I’ve bitten the bullet (sorry for the cliché) and, after 18 days of trial, bought the Scrivener package after an evaluation that revealed keeping track of the progress of my new novel and the various short stories that I am writing seems to be easier. When I need to refresh my knowledge and memory about the characters, setting and plot, the package enables me to do so with ease, and after the initial wobbles using the software, it seems to be second nature.
So far, I have written about 15,000 words of my second novel and I am reminded of the excitement there is in developing a plot and interesting characters. The biggest challenge is what happens to me when I do research; I lose valuable hours. To give you an example, the other day I wanted to find out about the railway service and town plan for one of my settings in the 1960’s. Three hours later, I had followed the little person on Google street view all around the town, read all kinds of interesting stories about local celebrities and discovered how the rail network has changed in the past 50+ years but I had not written a word of my novel. Scrivener allows me to record my research into a folder where I can refer to it as I continue writing and that is a great feature however it is hopeless for someone with my sense of curiosity as I do get sidetracked by all of the interesting history.
Another useful tool has been Pintrest. Despite signing up for it a long time ago, I had never used it effectively until this novel. Now I have a pinboard plastered with people, cars, uniforms, food, etc from the 1960’s and I think that is going to bring my writing to life in this new novel.
One can only hope that this will be the big one.