Tips

Tame Your Muse With Appropriate Music

Taming the SnakeSometimes creative activity of any kind and feel like this picture. You’ve got to coax it from hiding and keep it dancing without totally losing control of it. For these guys it’s easy and it can be for you as well whether it be writing, painting or anything else creative.

A few weeks ago, author Jason Link was featured here on Archer’s Aim in Fantasy Authors Unplugged. It was a good interview in which Jason shared an interesting tidbit that’s stuck with me – what music and composers would best fit what he writes.

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I’ve often used instrumental music while I write and find it helpful. However, Jason’s music choice was rather intriguing. Here’s the excerpt from the interview:

YouTube ScreenshotQ. What song might fit your book well?

A. There’s a playlist on Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guXMb7zLblM) that is full of epic instrumental music created by talented (and I believe relatively unknown) composers. If my book were made into a movie, I think many of the composers on this list would score it beautifully.

I went out on YouTube and listened to the music and also found what was on this link and several others rather interesting both musically and visually. I decided to use these while writing to supplement my usual instrumental & classical choices.

The result was rather surprising. I found that these “epic instrumentals” affected my productivity profoundly. It gave me the mental focus for the type of fantasy I write so that I wrote more consistently and churned out a story rather quickly – Trading Knives. Not only that, but I’ve had to edit it very little and gotten some very positive feedback – though it honestly does need some final work before I release it to retailers for free. Everyone’s welcome to take a look.

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music notesSince then, I’ve continued to be rather productive while working on An Arrow Against the Wind as I’ve finished the rough draft and begun my first structural edit that requires a solid amount of writing. It’s been great for my creativity and my productivity (after all, being productive in one way leaves you more positive in other areas too). This music is now my go-to for submerging into my fiction writing. I think it’s quite important for other writer’s who often bolster their muse this way while writing to find music that fits their genre and run – er, write – with it.

Do you use music while writing? What do you find best inspires you while writing? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. Want to be listed in The Bow of Destiny credits? Join the Insider Team to share upcoming links. Either way, you’ll be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. You’ll also receive a coupon to download my e-book short story, The Black Bag, for free as well as July’s free e-book: Recommended Reading for Authors!

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This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on July 2nd, 2015. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly here: ph at phsolomon.com (replace the “at” with @, it’s written that way to avoid spammers).

Using Scrivener Collections For Editing

Scrivener is a powerful writing tool. I write about it weekly with tips and usage ideas. To read more of my posts click the Scrivener tag or category at the end of the page.

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In last week’s Scrivener post, I introduced the use of Collections as a multi-function tool. This week, I’d like to address the usage of this tool by focusing on my ongoing structural edit of my second novel, An Arrow Against the Wind.

First, let me define structural edit. This is the kind of editing where you might re-organize your draft so that flows better. It’s also the type of editing whereby you discover all the holes and inconsistencies within the draft and try to fill them. Another way of addressing the structure is to bring consistency to style as well as characterization, plot and other basic elements of the book.

Next let me describe the situation with my rough draft and how I’m approaching it. While writing An Arrow Against the Wind, I realized I had numerous holes to fill. This was due in large part to removing a sub-plot from the series to publish later as a parallel series. This left a need for more words for An Arrow Against the Wind. I’ve already made decisions about what needs to be added where.

My approach at this point, is to handle all the big structural issues of content. This means writing more in a number of places while I’ll handle style inconsistencies after the additions are completed. So at this point, I want to make a collection that includes all the planned additions and keeps something of a schedule at the same time – the latter so that I stay on-time for the first hand-over of the manuscript to the editor in a few months.

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For this Collection, all I need to do is choose all the empty documents that need content added and include them. So I highlighted the first chapter that needs more content and created the Collection using the instructions I mentioned from last week. I named it “Structural Edit – Additional Content”. From there I began to add all the empty documents that need work by clicking on the Binder tab in the Collection and right clicking on each targeted document and adding it from the context menu as pictured.

Adding to the collection

Adding to the collection

When finished, my collection looks like this:

Scriv Collection Added Folders

So now I have what I need to begin to set a schedule to complete each necessary document. I can assign a label and a status to each of these from the context menu – which is adding Scrivener meta-data. I chose to edit the standard status and label meta-data to fit my work. To do this go to either Label or Status to get a fly-out menu of available choices after right-clicking on a document. Choose edit and make your changes.

Scriv Collection Edit MD

First I edited the Labels to add deadline dates for each of the documents and assigned them successively to each one. Then I created a custom status for each category I need: “In Process”, “Overdue”, “Completed” and “Not Started”. I then set all the documents to the last one. Now I have my deadlines and can assign a status to each document as I progress, finally removing them from the collection once completed.

