Time flies when you’re using Scrivener…

Scrivener (software)
Scrivener (software) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The month of April has all but disappeared, and I thought it had only just begun. Where has the time gone? It really hasn’t been because I have been spending an inordinate amount of time keeping up to date with my blog posting. On the contrary, I have probably spent way too much time reading all of the useful information about the many ways to use Scrivener, posted on Everything Scrivener, by a vast array of writers and other contributors.

And having taken Gwen Hernandez’s Scrivener for Mac online class in February thru March, I was hooked, and I have grown as a writer thanks to all of that.  Without a doubt, during this period, I have been having massive amounts of fun, while at the same time learning new things about Scrivener and the process of formatting stories and books every day!

Though I feel that I’ve pretty much neglected my regular and consistent posting during this time, and that I should, perhaps, be doing more actual writing instead of reading about writing, what I’ve gleaned from the articles and other tutorials found on YouTube have proven quite worthwhile. What I have enjoyed this past month in reading through the very helpful articles posted at Everything Scrivener, is that one tip seems to lead to another that is equally as informative and useful.

During this time, perhaps the most beneficial tutorial I found was a wonderful video posted by writer Julie Kenner titled How to format .mobi and ePub in Scrivener. After I watched this several times, I actually applied her step-by-step, clear-cut instructions to a couple of my short stories (“Hobo Willie” & “Pinewood Farm”) and compiled them perfectly to publish as Kindle Edition books. That was the first step toward actually realizing that I could do this after all!

Of course, after I’d successfully compiled my stories into the correct .mobi format required by Amazon, I needed to know how to get them into the Amazon store. As it turned out, that was one of the easiest steps—thanks to having done all of the formatting in Scrivener—and the very helpful YouTube tutorial Publishing your eBook on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Platform from Paul Salvette of BB eBooks.

As with the Julie Kenner tutorial, I watched Mr. Salvette’s presentation a few times and proceeded to go through the steps to upload “Hobo Willie” and “Pinewood Farm.” In less than an hour’s time, I had two short stories on Amazon! And in checking not so very long ago, I’ve actually sold a few and had a nice review for each.

So what’s next as I work up this learning curve? I’m putting the finishing touches on my novel titled The Bet, and I

Scrivener 2.0
Scrivener 2.0 (Photo credit: mortsan)

cannot wait to compile it into a format for Smashwords and/or CreateSpace as well as eBooks. There’s still a way to go, however, but at least I now have a grasp on how it’s done. And regardless of the format, it still all comes down to having a story that is well written, full of characters who have something to share, and a problem or two that needs to be resolved satisfactorily….CortlandWriter

Parting ways with my fellow “travelers”…

Flemingsbergsskogen, April 2006.
Flemingsbergsskogen, April 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

April!

It’s finally here, and yet we’re still forced to put on warm hoodies and jackets and keep the furnace running just a bit more than we’d prefer. I keep telling myself that it’s only a matter of time before I can ditch the long pants and long-sleeve shirts and don the “summer togs”—shorts and tee shirt! Oh, for those wonderful mornings when I can sit on our deck, warmed by the rising sun, and enjoy that first cup of hot coffee and listen to the calm and peace of a new day beginning!

Reaching April also marks the end of my recent experience in taking an online course titled Scrivener for Mac. As I’ve written about in other posts, Scrivener is a wonderful program that provides writers of all walks of life various tools and means to generate their work. When the course began on Tuesday, February 19, I was quite unsure as to exactly where this would take me. I had made up my mind that I wanted to do everything I could to “master” Scrivener so I could put it to work for my many WIPs (works in progress) and to be comfortable in most of its powerful components.

And now that all of the lessons, tutorials, Live Class presentations by instructor Gwen Hernandez, and questions and comments from students have come to an end, I must say that there is a distinct feeling of emptiness hanging around. The emptiness is not about the material covered in the class, but rather in the void that now exists because the class has ended! Call me sentimental, or whatever, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed these days and weeks since February 19!

My morning routine of downloading the day’s lesson and working through it, hot coffee steaming at the ready nearby, was something of which I’d grown very fond these past several weeks. Not only was it an ongoing process of putting the individual pieces  of Scrivener together to see how the whole of the program functions, but it was also a fun challenge to finally grasp a concept or how to do something I’d not known how to do previously.

We were led by Gwen Hernandez, author of Scrivener for Dummies (Wiley, 2012). Before I’d taken the class, I had purchased the book and found it very good in helping with many of the trickier and more complex features of Scrivener. The book became even more valuable as a reference during the progression of the class. I return to it often for various answers to questions that crop up as I work on my current novel.

During the run of the class, Gwen provided clear explanations and answers to our many questions and comments, always with a wonderful sense of humor and lightness that made things very comfortable from the onset. The same tone pervades the book as well. Anyone who is serious about learning and using Scrivener needs to own the book. Also,taking the class—for Mac or Windows—is a terrific idea.

Traveler's Notebook
Traveler’s Notebook (Photo credit: koalazymonkey)

Along the way, too, were many fellow “travelers” very much with the same questions and goals as I had. And though we really have never met, my fellow Scrivener friends and I seemed to develop a sort of camaraderie that seems to occur in groups which are focused on the same goals and outcomes, regardless of each others’ experience or published status. I believe that is a direct result of a caring and competent instructor. Even with some of the technological glitches that cropped up from time to time, I still had a worthwhile time of it all. For a month or so, we were all on equal footing, wending our way through the world that is Scrivener.

Whenever I fire up Scrivener to get to work on my writing project, I will often wonder what my fellow travelers are up to and how their own various writing projects are proceeding. I will look for their names along the way in blog posts or book lists of recently published items and wonder if they will ever do the same themselves.

Now that the protective shell of our Scrivener class is closing, it’s time for us to stretch and flap our wings and fly. I know I can do so now, confident that Gwen and my fellow travelers have helped me to do so. And all these weeks later, since the course commenced, I know that my writing will be much better and headed in the right direction, with Scrivener helping me get there! I shall miss all my fellow “travelers” just the same...CortlandWriter