A Part of My Writing Process

I’m the mom of three- and six-year old kids. They keep me hopping! So I’m not always at my computer when I’m in the middle of a WIP.

In the past, I wrote linearly. But now, thoughts and ideas and entire scenes come to me out of order (I’m a pantser). I could be lying in bed, barely aware that the sun has risen, when BAM! A story idea hits. But it’s several scenes down the road. And I’m not at my computer.

And I suffer from a serious case of mommy-itis.

How do I keep the ideas from going bye-bye into the black hole that my brain has become? It used to be sticky notes, until they took over my desk, lined my pockets, and generally got lost and laundered (along with bits and pieces of my story). Now my solution is to keep a notebook by my bedside. In my kitchen. In my bathroom. In my purse when I’m walking through the zoo. I can jot down the scene before it poofs into thin air.

So, while the majority of the story is still linear, there’s a good chunk that is piecemeal too (my inner neatnik is cringing).

Then, when I’m at my computer, I can type the scene into Scrivener, my word processor of choice. Scrivener’s great in that you can write your scenes out of order and move them around all you want, even tag them with text and/or color code them.


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Scrivener for Dummies by Gwen Hernandez

Scrivener for Dummies by Gwen Hernandez

If you’re a writer, check out Scrivener. They have a 30-day free trial so you have nothing to lose. I’m not going to get into all its bells and whistles – that will be a different post. There’s also a Scrivener for Dummies book that will explain all those bells and whistles. I have only scratched the surface of what Scrivener can do for me, and the little bit I know is more than worth the $40 I paid. I didn’t even wait for the trial to end. I know true love when I see it!

5 thoughts on “A Part of My Writing Process

  1. I live by Scrivener! I tried to do the notebook thing, but i ended up with so many notebooks all over the place. Not very productive at all. Now, i have a few notebooks which i keep nearby at all times.

    • I hear ya! The notebooks are not ideal, but definitely better than all those sticky notes! Hopefully once school starts I’ll have more time in front of the computer and can’t cut back on their use. Happy writing!

  2. Good to know, trying to weigh up the pros and cons of buying the software. Tend to write the ideas down in a exercise book and brainstorm before breaking into scenes. Will have another look. Thanks Bree. 🙂

  3. I seem to come up with the best scenes when I am nowhere near a notebook. Like in the shower, or the grocery store. An idea starts swirling, and it keeps building in my head until it’s profound. The dialogue is amazing. The twists and turns are engaging. I am positive there is no way I would ever forget the details. And then….I get to my computer, and poof. It is all gone. A mirage it seems. I like your idea of having multiple notebooks in multiple locations. I think I’ll try that!

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