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new space, like my new discoveries about professionalism and process, will carry me at least a little closer this year to my elusive goal of making my deadlines.

Laura Resnick’s latest release is Polterheist, which she delivered late. Her next book, The Misfortune Cookie, is scheduled for November 2013 release and isn’t finished yet. She also delivered this column just under the wire.

Conference

 

Scrutizing Scrivener   Continued from page 6

Customizing the system itself

The synopsis area (the 3x5 card emulator) allows you to assign a status to each “card”—each scene—like TO DO, DONE, FIRST DRAFT—and you can re-title these statuses. In fact you can re-title the navigation and organization areas too, and more, I suspect. This is absolutely essential in any creative tool, and one of the weaknesses of most word processing programs. Maybe you remember that WordPerfect for DOS called bundles of files “directories” while MS Word calls them ”folders.” I used to pull my hair out over the lack of this kind of flexibility in accounting, spreadsheet, and database programs.

Productivity tools

There’s a subroutine that counts how many words you wrote in a given day or session. It can tell you how close you are to your goal and to your deadline, too, and how many working days you have left before your deadline.

What I suspect might become my favorite feature if I get proficient in this program: many, many functions and navigation moves can be accomplished with keyboard commands. I cut my word processing teeth on WordStar and WordPerfect. On a nice keyboard, using these programs I could hit 120 words on the flat, bolding, searching and replacing, indexing, everything, without having to take my hand off the keyboard to manipulate the mouse. Since MS Word came into my life, that convenience is no more.

In the short time we had for this workshop I was sold on the program. I’m hoping to get to know Scrivener very, very well.

Jennifer Stevenson writes sexy paranormal romantic comedy. Find book three in her Slacker Demons series, Dancing with Cupid, just out! She is a founding member of Book View Cafe, a speed skater, and was once known as Flash Hottie of the Haymarket Rioters roller derby farm team.

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