OPML or Scapple and Scrivener 3

User avatar
Silverdragon
Posts: 597
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:52 pm
Platform: Mac + iOS
Location: Tarzana, California, USA
Contact:

Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:24 pm Post

?? How DO you work with such empty index cards? :D Never mind, each cat his own rat. I have to limit myself to synopses that will print on 1 5x3 index card, front and back, 12 point Courier or equivalent (about 200 words), or my synopses become longer than my chapters.

re: corkboard suggestions: I've been using stacked corkboards (the CMD-select trick) for ages. As for splitting the editor into two, and using both as corkboards.... not bad, actually. I'll give that a whirl the next time I'm plotting something.

Re: Monitor: Dear heavens, a 21:9 ratio??? 34 inches? I'd... I'd have to get Hubby to buy/build me a private office when we move.... (*wanders off into unrealistic daydreams of an Arizona mini-ranch with a house like this...*)
albuquerque-1-1200x350_c.jpg
albuquerque-1-1200x350_c.jpg (218.61 KiB) Viewed 1518 times

Erm... sorry about that... :oops:
So you know where I'm coming from:
  • I'm a user, not an L&L employee.
  • Mac Scrivener 3.0.2, MacBook Air 11, MacOS 10.12.6 (Sierra)
  • IOS Scrivener 1.1.5, iPhone 6s, iPad Air 2, iOS 11.4

User avatar
Azure&Green
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:12 am
Platform: Mac + iOS
Location: Northern Queensland, Australia

Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:14 pm Post

Silverdragon wrote: ...So sometimes I just go rent a conference room with a massive whiteboard, tape index cards over it (that I've printed from Scrivener) draw lines and scribble in between, and take a photo of the whole blasphemous mess and stick it in Evernote. If Evernote goes out of business I'm ... in trouble. :D

Thank you sooo much for this posted reply. I almost choked on my coffee! Just remember, you're starting to slip into dangerous waters when you start tacking up long strands of colored yarn between the notecards on the walls...

I'm struggling with learning to outline a novel for the first time. I discovery wrote most of it into the mushy middle of 28K, then had a heart-to-heart with myself about needing to learn more about structure to control my creativity. After all, the story is the product, not the words. NaNoWriMo was not good for me--at least not right now.

So, I'm in a similar mode. Maybe I need a conference room! I at least need to get a grip on the structure I've got by pulling it out if Scrivener, fix it, outline the rest of it, and put it all back into Scrivener. I wish Scrivener just had some visual tool built into it, but I shouldn't be greedy. I came to Scrivener from Ulysses and that was like seeing my first sunrise!

Thank you all for the great discussion and options! I think I'm going to park Scapple for a while, and use MindNode via OPML.

User avatar
Silverdragon
Posts: 597
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:52 pm
Platform: Mac + iOS
Location: Tarzana, California, USA
Contact:

Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:41 pm Post

@Azure, I'm just a few months further along in the "learning to outline a novel" process than you are. I've tried about ... I'll be honest here... three or four different conceptual methods. Theoretically it should be easy, as it's nowhere near as complex as some of the software I worked on when I was a software developer...

...but to be honest, I was a lousy designer. My forte was troubleshooting--i.e., the boss would say, "Gack! the users reported a bug. Stomp it, Dragon, stomp it!" And I would go stomp it. Necessary work, but not as prestigious as getting to design the whole thing--yet after a while I learned that I would get bogged down in design decisions and not get a product out, So I was content with my troubleshooting gigs.

And here I am, designing the whole big structure of a novel, when what I'm good at is nailing a single scene or chapter or maybe small set of chapters (novella-size.) And sure enough, I'm bogged down in design decisions. Bleah. NaNoWriMo taught me to push on, and really what I need to do now is push on. After that whiteboard session, I have an overall structure AT LAST. What I need to do is get the other 54k of my 90K total goal down, NaNo style, and worry about stomping the bugs/ correcting the design errors later... :

(Oh wait... procrastinating by being on the Scrivener boards much, Dragon?)
So you know where I'm coming from:
  • I'm a user, not an L&L employee.
  • Mac Scrivener 3.0.2, MacBook Air 11, MacOS 10.12.6 (Sierra)
  • IOS Scrivener 1.1.5, iPhone 6s, iPad Air 2, iOS 11.4

Ge
GeoffHyde
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:10 am
Platform: Mac
Location: Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:30 am Post

Hi Silverdragon,

I think you should have a room for the monitor of your choice and a room for a massive physical whiteboard too. You know, for when the mood takes you. :D

Its interesting for me to hear your discussions of process, Im coming from an academic writing background, but do use some storytelling ideas/practices. And who knows, maybe Ill stretch my fictional wings one day.

