Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Oh, please organize my stuff!

I entered my first contest last week.  It was the Golden Claddagh sponsored by the Celtic Hearts RWA online chapter, of which I am a mostly lurking member.     It was quite a rush, pushing the send button.  It was not as terrifying as when I pushed send to e-mail my first query.    Looking back on the last couple of weeks, I realize the contest taught me quite a bit.  

Organizing your drafts, is one of the most important lessons I learned.  As a beginning writer, I never realized how confused you could get over one small manuscript.   Internal Dialog: Ok which one of these versions had the steamy bathtub scene, and which one had the underwater lovemaking session?  Oh, crap!  Did I delete the sword fight?!

I purchased a writing software program months ago called Scrivener, but had not used much of it since.   It places note cards on a cork board with scene details, and then when you click a card, you can type in the scene.  When it comes time to send in a sample of your work, you just pick your scenes and copy them into a virtual binder and export it as a text file, word file, or whatever you need.  All your scenes are still intact, you just pick and choose what you want to put in your manuscript and where you want to put it.  This allows easy rearrangement with only a little revision on transition. I highly recommend it if you own a MAC.  If you are a PC user, there may be a good counterpart out there.  

This week I plan to move all my scenes out of Word and Pages and into Scrivener.  Don't ask me why I am using two programs, I have no idea.  Newbies mistake I guess.  Once all my scenes are in place, I could become a contest junkie!  It is so exciting to have the prospect of having my work read by an editor instead of sitting in a slush pile.   Happy Writing! 


Macy O'Neal said...

Did you get your scenes moved? Congrats on the first contest. I hope you get great feedback which I've discovered is the most coveted prize in a contest. But, remember, it is all highly subjective. Don't go changing stuff just because one person doesn't like it. When you get your feedback back, let it sit awhile and then make changes if you want.

Jacqueline McDermott (Kimberly Wooten) said...

Great Advise Macy!