Elementary Magic – Great Lines

So I was now an unemployed, homeless archaeologist who had blown three job interviews by causing minor disasters.

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Because everyone needs a little Basir

Baasir Keychain 1

This will be my first author/reader give-away item.  It is a keychain with an owl, some sparkly (plastic) crystals and a Celtic design bead.  It has a lobster claw clasp so you can hang it from anywhere.  Check back here next weekend and you can find out the details and rules of the contest!  Hint:  It has something to do with my Relic Hunter series.

The “Jade Phoenix” Necklace

Ah, jewelry inspired by my urban fantasy series!  This little piece was inspired by Arienne’s adventures in Elementary Magic.  Jade Phoenix 1jade phoenix 3

I have plans for this necklace.  Keep watching because there’s an author give-away in the near future!

The moment that converted me to a Scrivener User

I’m not a linear writer – my main frame of the story is pretty set when I begin hammering out chapter 1, but then the twists and turns take me many places.  I had read about Scrivener but thought much of what it contained would be useless fluff.  I decided to give it a shot, though, and downloaded the free trial (you can get that here:  http://www.literatureandlatte.com).  I played with it for two days, basically ignoring the handy user guide – I’m more of a hands-on girl and way too impatient to work my way through a guide 🙂

My initial assessment was that the learning curve would be relatively steep, but I decided to try it for my next book and actually use the program the way it was intended.  Before we get to those details, here’s a little background:

I used to write in WordPerfect then in Word.  My manuscript was one document with long blank spaces where I had to work on joining two sections together.  Some days, I write the ending, other days I change the beginning, sometimes I have a random idea I stick in the middle of a section so I won’t lose it. When I changed something important that I’d mentioned earlier in the manuscript, I’d have to hunt around the document to find the section I needed to rework then go back and continue writing.  The constant back and forth made me read brief sections of my text over and over – that is a total enthusiasm killer for me because it was so distracting.

My ideas usually come to me in the early morning before I even bother to get out of bed, or (worse) in the middle of the night.  When I hit an issue in the plot where I have something to resolve I fall asleep trying to think of ways to work it out.  When I wake up in the morning I spend a few minutes still  trying to resolve the issue and sometimes it’s so clear that I rush out of bed and flip on the laptop.  I add the new thought to the bottom of the manuscript and figure I’ll find the exact place to put it later – this is how I create larges blank spaces in my document…and I lose things that way.

Yesterday morning, I resolved a huge issue in my next book (A Whisper of Feathers).  I jumped out of bed, raced to the laptop and opened my Scrivener document.  I used my index cards on the cork board – RIGHT IN THE PROGRAM – to find the right section of the story and banged out the resolved issue in a brand new chapter.  I have an outline of my book sitting right on the screen – it’s generated from my index cards so I know where I’m going and how long I have to get there. I have index cards for ideas, documents with character and setting sketches and the ability to take some ideas and throw them from Book 1 of the series into Book 2 or 3.

My chapters are labeled with the main event so I can easily find things. My cork board is filled with ideas and I can move them around as I see fit or as the story changes. All of those capabilities have made me a diehard Scrivener fan. It has given me organization in a way I can actually use it to drive my story. It has enabled me to spend those days where I don’t feel like writing just pinning index cards to my virtual cork board so when I do feel capable of writing long passages, I have a place to put them and ideas about where they’ll fall in the story.

I haven’t compiled the chapters into a manuscript for publishing yet, but so far the program has exceeded my expectations. I honestly didn’t think “writing software” could actually make me a better writer – but it did because it enables me to write the way my brain works and the software lets me put things together in a logical order and then easily rearrange it if necessary. If you want to buy the software (currently $40.00) you can click on the logo below and be taken to Amazon.com. If you’re a writer, I recommend trying it. I didn’t think I’d be a convert, but I am! 51msMSey69L._SL1000_