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Getting Creative: Secondary Uses for Scrivener

Scrivener is fast becoming a mainstay of my writing. I’ve written about this software several times now but for those who are not familiar with it, Scrivener is for developing writing projects. It’s a powerful tool that allows for a great deal of flexibility for any kind of writing project. I’m even using it for this post but especially a series of blogs.

Having An IdeaA Whole New Use

I recently started a newsletter for my blog which I send out to email followers. As part of this process I use Mailchimp to send the messages. I’ll be working on the upcoming edition for next week over several days but it hit me as I started thinking about it – write the newsletter in Scrivener.

My Newsletter Plan

I’m sure other people are doing this already but I haven’t seen anyone actually write about it. Here’s how I plan to use Scrivener.

1. Create a project for the year (since I just started the newsletter the one for 2014 will be short).

2. Use the Binder to create each newsletter volume in separate sub-folders so the project will grow throughout the year.

3. Use the Research folder to create separate sub-folders for each volume where I can put ideas, links, pictures, etc. that I want to use for that volume. When I start writing the volume I’ll have all my information ready to go.

4. Transfer the text to the template in Mailchimp when ready.

Other Related Ideas

Since I plan to use Scrivener for developing my newsletter I also realized there are other similar uses too:

  • I can use it to write my book-related email campaigns.
  • Other email templates such as those used for greetings, thank-you’s and giveaways
  • Goodreads templates for those who friend me
  • It can even be used to compose social media communications that may be used repetitively. Since you can copy all kinds of files into Scrivener, I imagine I can even use it for adding pictures to post on Pinterest such as upcoming cover reveals or additional artwork to be released at a particular time.

The Bow of DestinyAs you can see, the uses for Scrivener are many and varied. Have you tried Scrivener yet? If you have, what are other ways you use it? 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. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed on 11/10/14 so take a look.

Thanks for reading. I’m off to start my newsletter project in Scrivener!

P. H. Solomon

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Clip art licensed from Microsoft Office.

The Bow of Destiny cover art licensed by commission from Christopher Rawlins

Annwyn Cover

Fantasy Authors Unplugged – Michael Eging

This is a newer feature on Archer’s Aim – Fantasy Authors Unplugged. I hope to frequently share an interview with a fantasy author. If you have authors to suggest and/or questions you’d like to see answered then leave a comment or send me an email. If you are a fantasy author and would like an interview please let me know and we’ll plan one that fits your schedule.

Today I’ve interviewed Michael Eging, co-author of Annwyn’s Blood (along with Steve Arnold). Thanks to Michael for being featured on Archer’s Aim.

1. Please share about Annwyn’s Blood. What’s the key component of the story?

Annwyn CoverAnnwyn’s Blood started as a short story that I wrote while in college. Steve and I looked at that story and thought there must be a longer story in there somewhere!  Over the course of a few years, we wrote Annwyn’s Blood between graduate school and full-time jobs. When we shopped it around, many of the responses focused on the market ‘not needing another vampire story’. Ironic. So the story sat on a hard drive for many years until we pulled it up and thought we needed to revisit this story and world.

Central to the story’s heart is the longing for redemption. While we haven’t seen this play out fully in the course of Annwyn’s Blood, many of the characters find themselves in need of redemption and they will each struggle with this through the series.

2. Are you a full-time author or do you have another job also?

Neither Steve nor I are fulltime writers.  Steve is a practicing physician in Ohio and I work in life sciences public policy in Washington, DC.

3. How did you choose your genre?

Steve and I love fantasy and this story became a natural extension of that. Since this book was focused on a historical, fantastical world, we jumped into it. Also, I was a history major in college – with a focus in Byzantine and early Russian Headshothistory. Steve is an informal student of history, so it all meshes together very well. So, we journeyed to a world where that would be new to many readers and allow us to tell fresh stories while taking them on this fantastical, mythical journey.

4. Highly creative people often something like walks to nourish their creativity. Do you make use of anything to make your muse flourish?

I like to walk with my Bernese Mountain dog in the evenings. And when I call Steve in the evenings to swap ideas and talk about stories, he is often walking his dog Dobby as well. Also, I love to read and discuss stories with my children. Often in the telling of the story, I find things I hadn’t thought about and directions worth exploring.

