kais

Lounge II (The Lounge Strikes Back)

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@Snakenaps I am a scrivener fan as well. It is what got me off my alphasmart as my main writing place. I just love being able to save and track multiple versions and such. I do miss in line notes... but to be honest I haven’t upgraded to version 3 yet so maybe that has it?

@ginger_reckoning I did soo much writing in college. I was sure when I graduated I’d be much more prolific because: more free time! But, for me at least that wasn’t the case. I did give up caffeine after college (heart issue-) so maybe thats the problem. Lol- perhaps I should look into B vitamins for energy?

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1 hour ago, Valerie said:

to be honest I haven’t upgraded to version 3 yet so maybe that has it?

I'm not sure...Windows version 3 isn't out yet. 

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3 hours ago, Valerie said:

What do you use to write with? Whenever I meet a writer I’m always curious to know their process,

I write with a bunch of Word Docs dumped into a semi-organised folder. I would love a recommendation for a good writing program because my current system is a mess. 

Edited by Lecky Twig
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@Lecky Twig wrll I love scrivener but it is not everyone’s cup of tea. They have a free trial (or use to) try before you buy!

 

my brother uses something different. I’ve texted him asking what. It is something that he says works great with world building (I write more shorts and novella length max, so tons of world building isn’t really needed for me.)

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I have mostly been using Google Docs while doing my first draft.  It made it easier to share with friends who were helping me work through some early troubles, but I am quickly running into the load time problem that Snakenaps mentioned.  I've switched back over to Word for now, because I've been trying to tighten up text to reduce word count, and having the wordcount right at the bottom of the page is handy for that, but am on the lookout for something better.  All of my reference notes for my worldbuilding are in various Google Docs and Google Sheets files, but it's probably not the best way to organize them, and I'm sure I've lost things along the way. 

I did like being able to skim through sections on my phone to make outline notes and rough edits while I was putting the first draft together, but I don't think I'd be able to do too much real editing that way.

The ideal option would be something that I and my husband would both be able to use, since we have slightly different requirements for writing. I do fantasy novel writing, and could probably benefit from some worldbuilding organization system, but haven't liked the ones that I've tried trials for.  He does audio drama script writing, so he deals with smaller scene pieces at a time and likes to be able to annotate with directing notes and sound design/music composition thoughts. 

I've heard good things about Scrivener, but don't think I've actually tried the trial before.  I might have to do that now...

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1 hour ago, Valerie said:

@Lecky Twig wrll I love scrivener but it is not everyone’s cup of tea. They have a free trial (or use to) try before you buy!

 

my brother uses something different. I’ve texted him asking what. It is something that he says works great with world building (I write more shorts and novella length max, so tons of world building isn’t really needed for me.)

Thanks Valerie, I'm more of a short story writer aswell, but I usually write series of them in the same world because I like big world building. I might try out Scrivener when I next create a new world to write in. 

 

 

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22 hours ago, Lecky Twig said:

I write with a bunch of Word Docs dumped into a semi-organised folder.

This is what I used to do, until l started writing my latest project, a novelette. I've been promising myself to try Scrivener for ages, and so I have.

23 hours ago, Valerie said:

to be honest I haven’t upgraded to version 3 yet so maybe that has it?

I'm on Version 3.1.5 and it does have inline notes, in basically the exact same way as Word uses comments.

So, all the parts that would have been separate files, like character notes, plot outline, etc. etc, are now different 'pages' in my Scrivener file. In a way, the difference is quite subtle, but being only one click away from the page that has the plot outline, or reminds me what height the character is, or whatever, is much, much clearer and easier than two or three clicks to switch between separate Word files. I feel that I may never go back, but also have not spent long enough with Scrivener to learn all the deep-seated features.

Edited by Robinski
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Campfire is what my brother uses. I keep forgetting to check it out.

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9 hours ago, Robinski said:

feel that I may never go back

I have a feeling that once I try it, I may never go back, either.

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A question for all the multi-drafters out there who don't mind sharing their process:

How do you start a radically new draft that still needs to hit roughly the same beats?

Do you re-read the old draft before starting each section of the new, keep them side by side on screen, or reverse outline?

Or options d-z? 

