writing tips

the scrivener corkboard (writing tools)

I have the outline to my book now available to me at the touch of a key, on Scrivener’s corkboard feature. The screen background looks like a corkboard, and there are index cards created for each chapter, which have the chapter heading and space for you to write summaries or whatever you feel you need for a quick visual outline of the larger narrative. I only seem to require the corkboard when my story expands. In this case, I’m playing with about 100,000 words, or about 50 chapters averaging 2,000 words. When I’m working out of the body of the narrative, on Scrivener, I have the chapters descending down a left column, and clicking on any chapter will take me directly to it. When the cursor is brought to the super heading ‘Book#3’ under which lies the cabinet of sub-chapters, the entire narrative will appear and you can scroll through it as a streaming passage. Often I find myself cutting and pasting and creating new chapters and recreating old chapters. And all you do is drag and drop a chapter in the cabinet to place it in a completely different location in the narrative, so I love the facility the ease of relocation, it almost inspires creativity or open-endedness in the editing process. Yesterday I filled in the corkboard summaries that were missing (new and recreated chapters), and found myself adding notes to the simple plot outlines, including notes about the feel of the narrative from one chapter to the next (ie humor, dark, heavy on action, descriptive, light-hearted) so that I can keep tabs on ups and downs and graduate the voice of the story into a consistent diversity of mood or feelingstates. I also embellished the summaries with  theme-related developments and character quirks or relationships I am hoping to keep tabs on. I hope this helps give you an idea of what Scrivener offers you to enhance the writing and editing process. Thanks.
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