Geoff

User avatar
Silverdragon
Posts: 597
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:52 pm
Platform: Mac + iOS
Location: Tarzana, California, USA
Contact:

Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:32 pm Post

GeoffHyde wrote:... I think you should have a room for the monitor of your choice and a room for a massive physical whiteboard too. You know, for when the mood takes you. :D ...

Nah. Just paint the walls with hard white enamel. The room IS the whiteboard... :D
So you know where I'm coming from:
  • I'm a user, not an L&L employee.
  • Mac Scrivener 3.0.2, MacBook Air 11, MacOS 10.12.6 (Sierra)
  • IOS Scrivener 1.1.5, iPhone 6s, iPad Air 2, iOS 11.4

User avatar
Azure&Green
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:12 am
Platform: Mac + iOS
Location: Northern Queensland, Australia

Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:15 am Post

@Silverdragon, I'm a software developer as well. Maybe we should trade outlining approaches? I wouldn't be too hard on yourself for not leaning toward the design side of software development, because I'm pretty darn good at it and it hasn't helped me much at all. Sure, storycraft does seem to follow the cyclic creative process of only being able to recognize what you want after you've done something else, but aside from that it's a wonderfully new vocation. For the record though, I'm lousy at finding bugs in other people's code. If I wrote it, I can normally pinpoint it in my head, but I'd be almost useless in the role where you've excelled.

As for outlining, I've read a number of books targeting screenwriters, and they were helpful, but still a bit off the mark for a novelist. Unless, of course, I want to write the next predictable Star Wars script... However, I did chance on a series of lectures by Brandon Sanderson given at BYU:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4ZDBOc2tX8&list=PLH3mK1NZn9QqOSj3ObrP3xL8tEJQ12-vL

These helped me greatly. He has an notion of the symmetric tracking of promises made to the reade, and shaping those into the larger goals of your story. I like his approach, but I'm still a fledgling at implementing it. Still, I've made this commitment to myself not to write without at least an outline that charts out a few chapters. When I have that sort of outline, the words come easily. When I don't? I write darlings destined for the editing bin. Brandon Sanderson also has a podcast/website called Writing Excuses with a few other writers that will delightfully and will keep you from writing for ages, all while providing heaps of helpful advice! :wink:

What method are you following? Feel free to message me directly if you'd rather. I'd be happy to share my email, etc. I don't want to make an L&L moderator upset by my migration of the topic... I'm not sure how touchy they are here about that sort of thing. I'm pretty new to this forum.

User avatar
Azure&Green
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:12 am
Platform: Mac + iOS
Location: Northern Queensland, Australia

Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:22 am Post

GeoffHyde wrote:I think you should have a room for the monitor of your choice and a room for a massive physical whiteboard too. You know, for when the mood takes you. :D
Geoff

I agree. You can never get too many monitors! Especially since Scrivener now supports multiple editors for notes, etc. Perhaps we could even opt to use smooth whiteboard paint on all the walls? I'm currently renting in Australia, so that will have to remain a fantasy for me at the moment...

User avatar
auxbuss
Posts: 110
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:50 pm
Platform: Mac
Contact:

Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:21 pm Post

Silverdragon wrote:So sometimes I just go rent a conference room with a massive whiteboard, tape index cards over it (that I've printed from Scrivener) draw lines and scribble in between, and take a photo of the whole blasphemous mess and stick it in Evernote. If Evernote goes out of business I'm ... in trouble. :D

There's an augmented reality opportunity right there.
Image

User avatar
auxbuss
Posts: 110
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:50 pm
Platform: Mac
Contact:

Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:27 pm Post

Silverdragon wrote:Nah. Just paint the walls with hard white enamel. The room IS the whiteboard... :D

Where I was working recently, we did just this in a new office space. All rooms had a big monitor on one wall and painted white wall opposite –– there's a special paint for it, and they come in every month to tidy/repaint. Also, lots of glossy partitions, etc. It's amazing to watch folk initiate collaborations when the friction is removed.
Image

User avatar
Silverdragon
Posts: 597
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:52 pm
Platform: Mac + iOS
Location: Tarzana, California, USA
Contact:

Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:14 pm Post

@auxbuss: Special whiteboard paint, huh? I'll have to look at my local hardware store. There might be something I could do in the dining room... :D