Any advice/tips are appreciated :-) 

 

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5 hours ago, Sarah B said:

A question for all the multi-drafters out there who don't mind sharing their process:

How do you start a radically new draft that still needs to hit roughly the same beats?

Do you re-read the old draft before starting each section of the new, keep them side by side on screen, or reverse outline?

Or options d-z? 

Any advice/tips are appreciated :-) 

I go through about eight drafts before my manuscript is ready for my agent. Every time I start a new draft I copy the old one, rename it, and edit the document directly. That way the bones don't move too much. Plus I have the old draft still in the previous file so if I make a mistake I later want to undo, I still have the last version. 

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When I am just rewriting a single chapter or chunk of chapters, I often will have the two documents open side by side. Depending on how deep the changes are, I will simply copy and paste the new draft and edit in the changes, or if it is a complete rewrite I will make a bulleted list of the main beats/ points of the chapter and highlight the sections in the old manuscript that align with those certain beats. Them, when I am writing the new one, I will either delete those sections or write them into the new draft depending on what I'm doing. 

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Posted (edited)

I use worldanvil.com for my worldbuilding and reference notes (though everything is organized and written on paper first). They have a manuscript system that is similar to scrivener as well, but I haven't really used it much. I have been having trouble with the formatting and have lost my patience with it. 

As for my process of rewriting/editing drafts, I like to start a new doc and write out the new scenes, then I go back and compare with my old draft. This is maybe not the best way and I have been trying some new things lately to make a better system. I am more of an organic writer, though, and this helps me make changes without getting caught up on the fact that I am making changes. The project I'm on now has completely changed already once, with the axis of the story switching from a chosen one deconstruction to a revenge story. My characters are also constantly getting tweaked and moved around, with only three or four of them completely set in stone. 

My process is best described as controlled chaos, with all the pieces sort of floating around until I pull them into the story. It can be a bit stressful sometimes, which is why I have been trying to make changes to my process. 

Edited by sniperfrog
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I would say my process seems really similar to what @ginger_reckoning said.  A lot of side-by-side documents, or important paragraphs of the old versions copied and pasted in for quick reference.  Usually if I do the latter, I'll adjust the formatting to something ridiculous, and after I add the new and improved text, I'll delete the section it replaced. 

For overall plot restructuring types of edits for a long project?  I'm not sure yet.  I haven't had enough big projects that I am excited enough about to do those more serious rounds of editing. I have a feeling that the next few months will be forcing me to find some better answers to that part of the question, though. :wacko:

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11 hours ago, Sarah B said:

A question for all the multi-drafters out there who don't mind sharing their process:

How do you start a radically new draft that still needs to hit roughly the same beats?

Do you re-read the old draft before starting each section of the new, keep them side by side on screen, or reverse outline?

Or options d-z? 

Any advice/tips are appreciated :-) 

 

I'm on Draft Four of my first completed book, to give you an idea of where I'm at/skill level. Although, this actually version eight (?) of this particular story.

My biggest mistake was thinking the perfect way to revise was to...retype the entire book. This was starting Draft Two, before I joined RE. I got five chapters in and realized that was bull. 

When starting Draft Two, I only went off of what I had heard from my mother/sister and what was in my head. So outside of the romance being scrapped, almost nothing changed because I didn't have the experience/knowledge/resources to know what the hell I was doing. I knew things were wrong, but I didn't know why, let alone how to fix them. 

Then I joined RE and earned enough street cred to convince @Robinski to do line-by-lines (LBL's) for the entire Draft Two, which became my main base for Draft Three, along with the weekly critiques from the entire group. I revised about a chapter or two ahead of my submissions for the most part until November/early December, when I surged ahead.

Now I'm in Draft Four, and I'm really going at it. I keep four documents open at once: Scrivener with the manuscript, @shatteredsmooth's customized revision outline (which I can send you a copy if you are interested), @kais's arc checklist, and the comments from RE. I'm an outliner, so I work well if I can analyze and diagnose what is going on. Which is important, because my gut can often tell me that something is wrong, but I'm still gaining the knowledge to be able to tell what. Now I can literally look and go "Ah, no wonder this part sucked. Ir was being her not-proactive self and I wrote eleven straight chapters with no stakes." 