Scriv Collection Labels

Adding Labels

Scriv Collection Status Sched

Adding Status Schedule

So now my Collection is complete. I can choose to view only the Binder by toggling off the Collection (Ctrl+Shift+9) or clicking View, slide to Collections for the menu and click Collection. To toggle the Binder on go to the same menu and click Binder. To go back into my collection, I can use the same menu and click on the named Collection where it appears in the list below Binder – in this case I only have one Collection (though I’ll have several over the next several weeks).

Collection View

And that’s how I’m using Collections in Scrivener to begin editing An Arrow Against the Wind. Next week I’ll add another collection for my structural edit encompassing stylistic changes. After that, I’ll proceed onto other uses for Collections in my editing.

Have you tried using Collections yet in Scrivener? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. Want to be listed in The Bow of Destiny credits? Join the Insider Team to share upcoming links. Either way, you’ll be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. You’ll also receive a coupon to download my e-book short story, The Black Bag, for free as well as July’s free e-book: Recommended Reading for Authors!

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Just as a note: I am not affiliated with Scrivener in any official capacity. For support questions, pricing and other concerns please contact the vendor. However, I am working on becoming an affiliate for Scrivener ads since I like the product so much. I’m not required to write about Scrivener to be an affiliate; I just like it that much. For more about my FTC statement see my sidebar.

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This blog does not share personal information – including email addresses – with third parties nor do I store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyze and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies (which is a WordPress.com function and not mine).

You can turn off the use of cookies at any time by changing your specific browser settings.

I am not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without our permission.

This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on July 2nd, 2015. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly here: ph at phsolomon.com (replace the “at” with @, it’s written that way to avoid spammers).

Scrivener Tips Pt. 4: Project Backups

I recently received a Twitter comment from someone regarding Scrivener and help with backups using Windows. I’m not entirely sure what the issue was but I’ll go ahead and address the subject today. Here are the basics with project backups for Scrivener:

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1. Keep Scrivener up to date to minimize any issues with the software. To do this click on Help and then on Update Scrivener.

Scriv Proj Backup 01

 

2. To manage where you backup your projects click on Tool and Choose Options:

Scriv Proj Backup 02

 

3. Once the Options window opens click on Backup at the end of the menu on the left:

Scriv Proj Backup 03

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4. Once you have the backup settings displayed you can click on the Choose button to change the default location of project backups. If you are not changing it but just want to know where the backups are location it is listed there also and you can click on the Open Backup Folder to view backups immediately.

Scriv Proj Backup 04

 

5. You can also handle an individual backup from the project you have open. Click on File and hover your cursor at Backup to see the fly-out menu. Here you can choose to backup the current project to a specific location. You can force an immediate backup instead of when you close the project. You can also choose to exclude the project from automatic backups.

 

Scriv Proj Backup 05

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Options for Backup Locations

Here are a few thoughts about where to backup your Scrivener projects.

1. On your computer – you can choose to back them up on your computer. However, unless you are backup up the Scrivener backup folder using something else – software or external drive/cloud then you run the risk of losing data should your computer fail in some way.

2. On an external drive – you can backup directly to an external drive but this requires that you have the drive connected whenever you close Scrivener for automatic backups on close or when you manually backup your projects.

3. On the cloud – I have many of my projects located in my Dropbox folder so it is automatically synchronized on the cloud while my automatic backup runs to my computer. I also backup my Dropbox folder to and external drive.

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Project Recovery

To recover a project do the following:

1. Open your backup folder where you will notice that all the project backups are in .zip folders

2. Open the .zip folder for the project and date to which you want to recover.

3. You will see the .scriv folder for the project. Copy the folder to the appropriate work location or a restore folder of your choosing (WARNING: If you overwrite a current folder with a backup folder you may lose changes since the backup). From any location you should be able to open the project by double clicking on the .scriv folder or using Scrivener to browse to and open the project folder.

For more details on Scrivener backups check the manual by clicking on Help and then Scrivener Manual – the subject is at Appendix B – Options, page 322, B9 – Backup.

Book Cover Green Top & Bottom Cover - CopyHow do you backup your Scrivener Projects? Are you backing up your writing appropriately? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. Want to be listed in The Bow of Destiny credits? Join the Insider Team to share upcoming links. Either way, you’ll be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. You’ll also receive a coupon to download my e-book short story, The Black Bag, for free as well as July’s free e-book: Recommended Reading for Authors!

Scrivener screenshots from my 2015 blog project.

Cover art commission from Christopher Rawlins

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Also, in no way do I represent Scrivener or sell the product. All questions about the product, its sales, support and licensing for your own computing needs should be referred to the company.

Privacy Policy

This blog does not share personal information – including email addresses – with third parties nor do I store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyze and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies (which is a WordPress.com function and not mine).

You can turn off the use of cookies at any time by changing your specific browser settings.

I am not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without our permission.

This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on July 2nd, 2015. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly here: ph at phsolomon.com (replace the “at” with @, it’s written that way to avoid spammers).