Apologies for the very late post this week, but this time I'd like to talk about... plotting. You know, that thing that your story needs to have if you want to make it to 20,000 words. (Well, the thing I need to have, anyway.)
Got any plotting tips? Tricks? Stuck on any scenes and need some help? Not sure where it's all going? Are you planning it all before you start, or making it up as you go along, or some combination of the two? Or maybe you're still working on that outline? (*coughs, raises guilty hand* My outline is 5,000 words, though! Actually, wait, I have 300 words of story done.)
My personal tip -- and I don't mean to be selling anyone anything, I just think the program is amazing -- is that Scrivener has absolutely changed my ability to plot and write long stories. In a good way. (It's $45 for Mac; the Windows/Linux version is in public beta, so it's currently FREE if you don't mind that it might be a little buggy.)
I have found it's much, much easier to write and plot long stories in Scrivener. You can separate the draft from your research, and you can double-pane the window so you can, say, stare at reference pics as you write. Or you can go full-screen and have nothing but text. The best thing, though, is that it's organized by scenes, and you can give each scene a notecard with some description. You can look at the cards while you're writing, or look at all of the cards, and rearrange the scenes just by switching cards around. It's pretty awesome.
I wrote my Big Bang last year in Scrivener, and I was just so impressed; it was way easier than writing a plain text file (and yes, I say this as someone who wrote a 90,000 word story in TextEdit). It certainly made plotting easier, because I could very easily write out of order, skip around, and add new scenes as I thought of them. I wrote most of the end first, even. (For screenshots of how it works, I can show you my current WIP -- not Pros, and it's the one that is blocking my Pros BB story, yes, I know, I know, I just have to finish this one first, I promise -- you can admire the basic Scrivener window, a scene with associated notecard -- there are more places to write notes that I wasn't using -- and the "corkboard" view of all notecards, where you can see my bizarre ramblings to myself. And yes, Courier is my favorite font.)
So how do you write? Is anyone with me about the excellence of Scrivener? Or maybe you just use Word or your other favorite text editor? That's fine too. (Or maybe... on paper?) How do you go about plotting? Do you write linearly? Or, hey, maybe you're already done with your story and this isn't even an issue! Let me know! Or talk about anything you'd like! Whatever!
(And please, someone else say they've barely started. It'll make me feel better!)