Drafting in the fast lane...

With copy edits completed on TRUTH (the sequel to XVI), and another book with my editor (fingers crossed!), I'm back in drafting mode. Drafting mode, at least for me, is quite similar to NaNoWriMo. Or perhaps I should say it was, until I discovered Scrivener.

I love my Scrivener! I do! But, it has suddenly organized me in a way with which I am not familiar. Okay... maybe it's just organized me & I am not familiar with organization! (Yeep! Little truths leak out!)

Now, instead of scribbled post-its stuck to my computer, the wall, the dog, the cats, tea cups, and water bottles -- I have an actual area within my main document where I can put notes, names (so I don't forget who I called what), research, and other pertinent data. This kind of organization is shocking to me! Instead of three composition books (and I can never remember which has what notes in it) full of backstory, motivation, and description... well, it's all just a mouse click away - while I'm actually writing on the draft!

Right now my Scrivener document looks like this...

Main Document
Prologue
Prologue 1
New Chap 1
New Chap 2
New Chap 3
4
5

Research
Characters
Locations
Slang

Unbelievable! I can be writing away and forget what so-and-so's family name is. I click on Characters - and - Ta Da! There's the name!

This is like going from a manual to an automatic transmission! (Altho' I love me my little 5-speed!) My goal is 2500 words a day until this 1st draft is finished. And - I think I'm gonna make it!

How do you get through those first drafts? Any tricks or methods that you find work really well for you? Or is each book different? I'd love to know! I'm ready to take notes!

8 comments:

chasing empty pavements said...

I love love love scrivener!! It's been my saving grace! My fiance bought it for me and I absoultely LOVE it!

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I love first drafts! And my Scrivener for Windows...I would kiss it, if that weren't strange. #alsoimpossible

My scrivener categories have notes from writing books, plans for tackling revisions, and a whole host of research files, one for each topic. I even have a beat sheet and outline tab. (Ok, I'll stop now, or you'll know how crazy I am). :) #GoodLuck!

Tere Kirkland said...

I'm not the most organized person, and I draft so slowly, all I use is one notebook separated into sections: plotting, drafting, and research. Occasionally I'll use FreeMind software to make a bubble diagram to help me plot, but I've never tried Scrivener.

Maybe when I get my first advance. ;)

Sarah Billington said...

I am pretty old school with my drafting technique too, with notes on receipts and serviettes and random pieces of paper. I used to put any old idea, even those that don't work for the book I'm working on at the time, in the same notebook therefore I could never find anything when I was looking for it. I now use one notebook per novel - but some notebooks end up with only a page or two of notes in them as the idea didn't go anywhere.
Oy. So Scrivener, you say? :) I have downloaded the trial but haven't really worked out how to use it. But I will!

Bittersweet Fountain said...

Strangely enough, I use powerpoint to organize my novels. I create poster sized powerpoints--so that I have a ton of space. With this I keep track of everything: world building, plot, characters. I'll have a separate poster for each chapter, character, and aspect of world building. And it's all in one handy powerpoint file which I can "control F" to find whatever I need at any moment. :)

Ruth Donnelly said...

So interesting to hear about these different methods of organization! I just make word documents for each category (characters, setting, plot outline, etc.) and keep them all in a folder on my desktop. I feel like trying to learn a new system would take time away from my writing--but maybe it would actually save time in the long run.

Julia Karr said...

Such great ideas! w00t!

Fresh Garden said...

Wonderful! Fantastic!