Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I just kinda died for you, you just kinda stared at me

No new word count yesterday, but 750 words today, which puts me at almost 8,800 total. I'm pushing up to the last couple of big impact scenes and closing in on "The End" a little more every day... But one step at a time. I need to do some choreography-style thinking and planning before launching into the next scene.

I have stopped using the progress meters over on the sidebar. (Although they're very cool little gadgets, which you can find at StoryToolz, along with other nifty writer toys.) The primary reason for that is because I am gradually learning to use all the tools available to me through WriteWay, which I have learned to love. It actually has more bells and whistles than I currently use, but I've found that it suits my writing process very well. My planning process, which involves everything from word webs and diagrams on the back of recycled paper to index cards to an Excel worksheet, ends with a basic "outline." The outline is really just a list of scenes I know I'll need, cobbled together into the order they need to happen and sorted into chapters and acts based on a mostly-arbitrary method. (Mostly having to do with limiting the number of scenes per chapter into a small enough chunk that the writer does not become frightened and flee the project before it even starts.)

WriteWay is a word processing program with a sidebar which organizes your document into acts, chapters, and scenes. Which matches up so very neatly with my working outline. Perfectly, even. And which you can use to move scenes and chapters from place to place simply by dragging the scene or chapter title, without having to find the section and cut and paste. My mind freaks upon seeing massive chunks of text, so it's perfect for me--I see one manageable piece of the story at a time, with the big picture off to the left in one tidy list.

And it has a built-in word count tracker. With graphs, and reports that show word or page count goals and actuals and adjusts automatically to show the minimum count required to stay on goal, and reports that show how many words or pages you have for each scene, chapter, and act. Shiny! And simple, which helps to prevent me from spending too much time fussing with it.

In the meantime, summer is off to an appropriately lazy start, for the most part. Michael has been off to swim lessons, and both boys have been helping with chores. But there has also been much reading the afternoon away and video gaming and just sitting around talking. Joe's best buddy has been gone the last few days, so they've been on the phone for nearly two hours now, catching up.

Yeah. Tell me again about girls and phones?

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