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Scrivener: The Essential Writing Tool

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. Sorry for the hiatus in writing a new post for several weeks but my efforts have been directed elsewhere. I hope to share more posts on this topic in the future.

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Scrivener LogoI was pleased to release my book, The Bow of Destiny, earlier this week. As you can imagine, Scrivener was a big help in self-publishing this fantasy novel. There are so many ways I’ve used the software to get to this point that it’s hard to imagine doing it all without Scrivener. It’s been a long hike – like doing the Appalachian Trail – and Scrivener has been in my pack the whole way. Here are some ways that Scrivener has helped me self-publish over the last year:

1. Newsletters – I used my newsletter template to write each volume this year and email it to mailing list followers. Scrivener has been instrumental in this since I have a project for all my newsletters for this year. I can open the project, write my content and transfer it to mail out easily. If I didn’t use Scrivener, I would have been hunting for all my information in separate files.

Multi-Function Tool - photo licensed via iStockPhoto

Multi-Function Tool – photo licensed via iStockPhoto

2. Editing the Book – The Bow of Destiny was largely completed when I really started using Scrivener so I imported it and completed my editing and development in a novel template. The same is true of the next book, An Arrow Against the Wind. However, with this second book, I still needed to complete the rough draft and do some structural editing. Scrivener was perfect for these tasks after I imported the book since I could use collections to organize my structural editing – see my posts on the topic: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4. However, the third book, The White Arrow, will be entirely developed in Scrivener and I’ll start that process in November with occasional, related posts about how I’m using Scrivener to do the development.

3. Project tracking – Scrivener allows me to do all kinds of project tracking. There are the built-in tools that track a project’s stats. Also, there’s meta-data to mark the status of sections and scenes in projects. However, I also used my Author Platform Manager, a custom project template I developed, to track what I’m doing overall as a writer. I can put anything necessary in it. If I develop an idea in it I can transfer it to an open project with the Scratchpad.

4. Blogging – Part of growing as an author includes blogging. I couldn’t have blogged near as much without Scrivener. It allowed me to put all my blog posts in one project for the year and create an ongoing schedule to follow. Without using Scrivener, I would have been lost and disorganized in the effort. It’s allowed me to often work ahead when I needed to and still keep the busy blogging schedule.

Writing5. Blog Tour Development – I developed a blog tour project template based on my blog template and what a big help Scrivener was there. I was able to work on my tour ideas and posts well in advance as I developed all of my author content. It’s been a major help just to keep all that in one place and work steadily at the release. I’m starting a new one with ideas within the week for the release of An Arrow Against the Wind 4/18/2016. With editing on this upcoming title ongoing, there’s no time like the present to organize the next release.

6. Developing & Writing Short Stories – Part of my release has involved using short fiction. I’ve also written some other short stories this year that are being submitted to magazine markets. Without Scrivener I would have floundered through developing these stories. The good thing is that with Scrivener, I can easily import these into another project to develop an anthology if I want to go that route. I’ve been able to manage and organize my short fiction with ease using Scrivener.

7. Document Templates – This feature in Scrivener has been very important to me all year. I’ve been able to use these templates to create my basic blog structure in my blog project. What a time-saver! I’ve also been able to use this feature to save more time writing my newsletters, short stories and more. By making document templates in my projects, I’m able to do repetitive writing without duplicating the same material repeatedly. If the material for the template needs an update that’s simple enough to change – one time.

Scrivener has been with me all the way during the last year. It’s been indispensable for me as a writer. I would not have done near as much as I have without it. I look forward to continuing my usage and expanding how I use it. As I develop an entire novel from it I expect to use the composition tools more than I have such as the lay-out manger as well as features for word searches and more.

BOD FinalIf you’ve published using Scrivener, how has it helped you get there? If you use it for other writing, how does Scrivener make you more effective as a writer?

I’ll make an appearance on 8/13 in RRBC’s Book & Blog Block Party. Then I’ll be on The Lost Bow Blog Tour from 8/14-20. I’ll post more news about the tour as it becomes available.

And one final tidbit – for those who might have seen it on my Twitter feed, I’ve been contacted by a teacher about including The Bow of Destiny in her curriculum. I don’t know much at this time other than it’s being considered. If it is, I’ll share more information ASAP. It’s interesting news at this point and another great reason to write!

