reading via the app. Was using a separate Bible, but all of the rest of my reading--several devotionals, a book on prayer, and general reading about Christianity (currently a book called, Hearing God) is on the IPad. So it was good to consolidate.

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  6. Ooh, I should've read my comment and edited it before hitting send. Oh, well. Such it is, with missing parentheses and a double phrase, one of which should've been edited out. :)

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    1. That's pretty cool having something that syncs between your PC and IPhone/IPad. I was told you could integrate the two but wondered how well that worked. The technology just gets better and better. Can you imagine working with only a typewriter today? I should try a different Bible app too, now that I have a new phone. Wasn't too happy with the last one.

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  7. I love Bradbury's quote!
    Don't ya wish, every software package used the same language?

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  8. Oh yes, I do. It would solve a lot of problems. Hubby and I laugh at how outdated our new TV is already and my computer is ancient at six years old. 'Tis' the life these days.

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  9. ColorNotes sounds like a fun app! And that's great how you've been enjoying Scrivener. I've seen so many writers praise it, but never tried it myself...

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    1. Thanks! It was time to explore some of the options out there. Glad I did.

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  10. Ray Bradbury is/was a wonderful writer, and his quote fits perfectly. Good wishes on figuring out the new tech and finding more success.

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    1. And I've never read any of his books either, but do love the quote. Thanks!

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  11. Good on you using Scrivener. I've heard it's good, I just haven't put my toe in the water yet! :-)

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  12. I have heard a lot about Scrivener- glad you are enjoying it. The tutorial sounds a little daunting! Glad you and your husband are enjoying your tablet. I love months when I get a lot organized. it feels so good! :)
    ~Jess

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    1. I doubt I'll use everything Scrivener has to offer in the beginning. "Tags" for instance and making your own templates. For now I'm concentrating on the basics and making an outline for my new book.

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  13. You have so many fun things to celebrate this week Sharon. I've heard about Scrivener, but never tried it. Glad it will be helpful to you and you've gotten new smart phones. Hope you enjoy the weekend.

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    1. Thank you! Hope some of this technology can be of use to you too.

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  14. I downloaded a free trial of Scrivener but haven't played around with it yet. Keep us posted!

    Love the Bradbury quote.

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    1. I will :) I do the same with software...always hesitant at first, mostly because of the learning curve. A friend of mine is much bolder. She experiments with new software all the time and I learn from her.

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  15. I started using Scrivener a few months ago--and I know I need to learn more. I can't even find the corkboard. Mine doesn't look like a corkboard, I don't think? I don't know... I did take the advice to name the chapters after what happened, as in a screenplay, since chapter numbers automatically go in when you compile. Then you can semi-outline your novel through the chapter names...but I don't go further than the next couple of scenes! I'm not much of a planner.

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  16. Definitely a high learning curve and you really need to take time to do the tutorial. It says plan on spending 4 hours. Well, I spent two days before I could input anything with confidence! Everyone who's used it awhile swears by it though and wants to learn more. I went to a conference recently where a class on Scrivener was offered. It was for advanced users only and the room was packed!

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(A.B. Alcott). Stay and visit awhile. Your comments mean a lot to me.

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