Tuesday, June 7, 2016

My Writing Quandary

I've been writing stories since I was old enough to hold a pencil. Probably around age 2. But I still don't know how to do it. If they taught me in school I missed it.

I have Scrivener on my computer. I've even tried to learn it. The Getting Started video is over two hours long. I tried twice and never finished it. I tried using the software without knowing how because I sort of got the drift anyway. But maybe not considering some people write novels with it. So far it doesn't work any better for me than ActionOutline which doesn't have a learning curve that you'd ever notice. They're both basically outline software.

Here's my problem. I think in circles and I write in spheres. Outline software works in straight lines.

I write a bit. Next day or so I write a bit more. Along the way I sleep and dream or I'm lying around and I start thinking about something I already wrote about but I want to add something else.

So I use Search to find where that part of the story is and I try to insert my new ideas but now it sounds clunky. It's like having a rock in a tire. It was a sphere. Now it's got a ka-flump, ka-flump, ka-flump in it.

And then later re-reading another chapter I realize I already wrote that part but not in quite the same way. Rinse and repeat this about 50 times and I've got a mess on my hands. Over a year and a half it's grown to 350 pages and I'm not saying the entire thing is a mess but I sense myself going into avoidance mode lately.

At this point I'm keeping a sub-item called *notes and I write in pen or pencil (still my preference after all these years) on the clipboard I keep next to my bed. Then later I prop it up in front of my keyboard and type it all into *notes. It's a pile of notes exactly the way they come out in no particular order.

If I had a digital tablet instead this would save a couple of steps but I've never tried one and I don't know if I'd like typing with a virtual keyboard. It seems weird just thinking about it.

So now what I do is paste my notes into a text document and go through them on the left monitor and try to find where to add them on the right.