We have a winner! Congrats to our winner, and if you are interested in a critique from me and didn’t win, don’t worry—I’ll have another giveaway next month.
I’m sometimes asked if writing screenplays has helped my novel or prose writing, and the answer is it has. It has improved my dialogue, but even more than that it has improved my ability to structure the narrative of a novel. As a result, I do a lot more moving of chapters in the writing process these days.
This creates an interesting challenge when you are taking a work where you move the chapters around and need to package it for a submission to an agent or publisher. In a lot of writing platforms, dynamically updating chapter numbers after these changes can’t be done.
The good news is that Scrivener allows you do to that, but I absolutely hate the Scrivener user experience and export functionality. Without fail, the document I export will have some issue with it or other. It’s not that Scrivener is bad software, it’s that it requires detailed understanding of the tool to make it work right, and I simply didn’t have the patience to figure all that out.
I tried Ulysses, which allows you to move chapters around easily via drag and drop, but Ulysses doesn’t provide any easy way to dynamically re-number chapters, making it unhelpful when putting together a submittable document.
Which brought me full circle to Microsoft Word. I never really saw Word as anything more than a word processor but in my frustration at the other options I looked at it more closely, and what do you know—there is an easy way to add chapter headings with one click. There’s an easy way to drag chapters and move them. And—amazingly—the chapter numbers dynamically update. I also have fallen in love with the Word styles palette.
It’s probably worth noting that I took a look at LibreOffice Writer, as well, and I was extremely impressed. That said, it didn’t have the all-in-one simplicity of Word.
So, after abandoning Word years ago, I am back and—in truth—loving it.
The road from short story to novel has been long and winding for Wedding Day, but we have reached our destination. After wonderful feedback from beta readers, the final revisions are done. Now to send it out to agents and perhaps a publisher or two. We shall see.
Next up for me is to go back and re-start the Thursday feature screenplay. That will be a lot of fun, and my goal is to have it done quickly as a lot of the work has already been completed.
Congrates to John, who won our March giveaway of notes and a critique. Next months’ giveaway will open in about ten days.
For those who entered this month, your free ebooks will be delivered within the next few days.
I just received beta reader feedback on my Wedding Day novel, so my new immediate plan is to revise Wedding Day and then go back and work on the Thursday feature. This is a pretty significant degree of context switching, and I do prefer to work on one project at a time, but as I haven’t started directly on Thursday yet, this won’t be too difficult.
Lots of things going on here in Jakeland, including some exciting new forays into audio. More on that later, but for now I have to get the Thursday feature film screenplay done. My goal was end of March, and I’ll be pushing that now. Pretty sure I’ll still get it done in time, however.
Still waiting on beta feedback on the Wedding Day novel, and then that will go out to agents. That will also happen by the end of March. Busy times!
I really enjoyed the screenplay that won my February critique. The writer has an amazing voice, and the subject matter was really fun.
I’ve decided to move the contest from Twitter to my own website to make it a lot easier for you (and me!). You can register for my March critique here.