Real Beginnings

Recently, I was asked to participate in an author panel at a local library. Me. I could get nervous if I let myself, but what really hits me is: I am an author if I have been invited to be on an author panel!

Since that call, I have been thinking about what I will talk about (and what I will not talk about! Lol!). Like … how did I start writing?

I have journaled for many years, through many spiral notebooks, hardbound sketchbooks (I draw/doodle in them too), and moleskins I keep in my purse.

But I remember well the day I actually wrote my first fiction.

Let me set it up for you.

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Calendars, Scenes, and Sequences

IMG_2701My editor recommended setting up a timeline for the current fiction I’m editing. The story line was really messed up. I had the scene where Mr. Main Character shot the guy before the scene where he chose the gun! (Maybe not that bad but just about!)

So I made this spiffy calendar. After a search in iPages and Word, I settled on Word: Templates >Print Layout View>Banner Calendar. I personalized it for what time of year the book takes place–April. Labeled it with the name of the series: The Great Escapee and Book One–Jailbird.

From there I just printed it out and filled it in.

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Chiropractor Adjustments in Chapter Flow

I’m struggling with the WIP.

Since adding a key chapter toward the end, everything has to have that chiropractor adjustment so it all flows together.

And right now, things aren’t flowing. I tried moving a chapter here to there, but freaked out: did I paste it to the right place, did I go back and delete it?

So I came up with an idea to help me keep track of changes in chapter order and character flow. I opened Scrivener on one screen — the WIP in the screenplay format — just using the index card mode. See below screen shot. I plan to continue learning screenplay writing with this, but for now, I’m just using it as reference. This mode becomes my beat sheet.


I wrote the original story in Scrivener and have used it for two previous novels, but there is still a lot to learn. And this is the first time I’ve worked with the screenplay format.

In another screen, I opened Word. My editor wanted to review the manuscript in a Word format, so since I was already working from her edits in Word, I continued with it for the rest of the fourth pass through the whole novel. So in this screen shot, you can see the same chapter in manuscript form that is highlighted in the Scrivener window, with my editing notes in red.


All I have to do when I question the chapter sequence, is flip over to Scrivener with a sweep of my four fingers. Once I check it, I sweep back to the manuscript.

Soon to be done with the fourth pass.

Next I’ll finish with my editor all the way through and let it rest while I finish some devos I want to epublish. Then back to this manuscript and I’ll probably enlist readers to help me spot the flaws.

Anybody willing?