This post contains an email response I received as a reply to my thanking Jane for a most enjoyable meeting the other day. I thought her reply amplified the breadth of subjects we covered in the brief time she, I and Malcolm spent together.
I have to tell you that my chest expanded a little by her including me in her description of “a group of writers”, even if it may have been accidental or overly polite.
She also gives a brief discussion of the tool she uses and her methodology in writing responding to a question I had raised with her. That was very interesting to me and I thought might be of interest to others.
I did ask Jane for her permission to print portions of her email. It follows:
Very enjoyable for me, too. Couldn’t believe it when I looked at my watch and saw we’d been chatting for almost 2 hours. That’s what happens when you get a group of writers together. Last night, I thought about making some notes about our conversation but wound up being occupied by events here. Had to put it off until this morning.
By my count, we talked about Zombies, a 100 year old man who fell out of a window, Clive Cussler, Malcolm winning his book rights back, rewrites, the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the audio book, which you liked, versus the print one, which Malcolm and I both didn’t like, Shades of Grey, your daughter and her daughter (?) and their book and cover, my cover, where to get covers inexpensively, how you work at your blog on both the ipad and computer and, I think, watch TV at the same time (a neat trick), how Dell is trying to be all things to all people and Apple is not, various companies gobbling up other companies, DC and environs, Ross Perot, Oklahoma, Texas heat, Malcolm’s cold, Malcolm’s publicists, my husband’s life story and who could write it, Big Daddy’s, how the icebox in the cafe makes a rumble, how you approach your book reviews, time management, writing from a male first person perspective, a book signing — there must be more but my brain isn’t encyclopedic today (as if it were ever!). We covered a lot of ground!
As far as writing tools, I’ve used Scrivener for several years and it’s been a blessing to me. Here’s the link if you want to take a look:
The program is set up so you can write a book in individual chapters and scenes, along with written and multimedia notes. It has a corkboard and multiple ways you can organize and store your work. For my first manuscript, I organized in chapters and then I had the scenes below identified on the binder edge that runs down the left hand side of the page as scenes, sequels, or transitions. I did it that way because I was learning the structure of a novel as Jack Bickham taught it and I needed to know at a glance if I had too many sequels to scenes and if I had too many clumps of either scenes or sequels.
At that point, I had already completed my first draft and was in heavy rewrite mode, going through and examining every scene for its contribution to the whole manuscript. The binder was invaluable in this.
This go-around, I have the scene-sequel (some people call it action – reaction but it has more elements than that) licked, I think, so I’m defining the binder scenes with a couple of words of description.
When you’re ready to go to print, Scrivener has a translation to Mobi and perhaps other formats as well. Don’t know exactly as I used someone to convert my mss.