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January is almost over and I'm taking stock of 2015 already. If  you're anything like me, you made several New Year resolutions: To get that novel finished To self-publish said novel Crack the code for social media exposure To market your novel to the world To retire, wealthy, to a desert island! I wonder which of these is your highest priority. Highest priority: Building an audience Yes, for me, it's building an audience. Then,...

I adopt a belt and braces approach to everything. It's rare for us to run out of the essentials: coffee, loo rolls or alcohol. I overstock. I subscribe to an online Backup service so I can rest easy knowing I can access my files from any machine, anywhere in the world. I set up Auto-save ...

I have been 'en vacance' since Saturday 5 December, relying on a MacPro laptop and intermittent Internet access from my holiday apartment for exploring Scrivener and posting to my blog, and hopefully, no one noticed. But, yesterday, the laptop died and all my attempts to breathe life into it have failed. It will need looking at by someone in an Apple Store in the UK. So, apologies! I won't be able to...

This week I've been working on an Editing tutorial for my RedPenners. I'm developing a one-hour presentation to deliver as a webinar, all about 'point of view'. Where to start? Always, always, with 'research'. I Google 'point of view' and there are hundreds of articles to read. I am away from home with limited, slow and unreliable Internet access. I'll need to read these articles offline. I set up the necessary folders in Scrivener. I have...

Scrivener is not just ideal for writing and editing novels! I'm currently developing material for my third 'Proof of the Pudding' workshop.  As part of the one-on-one mentoring I offer, an author presents a series of drafts. For each revised draft, I set three editing tasks according to what's relevant - what needs fixing the most. The author who volunteered a story for the POP3 workshop has presented three drafts already. And I've...

There were several occasions during the first 40K of NANO when I invited my main character to 'walk this way'. Instead of populating the outline I had so carefully prepared ahead of time, she was determined to tread her own path. Was I relieved when the name of Ballycombe-by-the-Sea at last crossed her lips? Keeping track of the revised storyline might have been a nightmare in Word - been there before, got the...

I have a new hat, one to keep the Madeira sun off my face. If you want to see it, you'll need to become my friend on Facebook. Right now, I'm toying between putting on my macro editing hat - the one I use to 'see the big picture' - or my micro editing hat - so I can seek out those insects in the grass. And there's yet another hat:...

The morning after the night before! Congratulations to everyone who validated their NANO 2015 novel before the deadline at midnight last night. Congratulations to everyone who took part. Even if you didn't write 50,000 words, you wrote words - and that means you have the beginnings of a first draft. Today, I'm hosting three TGIO (Thank God It's Over) webinars: 2pm, 6pm and 9.30pm. On the agenda: Celebration time What to...

As I typed the final few words, closing in on my 50K target, a sadness came across me. NANO2015 would soon be over; but then ...

Faced with the prospect of editing five NANO novel drafts, all written in Word, all in various states of chaos, I found myself pushed towards adopting a better, more organised approach this year, using Scrivener. This time, the planner in me was determined to have an outline in place before I started. And she did. But the pantser in me, who lets my characters have free rein, has been having fun,...