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Tweaks to Process

January 15, 2013


For perhaps a year now I’ve been trying to incorporate YWriter into my novel-writing process. It’s a somewhat streamlined cousin of Scrivener, with the added feature of not blowing up in Windows the way Scrivener always does for me.

I do like the ease with which YWriter allows me to swap out scenes, rearrange chapters, track characters and locations, etc. However, it’s a little limited in the proofing and formatting arenas. Confessio: I actually like the automatic red underlines of things my word processor (LibreOffice) thinks are misspelled. They do catch typos and what not (and I will go to my grave never, ever spelling “satellite” right the first time), but they also function as reminders of where I’ve used unusual names. In a fantasy/SF setting, that’s pretty much all of them.

What has evolved over this year is a new kink to my writing process. I now compose in YWriter, scene by scene, chapter by chapter. When the time comes for running pages by WUTA (my writers’ group, for those new here), I pull the text out of YWriter, drop it in LibreOffice, and fix the red stuff that needs fixing. I often do some surgery at this point too, tightening up individual sentences (or cutting them out entirely).

Those pages get read and discussed, and I take them and the feedback I get from WUTA back to LibreOffice. Any changes I decide to make based on feedback happen, and then the text gets dropped back into YWriter. More actual writing ensues and the Circle of Life continues.

It’s not particularly efficient, but with each “phase shift” I look at the manuscript in a different way, which leads to more productive revision, at least for me.

At any rate, I sent the nice developer at Spacejock who created and supports YWriter–an author himself–some money last week, since I’ve fully incorporated his product into my process. It seemed like time.

In case you’re interested:

And yes, that’s the WIP in the picture.

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