Showing posts with label Scrivener. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scrivener. Show all posts

Scrivener - The Novelist's Friend

A few years ago I was introduced to a 'New' program. By then I had several novels under my belt, one had been written by hand, another in Word Perfect, a few in Word. When someone suggested Scrivener, I wasn't necessarily sure what I thought. 

For one thing, there is a learning curve. Did I really want to begin to learn a new program 'just' to write my next novel? Would the learning curve eventually pay off in rewards that I currently didn't understand? Well, the simple answer is, yes.

Reasons to consider Scrivener:

1. Plotting
    • Plotting with Scrivener is a dream! There is no other way to say it. Notecards can be written in the program and then that information is transferred to the area where text is written. This allows me to plot several chapters and then easily take the notes with me into the text writing area and write while viewing my notes.

2. Organizing
    • I tend to write from several character's perspectives. Scrivener helps me to color coordinate which character I'm writing from and allows me at a glance to see where I should go next, or if I'm spending too much time in one character's head.
    • I am also one who likes to research and gather information for my novels. This information I used to find and print and keep in folders - lots and lots of folders. Scrivener allows me to utilize a section of the program to keep all those files and all that information and then lets me write and view the research at the same time - meaning I'm not having to flip from screen to screen to get information and check to make sure I'm getting it right, and I don't have to be connected to the internet to access files, or drag them with me when traveling.

3. Goals
    • Perhaps one of my favorite things is setting up my goals. Why? I'm a goal oriented person and having a bell let me know that I've reached my goal of word count brings me great pleasure. It also keeps me focused on the end goal of total word count for my novels. 
4. Bonus Help
    • Name Generator: I always have difficulties with this and so having a name generator is a bit of fun
    • Word Use: Also an issue I have. I come up with a great word and then I use it and use it and use it. Scrivener will call me on it. The program lets me me know how often I use words, which is great for finding weak verbs, but also great for finding the unusual word used several times as well.
    • Multiple formats: Want to write a comic book, the format is there. How about a play? Yep, it's covered too. 
So, while I realize for you it might also mean a learning curve, I recommend giving it a try. 

D. Jean Quarles is a writer of Women's Fiction and co-author of a Young Adult Science Fiction Series. Her latest book, Solem was released February 2016.

D. Jean loves to tell stories of personal growth – where success has nothing to do with money or fame, but of living life to the fullest. She is also the author of the novels: Rocky's Mountains, Fire in the Hole, and Perception, and the co-author of The Exodus Series: The Water Planet: Book 1 and House of Glass: Book 2. The Mermaid, an award winning short story was published in the anthology, Tales from a Sweltering City.                                                                                             

She is a wife, mother, grandmother and business coach. In her free time . . . ha! ha! ha! Anyway, you can find more about D. Jean Quarles, her writing and her books at her website at                                      

You can also follower her on Facebook.

Gifts for Writers

It’s time for my annual gift list for writers.  If you haven’t finished your holiday shopping consider one of the gifts below.

  1. An online writer’s workshop from Writer’s Digest -- Writer’s digest offers affordable online writing workshops.  These workshops are taught by experts in the field and cover a wide range of topics (e.g. memoir writing, blogging, query letters).
  2. Books – A perfect gift for any writer.
  3. A subscription to writer’s magazine -- I have a digital subscription to Poets and Writers for only$2.50 per issue.
  4. 365 Affirmations for the Writer by Jane Hertenstein – A kindle book chocked full of inspiration for any writer.
  5. The 2015 Writer’s Market – If you know a writer getting ready to submit their work, the Writer's Market is an invaluable tool.  This compilation of information about publishers is a perennial on my annual gift list.
  6. A Journal – Even if the writer you know generally works on a computer, give them a journal and they are sure to write in it.   Check out for a wide selection of journals.
  7.  Scrivener - A great application for managing complex writing projects or keeping track of the research for that next project.

     All writers need readers.  So, here’s a few of the books I’m giving this holiday season.
                              Picture Book:  Before You Came by Patricia MacLachlan Charest
Middle Grade:  Bird by Crystal Chan
YA:  Pig Park by Claudia Guadalupe Martinez
Cross over:  Where’d You Go, Bernadatte,by Maria Semple
Non-Fiction:  Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

      Do you have any favorite gifts for writers?  What books are you giving this holiday season?

Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life coach. For more information check out:  

Prepping for NaNoWriMo

Fall is off to a busy start!

