Ideas are precious
Many years ago, six to be precise, I saw a television programme featuring Ian Rankin, in which he explained his writing process: one book per year and each one start with Ian flicking through the contents of a green folder. This manilla folder is full of ideas he’s collected in the past year.
Clever idea! You can read all about Ian’s methods here.
Using Scrivener to collect ideas
Ideas can come at any time. Often they arrive while I’m busy with NaNo. They can provide a distraction, one that I don’t need when I still have words to write to hit today’s target.
Rather than bat them away, I stash them.
The first time, while working on this year’s NaNo novel, that an idea pops into my head, I set up a new folder.
I right click on Template Sheets and select Add / New Folder. So this new folder is just above the Trash.
I call the folder ‘Ideas for another novel’.
I right click on my new folder and select Add / New Text.
And then, I allow myself five minutes to type as much as I can about this new idea. Next time an idea comes, I add another text document.
I don’t think about them again until after NaNo is over. That’s the plan!
Changing the icon for the Ideas Folder
Having been distracted from my NaNo novel already, I always try to concentrate on completing today’s words. I manage that. Only then might I reward myself with a diversion: like changing the icon …
There are loads of icons to choose from, but you can also import your own.
- Right click on the entry in the binder.
- Select Change Icon.
- Select Manage Custom Icons.
- Click on + to add an icon from the computer and browse for the file.
I’ve added an image called “Man with a tree of ideas”.
When I next select Change Icon, the custom one appears within the alphabetical list …
… and I can apply it to my folder.
Now, I really must get back to writing this year’s novel. As should you, if you are doing NaNo too.
In December, or sometime next year, before NaNo starts again, I can allow myself to think about taking those ideas forward.
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