@azure: re: outlining methods. So far I've tried
  1. Story Genius (Lisa Cron). I'm way too impatient for the whole method but I loved the psychological insight into WHY story works. Her character development is cool, and I've adopted an abbreviated version of it.
  2. 2K to 10K (Rachel Aaron) I've adopted some of her ideas. How to tell when a story is a go. Always do a timeline. Her character checklist is not a bad place to start for a secondary character. Doesn't work for main characters, for whom I use Cron's methods. (Side note: I do timelines in Aeon Timeline.One reason I love the program is that it's the only one that gets ALL of the info I develop there back into Scrivener. This is one reason why I use synopses so extensively--unlike document notes, they transfer back and forth to Aeon. I wish it had a mind-map mode, but it is what it is.)
  3. Take Off Your Pants (Libbie Hawker) Her version of Story Core informs my outlining now.
  4. Save the Cat, and Save the Cat Strikes Back (Blake Synder) THIS is the one that I'm actually using right now. It's informed by all my other reading and attempts at outlines, but it a) is an empiricised version of Story Genius, and includes pacing, which Cron's method lacks. b) it's straightforward and doesn't use fancy MFA in literature language. ("Inciting incident". *shudders*) I live in suburban Los Angeles--I absorbed the language of screenwriting from the air here, I swear. :D (Also like every other Angeleno with literary ambitions, I've written a screenplay. It won a prize. It didn't get produced, but it won a damn prize.)

I'll certainly look at the Sanderson link--thank you!
So you know where I'm coming from:
  • I'm a user, not an L&L employee.
  • Mac Scrivener 3.0.2, MacBook Air 11, MacOS 10.12.6 (Sierra)
  • IOS Scrivener 1.1.5, iPhone 6s, iPad Air 2, iOS 11.4

User avatar
auxbuss
Posts: 110
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:50 pm
Platform: Mac
Contact:

Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:12 pm Post

I'd not come across 2K to 10K. I read it this afternoon. It's an excellent piece. I suspect you need to have turned out a novel-length piece of writing to get the most from it, but there's a lot of info there squashed into a small space. I still believe that too much planning is deleterious, but Rachel is open enough to recognise that.

Also, +1 to Aeon Timeline. I use it for all sorts of things.
Last edited by auxbuss on Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
Image

User avatar
Silverdragon
Posts: 597
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:52 pm
Platform: Mac + iOS
Location: Tarzana, California, USA
Contact:

Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:22 pm Post

@auxbuss: I re-read your post regarding concern about L&L moderators.

In general, they're pretty cool. If a discussion gets heated and remains so, they may close the thread. Otherwise, if it wanders far off topic (as this one has!) they may move the thread (or a portion thereof) to a more appropriate forum.

In general, I let them get on with it. :D I wouldn't mind if this thread were moved to the "Writer's Block" forum.OTOH they may have far more important fires to stomp.
So you know where I'm coming from:
  • I'm a user, not an L&L employee.
  • Mac Scrivener 3.0.2, MacBook Air 11, MacOS 10.12.6 (Sierra)
  • IOS Scrivener 1.1.5, iPhone 6s, iPad Air 2, iOS 11.4

Ge
GeoffHyde
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:10 am
Platform: Mac
Location: Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:02 pm Post

Azure&Green wrote: However, I did chance on a series of lectures by Brandon Sanderson given at BYU:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4ZDBOc2tX8&list=PLH3mK1NZn9QqOSj3ObrP3xL8tEJQ12-vL

These helped me greatly.

These are great, thanks for the lead! The information is solid, and Brandon is a charismatic and engaging teacher. Im watching it as much for insights into good teaching practise as anything. As a bonus, the filming of the lectures is quite cinematic too.

Ive finished the first three, and enjoying them more and more.

Geoff

User avatar
kewms
Posts: 3740
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:22 pm
Platform: Mac

Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:46 pm Post

auxbuss wrote:There's an augmented reality opportunity right there.


That projector that Asimov's Second Foundation used to project and zoom to different parts of their model? Get me one of those and I'll be happy.

Until then, index cards and a big table are the best solution I've found.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

User avatar
Azure&Green
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:12 am
Platform: Mac + iOS
Location: Northern Queensland, Australia

Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:40 am Post

GeoffHyde wrote:These are great, thanks for the lead! The information is solid, and Brandon is a charismatic and engaging teacher. Im watching it as much for insights into good teaching practise as anything. As a bonus, the filming of the lectures is quite cinematic too.

Ive finished the first three, and enjoying them more and more.

Geoff

I'm glad they were of help. You might also find the podcast Writing Excuses helpful. Brandon is integral to it as well. I skip the podcast part and just read the transcripts on the website. I'd recommend starting at season 10. They intended it to be something like a "Master Class" crossed with a cafe meet-up with friends.

Writing Excuses
http://www.writingexcuses.com/about-2/about/