I’m getting ready for November, which is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I signed up for NaNoWriMo Camp this past July. I didn’t finish but I was able to develop some new ideas for my novel. Several months ago, I purchased Scrivener, a software program for writers. I worked with it during the camp, but wanted to learn more about the program. Currently, I’m taking a class, taught by Gwen Hernandez, author of Scrivener for Dummies. The book was published in 2012. The class is offered a few times a year. It’s giving me a better understanding of all the things Scrivener can do.You can learn more about the class and the book at Gwen’s website,

Last December, I decided I was going to read one book each week of 2013. For the most part, I have been doing this. I have only missed a few weeks. Two of these books (I’ve read one and am reading the second) concern novel writing. No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days was written by Chris Baty, the founder of NaNoWriMo. Ready, Set, Novel!: A Workbook, by Lindsey Grant, Tavia stewart-Streit, and Chris Baty, will help you plan and plot your novel. I recommend both of these books.

Next month is the annual free online writing conference, The Muse. The conference dates are Oct 7 – 13 and registration ends October 1. There are many workshops, taught by authors, agents and others in the industry. I highly recommend “attending” this event. It’s great for any writer, no matter what the genre.

An FYI -- A new website for The Muse went live earlier this month. If you registered prior to the new website going up, I suggest logging in to make sure your account was transferred to the new database. Glitches sometimes happen. I discovered that my account, which I created a few years ago, and my conference registration, had disappeared.You must have an account and register for the conference before the deadline, in order to attend. If you don't register, you won't get access to the conference. My advice is to double check your account and registration if you originally created that account and/or registered for the conference on the old site.

I’m looking forward to The Muse and NaNoWriMo and I hope to see you there!

Debbie A. Byrne has a B.S. in Mass Communication with a minor in History. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and is working on her first children’s book.

10 Gifts for Writers

Are you still finishing your holiday shopping?  Here’s my top ten gifts for the writer on your list.

·        A gift certificate for a writers retreat - A perfect gift for any writer.

·       ·          Books – Writers are readers, so a good book or a gift certificate to a book store is always a good choice.

·        ·        A subscription to writer’s magazine like Writer’s Digest or Writers and Poets

·        The 2013 Writer’s Market – If you know a writer getting ready to submit their work, this is an invaluable tool.

·        The Frugal Book Promoter by Carolyn Howard-Johnson is the perfect gift for someone who is out there marketing their book.

·       Bird by Bird by Ann Lamott – An inspirational book for any writer

·      A journal – Even if the writer you know generally works on a computer, give them a journal and they are sure to write in it.

·         An electronic reader – Kindle, Nook or iPad.  Eventually, most writers will need to join the digital age.

·         Scrivener - A great application for managing complex writing projects or keeping track of the research for that next project.

·         Voice recognition software – Dragon Naturally Speaking is a great voice recognition program that can help make the writer more productive.

Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life strategist who has helped writers move their writing careers forward.  Combining intuitive insights with practical know-how, Mary Jo has helped clients discover how to chart their course of action and live their authentic path—their True North.   Mary Jo offers Artist Breakthrough Sessions at reduced rates. (Gift certificates are available.)

For more information check out
or folllow her at:  

Finding Time to Write Without Quitting Your Day Job

“Time stays long enough for those who use it.” – Leonardo Da Vinci

Are you struggling to find time to write?  Most writers I know have a “day job”, family, friends and lots of commitments.  They write around the corners of their lives.  Without the luxury to write full time, it is easy to get off track and run out of steam on a project.  So how do we squeeze more writing time into our life?  It requires getting organized, establishing routines and a willingness to say no.

You can increase your productivity by getting organized.  If it takes you ten minutes to figure out which is your last draft, you’ve lost valuable writing time.  A great organizational tool if you are working on a novel is the program Scrivener.  I think Scrivener’s biggest advantage is its simplicity in moving and tracking text.  Scrivener costs about $40 and they offer a 30 day free trial, so you can check it out for yourself.

Find a set time each week to write.  Schedule it into your calendar and make sure to keep this personal appointment.   There is a direct relationship between keeping this date with yourself and how much you value your writing life.  Next, look for an additional place to squeeze in the work of writing, maybe you can read, write or people watch on your lunch hour.  Do you see your character in the man behind the counter at the pannini shop?  Just adding 15 minutes a day to your writing time can catapult your writing forward.

When you want more time for your writing, it’s time to work your “no muscle”. Before you agree to be on that committee or take on a new project, take a deep breath and think about it.  Is this something you need to do?  Is it taking you away from writing or your other priorities?  What would happen if you said no?   One way to strengthen you your “no muscle” is with your phone.  Do you answer it when writing?  Just think of the time you can add to your writing minutes if you ignore your phone.

If squeezing more writing time into your life feels overwhelming, try just one of the above strategies for 21 days and you’ll be amazed in the difference it can make.  Do you have a creative strategy for eeking out extra writing time?  I’d love to hear your ideas.

Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life strategist.  If you want to push your writing dream forward, join her 4 week Big Dream Challenge

For more information check out
or folllow her at:

10 Tips to Help You Become the Writer You Wish to Be

 by Suzanne Lieurance No matter what kind of writer you wish to become, follow these tips and you'll reach your goal(s) much quicker. Ti...