Getting Started

So, I’m writing a novel. I started it about a month ago and have been working on it off and on over the past month. I’m proud to say, thus far, I have two scenes written.

The genre is YA Sci-fi/Fantasy, subgenre is Steampunk. It’s set on another planet, Planet X as we’ll refer to it from now on. And it’s going to be told from 3 points of view. It’s a fun story so let’s break down some of the techniques and tools I’m using to write it…

First is Scrivener. This is a program that has a ton of features. You can try a free trial here: The trial lasts about 30 days. I’ve had a lot of fun setting up my future manuscript (which helps with my excitement level) and really utilizing the cork-board feature. If you’re working on something that will be long, it’s great to use so that you can have everything together without crashing Word.

Second is this: POV Template. I am no genius so I can’t figure out how to allow YOU to use it, but I mostly wanted to convey the idea of what I was working with. I spent a lot of time with tables in word to create this, there are other ways–for example writing it out long hand. A lot of people use notecards (which I also do). The way I set my timeline up for Act 1. This way I keep track of my scenes, my POVs, and my timeline. It’s really firmly set, I can’t move it around without a little hassle, SO it makes doing it long hand a little easier. Anyway, I think it’s a great way to keep your story straight. I recommend it for every scene.

Last for today is a booklist: Plot Vs. Character by Jeff GerkeMake a Scene by Jordan RosenfeldWord Hero: A Fiendishly Clever Guide to Crafting the Lines that Get Laughs, Go Viral, and Live Forever by Jay Heinrichs, and The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell. I’m a bit of an organic writer and reader so typically I don’t do the exercises but this time, I am. These books are useless if you don’t actually DO what they suggest you do and to incorporating them into your writing. I also suggest reading a chapter and then writing 2-3 pages about the chapter, your thoughts on it, etc. That way you’re internalizing it more actively.

Please let me know about YOUR progress. I want this to be less of a Dear Diary and more of a dialogue and exchange with writers around the world.


3 thoughts on “Getting Started

  1. Gwynnifer

    I’d love to hear how you chose Scrivener over any other software available. A woman in my class has been advocating for Write Way. I haven’t even begun to look at the options available, but would like to start hearing about this topic from others before I invest! Thanks much.

    1. melanie_unabridged Post author

      I only picked it because it was the only software I’ve heard of.
      I would try as many free trials you can and pick what makes you the most comfortable when you work with it. It’s always about comfort and what helps your flow. I’ll have to check out Write Way and do a post on it.

      1. Gwynnifer

        I just read another post about Write Way, and that person found it far less useful than Scrivener, for multiple reasons like inability to import files, confusing advertising, and system incompatibilities. So it sounds like you have the good stuff!

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