Inverarity (inverarity) wrote,

AQATSA: Writing programs are just procrastination tools

Somebody created a TVTropes page for Hogwarts Houses Divided. (Warning: TVTropes link. Duh.) I am perversely proud of this. (Don't miss the YMMV link as well -- World of Woobie???)

Now and then I play around with software that's supposed to help writers, on the theory that anything that helps me organize and outline better might help me get more writing done faster instead of being stuck on a plot hole or worrying about whether I've written an entire chapter that I'll have to cut later. The idea of being able to visualize my entire book in a graph (major plot arcs, timelines, points of rising and falling tension, etc.) is appealing. One of the flaws betas and dissecting reviewers have pointed out in previous books is that my pacing is uneven. Typically, a novel gradually builds tension, has two or three "cinch points" in the middle, and then the climax followed by a brief denouement. But I tend to build up major dramatic arcs which come to a head in the middle of the book, followed by rapidly decreasing tension, then abruptly building up to another climax near the end, followed by several chapters of denouement.

I think I am doing that with AQATSA again. I am trying to stick to my mantra of Do not rewrite until I finish the first draft.

I have finished 226700 words, and I'm on chapter 37. The rough contours of the remainder of the book are formed in my head. In theory, I have seven chapters left. This theory is based on the fact that there are seven significant scenes I have left to write, and they have fallen into a more-or-less logical and chronological order in my head. But there's still a bunch of connecting structure and since I'm wordy, my planned chapters usually end up turning into an average of two chapters each.

There are all kinds of programs designed specifically for writers, ranging from the enormously complex Dramatica Pro to yWriter to Scrivener. Many writers swear by writing aids like these -- mostly what they offer is organizational tools, allowing you to create character sheets, timelines, note cards, scene diagrams, plotting graphs, storyboards, etc. Which is all very tempting, because a lot of my problem is organizing things in my head, but when it comes to writing, I have found that nothing really works better than just typing words, all in one document. Some writers apparently write scenes and chapters out of order, shuffle them about, and put them together as their plot takes shape. I can't do that (though I do sometimes end up moving a scene or even a chapter around after it becomes apparent that it doesn't fit in its original location).

So I get tempted to fiddle around with a new toy, as if somehow it will make the writing easier, but the only real tools that work for me are a word processor, a pen-and-paper notebook, and a private wiki.

Want to be my friend?

Hey, I finally got around to logging into my Facebook account. Isn't that what all the young kids are doing these days? So, maybe I will actually start posting stuff there, too. If you would like to become FB friends, just send me a comment with your request to the effect that you read my fan fiction or follow my LJ or something so I know you kind of vaguely are aware of who I am and are not just a random spammer/networker. As with my LJ, I won't be posting anything deeply personal on FB, but I might be more "chatty" and informal than I am here. (Like I'm so formal here...) Also, I can "Like" your posts when you tell me what you're having for breakfast. (But I probably won't.)
Tags: alexandra quick, aqatsa, facebook, writing

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