To find out more about The Bow of Destiny, click over to one of these online retailers:

Amazon

  BarnesandNoble      Smashwords

ibooksdownload      Kobo

IMG_4154-EditAbout the Author

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

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Writing Updates Vol. 2

Hello everyone! Here’s some of my latest writing tidbits:

  • I forgot to mention it last week but I completed the revision of An Arrow Against the Wind and sent it off to my editor to be given another gutting but it’s much closer to completion than it was. I don’t expect the next round of changes to be quite so messy and extensive so I’m sticking with a late April release date at this time. If that time-frame changes, I’ll post it here. I’ll try to be more specific when I know more about the status of the book.
  • Since I’m approaching the release of An Arrow Against the Wind, I’m gathering interested supporters to be on the release team. This mainly means taking part in a Headtalker and a Thunderclap. The first 25-50 people interested will receive an advanced release copy of An Arrow Against the Wind. Anyone interested please contact me via email with your name, email address and e-book format you use. Check out my contact page for my email address.
  • While An Arrow Against the Wind is with the editor, I’m working on the rough draft of the last book of The Bow of Hart Saga entitled, The White Arrow. I’m also beginning work on a couple of other projects including The Black Glove Tales and The Jeweled City Files, both of which are working series titles and not final.
  • I’ve been posting on Story Empire with the latest piece being last week’s What Is Scrivener?
  • I’m also interested in making some blog appearances now and around the release of An Arrow Against the Wind. I’m always making a list of sites so if you are looking for someone to be a guest on your site, just let me know and we’ll set something up.
  • I’ve started a new commentary series lately about The Bow of Destiny where I’m sharing a few tidbits about the opening chapter of the book – here’s part 1 and part 2.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading today. Please leave comments below and check back next week for another post about this topic.

My current novel is The Bow of Destiny which was chosen as Fantasia Reviews Book of the Year for 2016. Here’s a bit more about the book:

Haunted by his past. Hunted in the present. Uncertain what is real.

Athson has seen things that aren’t there and suffered fits since being tragically orphaned as a child at the hands of trolls and Corgren the wizard. When a strange will mentioning a mysterious bow comes into his possession, he’s not sure it’s real. But the trolls that soon pursue him are all too real and dangerous. And what’s worse, these raiders serve Corgren and his master, the hidden dragon, Magdronu, who are responsible for the destruction of his childhood home. Athson is drawn into a quest for the concealed Bow of Hart by the mystic Withling, Hastra, but he isn’t always sure what’s real and who his enemies are. With Corgren and Magdronu involved, Athson must face not only frequent danger but his grasp on reality and the reasons behind his tragic past.

To find out more about The Bow of Destiny, click over to one of these online retailers:

Amazon

  BarnesandNoble      Smashwords

ibooksdownload      Kobo

IMG_4154-EditAbout the Author

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

Sign-up to receive my free ebooks today.

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The Bow of Destiny Commentary Pt. 1: The Beginning

the-bow-of-destiny-by-p-h-solomon1I thought it would be interesting to share some commentary about the beginning of The Bow of Destiny now that the book has been out for a while, sold well and the next book should be released in just a few months. The Bow of Destiny has a curious beginning for many people that’s at once perplexing, confusing and intriguing. This effect is done on purpose and I’ll share a bit about it now.

The Bow of Destiny is written using the technique of deep point-of-view where readers hopefully become deeply engaged with the perceptions of the point-of-view character. There are a few other aspects mixed into this, one being that there are little, to no, dialogue tags in the book – all the dialogue is contextual. Secondly, with the deep point-of-view, internalization is signaled – or tagged – with physical actions by the character. As such, the internal thoughts, mood and emotions of the character are not italicized since these are deep enough into the chracter-reader engagement to not be set apart in such a way. Lastly, when italics are used it is for a specific, ongoing experience for the POV character. In such cases, hallucinations, dreams, memories, visions and other such experiences of the character are italicized as a special indicator that something different is happening for the character. I also used a present tense instead of past tense to cue the reader that this is a present experience for the character. It’s important to note that the tense only has changed and not the character POV.

There are other details to consider in the opening of the book of which a reader should be aware. For instance, Athson is hunting small game when the story begins and he has a choice between his prey, a pheasant and a wild rabbit. This signifies that Athson will be presented with choices all along his upcoming journey in the series. Athson believes that he’s making the best choice for his shot with his bow and arrow – the easiest one. However, when presented with more information, he makes a split-second decision and changes his aim to the pheasant.

AthsonThis quick change from rabbit to bird amid varying wind conditions shows that Athson is an expert with the bow. He is also functioning under the belief that he makes good and wise decisions with the information he has. Thus the stage is set for him to begin making decisions which become increasingly difficult and challenging to him and the overall outcome. This one decision shows both what the character thinks about himself and his relationship to his world and that this belief will be challenged in ways he has not considered.

Athson is a challenging character for many reasons, some of which I’ll get into during some upcoming commentary about him in this opening set of scenes. However, Athson’s choice, mixed with the discussed aspects of writing this blog series, couple to allow the reader to experience Athson’s belief in himself for good or bad.

Next week, I’ll dig a little deeper into this opening scene and attempt to offer a bit more about Athson’s state of mind. I found this scene difficult, tricky and daring all at once so there are a lot of layers to what’s going in with Athson that set the stage for the whole story. Thanks for reading today. Please leave comments below and check back next week for another post about this topic.

To find out more about The Bow of Destiny, click over to one of these online retailers:

Amazon

  BarnesandNoble      Smashwords

ibooksdownload      Kobo

IMG_4154-EditAbout the Author

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

Sign-up to receive my free ebooks today.

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