Behind the scenes

My editing adventure with Scrivener.

This month, I finally broke down and bought Scrivener for editing The Valois Mistress.  To be honest, I still hadn’t found out how to edit a 4 page scene from a 133 page manuscript without losing my mind to a copy and paste nightmare.

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Editing novellas and short stories has been one thing, a full length historical novel is another.  The learning curve was pretty steep for me, I’m not gonna lie about that.  After a couple of weeks, however, I’ve managed to get a handle on how to use the advanced features.

I present my nerdy screen shots of how I’m organizing my scenes.

I re-read each scene, looking for what my last beta reader warned me to look out for (like info dumps).  Each scene got several keywords (before I fully understood how to use keywords, I might add..) and they were nice and color coded.  You can see the keywords as tabs on each each scene (each scene is a note card).  I mixed up keywords and labels, which got dodgy for a little while.

Unlike keywords, each scene gets exactly one color-coded label, which is why each card has different colors.  I can keep up with subplots and secondary characters this way.  I have one character I want to emphasis more in the first act so the finale has a little more meaning to the readers, so I’m trying to figure out where the introduce him for the first time.

I’m not sure at this point how I’m going to use labels.  I thought I had to use them in order to maintain a scene and chapter organization, but I’m relieved to find out that’s not the case.

Back to the keywords, in one of the tutorial videos from the Scrivener website, I learned that I can do a search and list all of the scenes that contain a particular keyword.  In a long manuscript, this is a godsend.  Here’s a look at how Scrivener lists the scenes with a particular keyword.

To sum up, the program is making it much easier than I’d feared to do the edits for The Valois Mistress.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to get it to the copy editor soon and it will be out for release on Amazon.