I edit my manuscript directly, but what is nice about Scrivener is that I have these "Snapshots" of the previous versions that I can look back on any time, copy and paste from, or even restore if I want. Another part of Scrivener I appreciate is that it allows me to move scenes just by dragging them into different chapter folders. There's also Scrivener's flash cards, its keywords, its meta-data, its notepad, its comments...there's a lot to that program, and I am using only the touch of the iceberg. 

There's a ton of podcasts on Writing Excuses on revision: https://writingexcuses.com/?s=revision 

Good luck! 

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I normally write shorter stuff. But the one  novella I wrote and then did a second draft of- well I found prepping for draft 2 on the computer too hard. 

so I printed that bad boy out. Read it and converted it into a scene by scene outline. As I read I made notes about what I liked/ disliked about each scene and a brief 1-2 sentence summary of what happened in the scene as well as what characters were present. Then I typed up the outline of brief scene descriptions. From there it was easy to cut scenes,  move scenes or add in brief descriptions of new scenes to be fleshed out later. Then I printed that out and made sure it flowed well before I started in on the meat of draft two. 
 

For my shorter work I find I still do my best editing on paper- and actually take the time to print it out double spaced and attack it with highlighters and colored pencils- what can I say. I grew up without a computer and using a typewriter for editing was the pits so I had to learn the “old fashion way” and I just think better on paper. 
 

I usually just retype from the edited hard copy because it is quicker than editing on a screen for me. Plus, I often make further edits as I retype. But we are talking 1,000 to 5,000 words so retyping takes an afternoon or two,  not weeks. 

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13 hours ago, kais said:

I go through about eight drafts before my manuscript is ready for my agent. Every time I start a new draft I copy the old one, rename it, and edit the document directly. That way the bones don't move too much. Plus I have the old draft still in the previous file so if I make a mistake I later want to undo, I still have the last version. 

That seems smart, and also terrifying :-) 

Eight drafts seems like some serious wordsmithing. Thank you for sharing your process!

 

11 hours ago, ginger_reckoning said:

if it is a complete rewrite I will make a bulleted list of the main beats/ points of the chapter and highlight the sections in the old manuscript that align with those certain beats. 

I'm going to give this a shot, thanks!

9 hours ago, sniperfrog said:

 

My process is best described as controlled chaos, with all the pieces sort of floating around until I pull them into the story. It can be a bit stressful sometimes, which is why I have been trying to make changes to my process. 

I think that's about where I live too :-)

7 hours ago, C_Vallion said:

I would say my process seems really similar to what @ginger_reckoning said.  A lot of side-by-side documents, or important paragraphs of the old versions copied and pasted in for quick reference.  Usually if I do the latter, I'll adjust the formatting to something ridiculous, 

Clever, thanks!

7 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

 

My biggest mistake was thinking the perfect way to revise was to...retype the entire book. This was starting Draft Two, before I joined RE. I got five chapters in and realized that was bull. 

Yup, that's what I was doing while subbing on my most recent attempt. It was not going well.

7 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

 

Now I'm in Draft Four, and I'm really going at it. I keep four documents open at once: Scrivener with the manuscript, @shatteredsmooth's customized revision outline (which I can send you a copy if you are interested), @kais's arc checklist, and the comments from RE. 

That would be great, thank you!

7 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

There's a ton of podcasts on Writing Excuses on revision: https://writingexcuses.com/?s=revision 

 

I'm pretty sure I've listened to them, but a refresher never hurts! It seems like the really 'crunchy' ones take me more than one listen to get everything. 

5 hours ago, Valerie said:


so I printed that bad boy out. Read it and converted it into a scene by scene outline. As I read I made notes about what I liked/ disliked about each scene and a brief 1-2 sentence summary of what happened in the scene as well as what characters were present. Then I typed up the outline of brief scene descriptions. From there it was easy to cut scenes,  move scenes or add in brief descriptions of new scenes to be fleshed out later. Then I printed that out and made sure it flowed well before I started in on the meat of draft two. 
 

Interesting. I'm still trying to improve my outlining skills so this might work on two levels for me. Thank you!

