I’m hosting a guest post today by Bernard Maestas, author of thriller/suspense “Godwin’s Law”. Thank you for stopping by my blog.
I’m Officially on the Scrivener Bandwagon
I’m not really a bandwagoneer, or at least I like to think not, but Scrivener is one of those things I’m happy to make an exception for. My “word processors are word processors” theory has now been soundly defeated and I’m excited to see what this does for my productivity.
I wrote my first book in WordPad, believe it or not. Writing it supposed to be about the words, I reasoned, and whatever translates them from the keys under my fingers to the screen worked for me. I didn’t see the benefit in paying for Word until I got published, thus becoming a “pro.” So, I needed something more professional to work with, if only for the formatting benefits.
Once I stepped up to Word, I was surprised to find that I did see some benefits in it. Autocorrect and spellcheck made the process a little smoother and meant typos tripped up my flow a little less frequently, for example. Since then, I’ve written six novels in Word and I was quite content with it. I settled back into my old attitude that a word processor is a word processor, despite having seen the benefits in the WordPad to Word switch. I was set in my ways.
As a pro, like in any other game, you get curious. You want to know what the other pros are using, so you lurk the forums and you browse the web. You may not pick up as many technique tips but you want to know what gear they’re using. The raves about mechanical keyboards (I’m still on a membrane, just for the record) and Scrivener are all over the place, they’re impossible to avoid or ignore. I resisted buying in, but I was curious.
For one thing, I hated the idea of paying for more premium writing software when I already shelled out for Word. (Monetary concerns are what keep me from taking the mechanical keyboard plunge, too.) Like shooting isosceles, I didn’t see the benefit of fixing something that wasn’t broken. A new program, just like a new shooting style, just meant a learning curve that would distract me from what I was supposed to be doing; writing, in this case.
Until now, writing has consisted of having three or four Word documents open – usually one for notes, one for my outline, one for the draft I’m working on, and one of a previous draft I’m cannibalizing – not to mention a bunch of Chrome tabs mixed up with my normal browsing. Not particularly efficient, but I was used to it.
After finishing You Think this is a Game? (the third Internet Tough Guys novel) and Concrete Smile, I took a break. I had more time to browse. Scrivener was still the hot topic, so it wasn’t just a short-lived fad. I wasn’t convinced but I had some time to kill and I was putting off starting my current project. So, I downloaded the sample, played with the tutorial for a few hours that could have been spent writing, admittedly, and I was hooked.
Scrivener allows me to compile all those jumped documents and windows into one project screen. I can skip back and forth seamlessly between my notes and my drafts, I can open a new page of scratch paper whenever I need, and I can even save clip art and character templates all just a simple click away. Yes, it takes time to learn and I’m still getting to the point where I can make the most of it, but I can already tell how much more efficient it is, how much more productive it’s (theoretically) going to make me.
So, I’m convinced. Scrivener is all it’s cracked up to be, maybe more. I don’t know about mechanical keyboards yet, but I’m remembering to keep an open mind. Sometimes the hype isn’t just noise after all.
I still don’t like shooting isosceles, though.
About Godwin’s Law
Author: Bernard Maestas
Gwen Kane, estranged daughter of a Forbes millionaire and the bearer of a horrifying secret is lured into a dangerous international cult. It falls to Alex Kirwan and Ted Reagan to rescue her. What should be easy money for the mercenary team of a freerunning ex-commando and his computer hacking partner proves to be anything but as they find themselves doggedly pursued across Europe, Canada and the United States by highly trained forces with resources vastly disproportionate to the recapture of one missing acolyte.
Will Alex and Ted unravel the mystery of Gwen’s importance in time to survive?
Will Gwen pierce the seemingly impenetrable armor around Alex’s heart?
Will Alex and Ted get paid?”
Bernard Maestas lives in paradise. A police officer patrolling the mean streets of Hawaii, he has a background in contract security and military and civilian law enforcement. When not saving the world, one speeding ticket at a time, and not distracted by video games or the internet, he is usually hard at work on his next book.