In all of my work over the years with my writing, one of my biggest accomplishments is having a system that works for me. It may sound silly, but knowing what tools I work with best helps create a process where my writing can thrive.
One of the biggest resources within that system is the writing software I do the majority of my work in. I use Scrivener for my drafting and manuscript work and I absolutely love it. Being able to look at each scene and/or chapter individually without scrolling through an entire word document was a HUGE game changer for me. I also love that when I do go back to add a chapter and/or scene, it’s easy for me to do so and move around items within the draft around it. I also went in and added more folders within each of my manuscript documents for specific notes and work for characters, world-building notes, relationship timeline, etc. I’m hoping that this will both keep my work organized and also be the beginnings of a series handbook, should any of those manuscripts wind up the beginning or part of a larger series at some point down the road. While my manuscript and drafting work happens in my writing software and it is a process I know and love, I have struggled when thinking about new writing. I know I will want to draft whatever new story I write in Scrivener, but in order to find that new story and really begin to meet those characters, I have to return to my paper world. I’ve said before, there is a magic that happens when putting pen to paper. I think that magic is vital to the beginning of a new story. Looking back I know that many of my story ideas that became the manuscripts I’m working on today were found on paper. This journal I’m writing in right now is one I purchased back in 2017 and the first pages are full of free-writes of a story called Anchor which became MS:SB. It’s funny, much as that magic of paper is vital to my process, I sometimes forget about it, especially when I’ve spent months in Scrivener and wading through printouts of my own words. I spent a lot of time last week reminiscing on all of this because I know I want to do some free writing for new stories this fall. I’ve been trying to decide what I will use to capture those free-writes and am drawn to the idea of a new journal with fresh pages to world-build in. I think I’ve decided what I’m going with, but I’m going to take some time this week to finalize my plan.
This week I’m hoping to finalize my plan for the new journal I want to purchase and I’m going to continue with the paper revisions of MS:D. I wasn’t able to get much writing done last week and I struggled with feeling guilty about it. That’s a hard, complex thing and last week I just wasn’t on the strongest side of it. But, this is a new week and I’m going to take it as a fresh start to dive into the revisions again. My characters are in a place where they are about to split up with some of them going one way and some of them staying where they are. My main character is deeply uncomfortable with this and her discomfort causes my own intuitions to bristle. Sitting with her in this space and just letting her be while I’m away from the revisions is a helpful exercise. I know how I would feel in her situation and watching her keep it together and get ready for these things that are going to push her in ways she’s not ready for, is eye-opening. I’m anxious to see her get through this trial and then to see how she handles the next one. There is also a lot more brewing with my antagonist than I realized in my previous drafts and watching him circle around her in her blind spots is REALLY agitating. It’s also fascinating and I’m excited to get back into it with them to see how much deeper the story goes.
In case you haven’t been told today, you are more than enough.