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I cannot imagine binning an entire document to start typing again from scratch. All that effort, 100,000 words (whatever) trashed?! Gives me the shivers. But then, I always outline the first 50-75% of my book, and write maybe 5 to 10 pages (sometimes even more) of notes before I start writing the story. Sometimes I write sample scenes too, to get a feel of character voice and dynamics. So, I'm pretty well prepped before I start writing the novel. That way, I never feel any need to bin a whole draft. I think it's all about how much confidence you have in that previous draft, and I like to make sure I've got loads.

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Posted (edited)

10 hours ago, Valerie said:

For my shorter work I find I still do my best editing on paper- and actually take the time to print it out double spaced and attack it with highlighters and colored pencils- what can I say. I grew up without a computer and using a typewriter for editing was the pits so I had to learn the “old fashion way” and I just think better on paper. 

 

I usually just retype from the edited hard copy because it is quicker than editing on a screen for me. Plus, I often make further edits as I retype. But we are talking 1,000 to 5,000 words so retyping takes an afternoon or two,  not weeks. 

I do this for sections that I've spent far too much time staring at on the computer.

Or when side-by-side windows doesn't work because I'd need four windows open. Scenes where it's bringing together a lot of hints that were dropped earlier, or ones where the exact details of the world building or magic system are important.

It's probably most common when I want to make sure I'm not referencing information that the characters don't know. Especially if I've restructured some of how the magic system or world politics have been unfolded to the characters (or to the readers). Having quick references on paper to what the characters in the scene know or don't know can be really helpful to keep from jumping back to a single paragraph from chapter 3, or I can remind myself that the thing I thought character A found out in chapter 5 is actually only implied, and she's still confused about it. 

I am stingy with printer paper, or I would probably do it a lot more (and probably will for future drafts anyway) but it's so helpful for those times I need a different look at things or to not get overwhelmed by too many words. 

Edited by C_Vallion
Hadn't realized how long the quoted section was on my phone.
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On 12/31/2020 at 8:47 AM, Sarah B said:

A question for all the multi-drafters out there who don't mind sharing their process:

How do you start a radically new draft that still needs to hit roughly the same beats?

Do you re-read the old draft before starting each section of the new, keep them side by side on screen, or reverse outline?

Or options d-z? 

Any advice/tips are appreciated :-) 

 

 

2 hours ago, Robinski said:

I cannot imagine binning an entire document to start typing again from scratch. All that effort, 100,000 words (whatever) trashed?! Gives me the shivers. But then, I always outline the first 50-75% of my book, and write maybe 5 to 10 pages (sometimes even more) of notes before I start writing the story. Sometimes I write sample scenes too, to get a feel of character voice and dynamics. So, I'm pretty well prepped before I start writing the novel. That way, I never feel any need to bin a whole draft. I think it's all about how much confidence you have in that previous draft, and I like to make sure I've got loads.

I'm similar to @Robinski. I have an extensive outline (usually 10-15 pages for a 100k+ novel). I'll usually change the ending around some, plot points especially after the halfway point, and massage character reactions in later drafts, but in 10+ books I've never rewrote so extensively I needed to throw a draft away. On each revision, I save the old one as "Title, DRAFT X DO NOT CHANGE" which gives me license to completely change scenes and chapter placement around in the new one without losing any material. I usually don't even look back at old drafts, though.

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18 minutes ago, Mandamon said:

I usually don't even look back at old drafts, though.

Same. Too much to hold in the head at one time, as Writing Excuses might say.

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17 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Now I'm in Draft Four, and I'm really going at it. I keep four documents open at once: Scrivener with the manuscript, @shatteredsmooth's customized revision outline (which I can send you a copy if you are interested), @kais's arc checklist, and the comments from RE.

Can I get both?

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13 hours ago, Sarah B said:

That would be great, thank you!

 

3 hours ago, Turin Turambar said:

Can I get both?

PMed you both. For ease, I stuck both the revision outline and the arc checklist into one document.

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i would also love a copy, if you would

 

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18 minutes ago, Snakenaps said:

 

PMed you both. For ease, I stuck both the revision outline and the arc checklist into one document.

I'll make good use of it, thank you!

I love how straight forward it is as a guideline :-)

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