Monday, September 14, 2020

Why I Love Scrivener - Plotting

I'm been asked multiple times about Scrivener and why it works for me, so I thought I'd put together a few posts. Hopefully, they're helpful!

Here are the previous posts:

I don't use the whole range of tools in Scrivener but I've found that MANY of the features really work for my brain. This program has saved my sanity and my stories on many occasions.

When I first started writing, I was a total Pantser (writing by the seat of my pants). I knew the genre I was writing, but that was about it when I started. As you can imagine, this created a need for a LOT of revising and editing. Over time, I decided to learn to plot.

However, most plot books didn't make a lot of sense to my brain. Enter Libbie Hawker's Take Off Your Pants book. Now I have a much better sense of story before I start. I don't feel overwhelmed by the amount of plotting I do and it doesn't suck the joy out of the actual writing for me (which happened with other styles of plotting).

Of course, everyone has to find their own way to plot or not to plot.

When using Scrivener, I always have a folder for Paths. Which is how I think of plotting thanks to Libbie. Each character has their own Path and then I have to combine their paths.



In the screenshot, you'll see the top part of a chart I've created using Libbie's book. It gives me the basics for the character's path. I do one for each character (I have 2 MCs as I write romance with dual pov). Then I need to combine these two paths into one story. And that's where the right-hand side of the screenshot comes in. It bears the fancy title of "Things that need to happen."

I don't have a step-by-step outline. Rather, I have the two paths and the chart of what happens in what order.

Because Scrivener allows that wonderful double writing-space option, I can have either of the Paths or the Combined Path on the screen at the same time as I'm drafting. This helps keep me on track and reminds me where I'm going.

No matter what style of outlining or plotting you do I think you can use Scrivener's double workspace option to your advantage.

How about you? Do you like having your outline visible as you're writing? Anyone else use Take Off Your Pants? Any tips to share?

12 comments:

  1. The idea of having paths for the characters does sound like it would work better than thinking of plotting for them. The double writing option on Scrivener would definitely be a big help to keep you on track.

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    1. It's a great system for my brain!
      Love that double writing pane for so many reasons!

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  2. Paths - now that's a clever way to think of a storyline.

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    1. I agree!
      I was the kid who did the outline after the essay so this helps me!

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  3. I like the idea of character paths. I don't completely outline stories so this could help me too. Thanks!

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    1. You're welcome! It makes sense to my brain with my character-driven stories :)

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  4. You just had to find a style of plotting that worked for you.

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    1. I think so, too! There are so many methods and we all need one that fits comfortably!

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  5. Very interesting about "Paths". Enjoyed the post.

    Yvonne.

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  6. I am thrilled that you found something which works (and works so very well) for you.

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    1. Thanks, Sue! I'm a MUCH faster writer now - by at least a factor of 4!!

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