5. What is your favorite book and why?

My favorite book is Nine Princes in Amber, the entry to Zelazny’s brilliant Amber Chronicles. When I was in middle school, I discovered them in the local library and would often read there while waiting for my parents to take me home with them from work  My co-writer, Steve has a fond place in his heart for Pratchett’s works.

6. How did you choose your editor?

Our editor, Chris Baxter was a referral from some BYU English majors who helped hook Steve and I up with editing help. He edited Annwyn’s Blood as well as our forthcoming novel A Silver Horn Echoes – The Song of Roland, inspired by the epic medieval poem.

Mike Eging-9468sml7. What can you share about the next edition of your series?

Our next book blows open the Dark Age world of Annwyn’s Blood to encompass a much greater portion of the crumbling Byzantine Empire and the rising Germanic kingdoms in the West. We see our heroes embark on a quest to defeat the armies of Annwyn, while trying to redeem Marianna, a lead character in the first book. This leads to heartbreak for all involved as the battle unfolds and Annwyn scores first blood.  The story launches right from the final pages of Annwyn’s Blood so the story won’t skip of beat from one book to the next.

You can find Annwyn’s Blood at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. Also connect with Michael & Steve on Facebook. Thanks again to Michael (and Steve) for being a part of Archer’s Aim today. Make sure to check out their book. I’m reading it now and having a good time with it.

If you’re a fantasy author and would like to be interviewed for “Fantasy Authors Unplugged” just contact me via email or one of my social media channels and we’ll set one up.

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. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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Book Cover Green Top & Bottom Cover

Fiction Update: The Bow of Destiny

Featured Image -- 9623Today, I’m sharing news about my writing and I do so as a way of sharing my writing journey with readers and other authors – the latter especially for newer authors. My work continues to progress regularly and I’m gaining some momentum for what’s to come for the year. I’ll share at a later date why I’m at this point but I want to focus on where I am and where I’m going over the next few months.

The Bow of Destiny is off to my editor today. While it has received substantial editing previously it’s now time to progress with another edit. The work done before this time occurred back in late 2010-11. At the time, I was in the middle of some life changes that proved difficult for writing. We experienced months of repairs to our house due to damage from the tornadoes of 4/27/11. Very jarring and distracting to progress on the book. Additionally, my father became ill and went downhill for about a year until he passed in mid-2012. It was a longer event which sapped my creativity for months.

But other the last year and a half I’ve made significant progress with the book. First, I took the original edits from my editor and made changes that I understood clearly. After that, I began considering deeper changes for the book and decided on fundamental structural change for the first third of the manuscript. This re-organization was easy to visualize with the help of Scrivener’s binder but a daunting task otherwise.

Along the way, I received some critique advice to make my character point of view much deeper. It was good advice but I was unsure what to do with it. By June of last year I received clearer direction which I’ll share about in another post this week. Again, in July I got further instruction that led to my series about using deep POV. However, the required 2014 Calendarrevision was daunting to say the least. As a writer, I was not pleased to overhaul my manuscript once again but I slogged through it and finally finished last November. Now I’m glad I did it because I gained so much experience from the labor.

At this point, the work with the editor will occur in two parts. First will be a structural edit to work out any remaining kinks in the plot. Then, depending on the editor’s schedule, there will be a second, detailed edit either in mid-March or May. Again, there will be heavy lifting but I’m much better equipped for this than I was several years ago. The schedule delays me some but that just gives me the chance to work on the drafts for the second and third books in the series as well as the beginning of the parallel series. I’m also working on my short fiction while I’m waiting on the editor’s schedule and work to be completed.

So there’s a window into being an author and dealing with editing. The learning curve and distractions of life can really hold you up. However, these can serve to hone you as a writer. I certainly don’t think that I’ve “arrived” as an author let alone mastered the craft but I can say I’ve come a long way. I’m much more confident about approaching upcoming projects as well as actually publishing The Bow of Destiny. The best part about the delays is that I’ll be so close to releasing the rest of the series in a shorter time . In this case, the waiting is a good thing because I will have content out in bulk and, hopefully, with high, page-turning quality.

The Bow of DestinyI hope this gives readers and insight into the writing process. If you’re and author, what trials and growth have you experienced along the way to publication? 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. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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Clip art licensed from Microsoft Office.

Cover art provided on commission from Chris Rawlins