Thanks so much for visiting HipWriterMama, my blog about children's books, authors and readergirlz!

It's time for a change. I've decided to focus my attention on my writing blog, www.vivianleemahoney.com. Hope to see you there!


Monday, June 1, 2009

Day 1: Summer Revision Smackdown Begins!

It's time for the Summer Revision Smackdown -- Isn't their graphic great? -- with organizers Holly and Jolie!  30 days of revision to a new slimmer, toned version of PB, my historical novel. 

The story is told from two POV's and my goal for this month is to finish converting the last half of the manuscript into the correct POV and get the voices right. Once I get everything smoothed out, I'm done. DONE! As in Finished. Perfected. Polished. But...no celebrating now. Will I be able to finish this in 30 days? I have a lot of work to do to make this happen. Wish me luck!

In preparation for this revision-thon, I converted my manuscript from Mac Pages to Scrivener over the weekend. I had been trying out Scrivener and checking out different writing programs, and decided it was finally time to make a change. Perhaps it was silly to do this when I'm so far into my project, but I'm hoping this will make my life easier.

I used to write the entire manuscript into one document file, but over the past year, I found it easier to write one chapter per document, so in case I need to edit or cut things, it's easier to pull up a chapter file, rather than scroll through hundreds of pages. All of the document files are numbered by chapter so they are in order in the document folder. I also copy each chapter into the main manuscript document since Pages doesn't merge all the documents, which can be a pain if you hit wrong buttons and then delete things by accident, but is easily fixed. (Not that this has ever happened to me.)

My research folder and a note folder are subsets of the document files, so there is no chance of missing anything, in case I need to refresh my memory on a specific detail. Everything is in one place and it helps me keep focused, rather than searching through all my computer files for a simple fact.

This system has worked well, but I have heard so many people write about how Scrivener has changed their life, that I decided to try it out awhile ago. It keeps everything organized (similar to how I save my work--chapter by chapter) and in plain sight, while your manuscript stays up--table of contents, research, word count per chapter, etc. Sounds minor, but for someone like me, who needs visual reminders of progress, this is perfect. And this merges all the chapters into the final manuscript! 

Everything looks beautiful so far, and now that it is Day 1 of the Smackdown, it's time to get to work! 

By the way, if you want to join this challenge, there's still time!  Go over here to sign up!

Have a great working day!  Wherplash!


PJ Hoover said...

So cool! I've heard so much about Scrivner. Please let us know how it works. And I'm excited to read the rest of PB!

beth said...

I revised my last novel, and it helped to see it in Scrivener. It breaks things down and let me see it chapter by chapter--which let me cut it, chapter by chapter ;)

Ello said...

I'm in major revision mode also! Man is revising hard or what!!!

Crystal said...

Vivian, that's an excellent idea! I never would have thought of putting each chapter in a separate document. I'm going to try it!
Thanks for the tip!

Vivian said...

You should check Scrivener out! And yes, you'll get to see PB soon!

Exactly. It makes it much easier. I've been doing it the exact same way on Pages, but it's more time consuming. Scrivener is more user friendly.

It sure is hard! But, I hope it will be all worth it in the end!

A chapter per document makes life easier. Easy to edit or cut, and it puts work into manageable chunks. Hope you like this method!

Heather Zundel said...

Yay for Scrivner! So glad you joined the secret club. Man, I do love that thing, not only for the chapter breakup, but how easy it is to REARRANGE them. It's like I'm in heaven. And the Research feature is one of my absolute favorite parts of the whole program. Good luck with your revisions. :)

BJW said...

I bought an Imac JUST so I could use Scrivener, formerly owning a PC. I love it. I need it. We are now one.

LOVE the full page mode. No distractions, nothing but my next words. And typewriter mode. Look ma, no scrolling.

Big fan and look forward to their next gen program that they're apparently working on.

Cool site. Kick butt this month to Finish (wow) your book. Rooting for you. now back to work.