2.5 days to go
With only 2.5 days left before we can actually start to write, let’s check we are all tooled up.
3 essential tools
The three essential tools for me are composition mode, annotations and backing up.
Tooled up: Composition mode
Scrivener offers the option to dive into composition mode, which clears the screen of everything but the piece I am writing. Perfect writing conditions. (you choose your own wallpaper!)
For Scrivener 2 users, this blog post explains how it works. It’s similar in many ways in Scrivener 3.
Composition mode is accessed through View / Enter Composition Mode. (To escape from it, click the ESC key.)
The controls appear, as in Scrivener 2, at the bottom of the screen, to the left, and right, of the middle area, when you hover the cursor in that area.
The controls have been somewhat redesigned (eg a slider for Paper Position rather than a drop-down) but the fundamental functionality is as before.
Try it out and see if it works for you.
Tooled up: Annotations
I use annotations while writing, mainly to quieten my internal editor. Whenever some thought arises which has the potential to ruin my flow, I click on the Annotations button, type the thought, click on Annotations again and then I’m back in full flow.
(Shift cmd A also acts as a toggle key combination.)
Annotations are processed when it comes to editing the first draft. I explain all here.
Tooled up: Backups
Like ML, I am aware, every year of at least one person who loses their work and, for them, it’s a disaster.
Computers are not indestructible, hard drives do fail and lots of other things can go wrong, resulting in loss of files and a ruined NaNo experience.
How to stay safe?
I’m a belts and braces person. I have a number of strategies, all designed to minimise the impact of a technical failure and to smooth my path through November (and the rest of the year too).
- I use a Mac desktop and have a separate hard drive (which is plugged in!) and I’ve activated the Time Machine app which backs up my whole computer.
- The paid subscription to iDrive which backs up selected files according to a schedule I have set, provided I have an Internet connection.
- I also have a laptop and, if I want to write on it, I transfer files using WeTransfer. These files are available for 7 days, so, during NaNo, I send to the latest version to my laptop daily, even if I don’t need it for writing. That way, the files are accessible even if both my computers fail!
In addition, I use Save As … daily, changing the filename to include today’s date. In November it will be:
- Dead Wood as at 2018 11 01
- Dead Wood as at 2018 11 02
- Dead Wood as at 2018 11 03, etc
Right now (as I write this post), we are still in October.
I put the year first, then the month and then the day so the sorted list presents me with the latest version last (or first!).
See you on the other side!
I will be blogging during November, but won’t be offended if you are too busy to read my posts.
Questions about Scrivener? Need a helping hand? Want a demo?
I’ll also be continuing the Simply Scrivener Special webinars during November.
To watch me go through the process of writing my NaNo novel or to ask any questions, book a place at the next Simply Scrivener Special. 60 minutes of Q&A on Scrivener with me, Anne Rainbow, Scrivener Virgin.
To help me prepare, you could also complete this short questionnaire.
The Scrivener Virgin blog is a journey of discovery:
a step-by-step exploration of how Scrivener can change how a writer writes.
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Also … check out the Scrivener Tips
on my ScrivenerVirgin Facebook page.