Look before you leap is excellent advice—if you take it. I’m embarrassed to say how many times I haven’t. I’m thankful my leaps are figurative. In my last post, I mentioned that I’d started a book in a genre I’ve never written before. I’ve read it, though probably not as much as I should have before attempting to write it. So guess what I’m doing now? (Don’t bother checking my I Read page or my Goodreads currently reading shelf; I’m being secretive.)
In short, I’m looking at a lot more pre-writing preparation for this book than I’d anticipated. But that’s all right. Creating new brain cells is good. Besides, I said I this was my year of new, didn’t I? And I said I needed to get more organized. Maybe it’s time to use new writing tools. I tried Scrivener for Windows back when they were beta testing it, but I was in the middle of writing a book and the learning curve seemed a time suck. After they ended the beta, I never bought the real version. Do any of you use it?
My current method of research and writing involves creating dozens of Word files—research notes, character profiles, scene lists, timelines, etc., as well as the actual manuscript file. I save those files into a folder with the working title of the book, but still I need to open each file individually. So, as I work, I might have five or six files open in Word at once. I think Scrivener streamlines that, but I’d have to learn how.
I might even do the unthinkable—properly outline this novel. (I can’t believe I typed that!) Can a pantser turn plotter?
I will probably divide my writing time by working on this secret book part of the day and my next WF novel during the other part. I’ve already cut down on social media participation. And I guess it’s a good thing personal email, which requires a thoughtful reply, rarely drops into my inbox. So I have time; I just need to use it more wisely than ever before.
I might even have to cut back to watching only one episode of X-Files before bed, so I can start rising earlier. The truth is out there.