Writing the write way!

piles of paper

Is there a right way and a wrong way to write? Most people have their own style or preference. Nowadays most writers use computers and word processing programs. But even they have come a long way. Having the right tools can help your story writing process, as I learned recently…

When I started writing my NaNoWriMo story this past November, I began with MS Word. I wrote a paragraph thinking out the beginning, middle and end of my story. Then I fleshed out each sentence and created a general outline with important plot points. And then I added to the outline, subsections and sub-subsections detailing where I wanted the story to go.

Of course I always kept in mind that my characters tended to hijack the plot early on so I wasn’t married to this preliminary outline. It was more like the dashed white lines on the highway. They keep you in your lane so you can get to your destination safely but they don’t prevent you from changing lanes if you wanted to.

By the time my outline was completely detailed and ready for the meat adding part (ie: dialog, narratives and actual complete sentences etc) I had a multipage 1-2k document. Unfortunately this is the part where¬†MS Word started to piss me off big time!! As my document grew the auto-formatting gremlins would come out of the wood work and start tormenting me. Since I was still essentially in an outline form, Word would try to indent and add numbers or bullets to my entries. If I highlighted a line over here it thought I wanted to do the same elsewhere. No! Did I tell you to highlight that section? No, I didn’t. Bad MS Word, bad!

And if I tried to use the Outline View to control how much of this big bulky document I could see at one time, it would crap out on me and turn every section into the same level and thereby defeating its own purpose. It was more than this ADD-enhanced story teller could handle. Aye aye aye!!!!!!

Then the clouds parted, light streamed down from the heavens and a chorus sang in harmony “Scrivener“. Yeup, I was saved. I found the way. The write way to write. More on my Scrivener experience on a later post.


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