So the “Blog Post” template for Word seems to have worked! This is fantastic. It will make my blogging so much easier and faster. If anyone is interested in trying it, the option comes standard with MS Word 2013. Simply go to File>New and select the “Blog Post” option. If it isn’t already part of your installation, Word will then go online & download it. You have to fill in some basic info, like the web location of your blog, but it’s only a couple of questions, and they’re very basic. I mean, how much easier can it get than “location of your blog goes here”?
Now, I know a lot of you are cringing in horror at the thought of using a Microsoft product, and that’s your prerogative. But I’ve never been one of those folks that has a problem with them. I know there are a lot of people who think any product sold or offered by a large corporation such as Microsoft or Amazon is inherently evil. As for me, well, call me a sellout, or call me a realist. All I know is that I had a job for nearly two decades because of Microsoft. Most people in the IT field, whether they like MS or not, wouldn’t have a job if it weren’t for them.
So, you can make your own decision regarding Microsoft products. I think I’ll continue to use them. At least, for now.
On the writing front… Chucklers is moving along. The majority of the first book in the series is written, but the devil is in the details. And this book has a LOT of details. The hardest part is trying to meld the timelines of the various storylines in such a manner that I don’t lose the pacing of the story when I piece it all together. Initially I thought I would approach the chapters of the story in a similar manner as I did in HPM. In that one, I began each chapter with a date and timestamp. But that simply won’t work with Chucklers. It’s just way too complex. Much more so than HPM was. HPM was a single storyline, told from a single POV. As such, it was easy to lay things out in a linear fashion and tell the story as it occurred.
Chucklers, on the other hand, is really five or six intertwined stories that include more than two dozen characters, told from the POV of roughly half a dozen of them, and they are all happening at the same time. Trying to keep all that on a rigid timeline is nearly impossible. As a result, I’ve had to temporarily remove most of my time markers throughout the story, so that I can shuffle the various POV chapters around in such a manner that I (hopefully) won’t lose tension when I need it, and will be able to let the reader “rest” at appropriate times.
To that end, I’m using a couple of tools in addition to my regular MS Word software. One of them, I’ve used before, but not nearly as extensively as I’m using it now. That is yWriter5. This program is what I like to call “the poor man’s Scrivener.” It does many of the same things that Scrivener does, but where Scrivener costs $40, yWriter5 is free. And to be perfectly honest, I’ve been perfectly happy with yWriter5… until now. And the lack of satisfaction is because of the second tool I’ve recently begun using.
Aeon Timeline – Aeon is an incredible timeline management program that allows me to track all the different scenes in my story in a visible, time stamped, color coded, and easily juggled format. And it can now be synchronized with Scrivener. And what that means to me, my friend, is that instead of writing my chapters in MS Word, copying them into yWriter5, looking at the POV frequency and pacing in Aeon, juggling the beat points in Aeon as necessary, then going back and moving entire chapters in yWriter5 and MS Word, then renumbering the chapters as necessary, I could simply make a change in Aeon or Scrivener, and synchronize them on the fly.
I have to say, that is an EXTREMELY tempting proposition. Especially since the book I’m working on is the first in a series of similarly complex stories. The only thing that has been keeping me from making the purchase is the fact that by all reports, Scrivener has a bit of a steep learning curve, which would delay my writing while I learn the software. But would it delay it more than all the back and forth that I’m doing now with the clunky method I’m using? I don’t know. I’m still on the fence with this one.
If any of you read this and have used the Scrivener / Aeon synchronization tools, please let me know. I would love to hear your experiences, good or bad.
And that’s it for now. I need to get back to writing. So as always, stay safe.