My guest today is best selling author: Louise Jensen.
Louise’s stories have been translated into twenty-five languages and optioned for TV as well as featuring on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers List.
And, her books have been nominated for multiple awards.
As Louise, she writes psychological thrillers.
Using a pen name, Amelia Henley, she has a penchant for exploring the intricacies of relationships through writing heart-breaking, high-concept love stories, and is the author of recently published The Art of Loving You.
Whatever Louise/Amelia is writing, she uses Scrivener.
What attracted you to using Scrivener for your novels?
One thing I often hear when Scrivener is being discussed on social media is ‘it’s too complicated’.
Let’s get one thing clear, technically minded I am not. My children often explain things to me slowly and carefully the way I used to for them when they were small. I can’t learn anything new. I can’t retain information.
Scrivener has some very clever features. I’ve heard authors talk about this. I don’t use any of them.
Oh! What features of Scrivener do you use?
The joy of the software for me, is the ability to separate scenes and chapters into separate files which you can view as separate files or as one combined file so you can see your total word count.
What else about Scrivener appeals to you?
I don’t write in order. Ever.
When I began The Art of Loving You, I wanted to know how Libby and Jack fell in love so I wrote this scene first. I could then get to know my characters, knowing this particular scene might not make it into the book and, if it did, it would come later as backstory.
I wrote scenes for their first date, first row, everything that made them flawed, fallible, human. I wanted to know everything I could about them.
I had an idea for a couple of really emotional chapters so I wrote these next. Any stand out scenes, I write first as they come to me, never worrying about where they will fit.
Anything which helps you particularly as a writer?
Another thing I love about Scrivener is how easy it is to make changes because (whispers so other writers cannot hear) I edit as I go. Always.
An ending came to me, perhaps not the ending Libby and Jack would chose for their love story, so I created a new file. I now had an opening chapter, a final chapter and lots of random scenes.
I wanted to bring in a character, eighty-year-old Sid, who would become both a friend and a mentor to the young couple. I had various files for him, scenes where I got to know his warmth and his humour and knew he would bring something special to the book. So I hopped back in to several scenes I had already written, to expand his role.
By the time I had written the bones of the story I had over 100 separate files and then the fun (?!) started. Dragging and dropping them until they were in an order that made sense and then stitching them together until it was a book. This wasn’t effortless but as Sid is fond of saying in the story ‘Life isn’t all beer and skittles’.
Have you considered alternatives to Scrivener?
When I’d finished writing my second love story, The Art of Loving You, I collapsed in an exhausted heap, totally in awe of the classic authors who used to write books by hand or on typewriters. Honestly, I’m in awe of modern authors who write books on Word. This sounds a little dramatic (I am a writer and prone to drama) but it’s true. I honestly believe I could not write a book without Scrivener.
I’m now writing my third love story. I don’t feel any pressure to learn any more of Scrivener’s features – the idea of setting myself word targets makes me shudder – the basic system suit me perfectly.
More about Louise Jensen
Louise Jensen has sold over a million copies of her International No. 1 psychological thrillers.
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