Tidbits and Sneak-peeks on Writing and Apps

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Hello everyone! Today’s post is going to be a sort of miscellaneous tips, tricks and thoughts type of thing mixed with a writing update!

Focusing and GetFocused App

The first thing I want to talk about is a new App that I’ve found. Now, I’ll talk about the novel that I’m writing in a bit, but this is something that is really helping me. You don’t even need to use it for writing or anything: I use it to plan everything I need to do in a day from hoovering the floor to writing and beyond. The nice thing about it is that it isn’t a to do list as such. You create tasks and then you have time intervals, which you can set the length of. Mine is set so I have 15 minutes of work, then a five minute break then work for another 15 minutes, and then after 4 intervals of ‘work’, a long break of 15 minutes. You can set a goal number of tasks for a day and it will also count how many work intervals it took you to complete a task. You can also pause intervals for things like going to the toilet, which is really handy. I like to have it set to tick a bit like a clock as I find it helps keep me motivated. It will show you statistics about how much you’ve done that day, week, month and even year as well! This app is called GetFocused and is available for free on IOS and Android. And no, this isn’t sponsored (like they would sponsor me xD).

Outlining, Writing and Scrivener

The next thing I want to talk about is Scrivener. Scrivener is incredible and I have been using it to plan and write my novel. It is kind of pricey (luckily I’m still a student so I got a discount), but it is definitely worth it, especially as it is a one-off payment. I like all the different features and it isn’t too tricky to plan out. I especially like to take advantage of the scenes within chapters as well as the Group Mode view for planning. I don’t have a big outline, rather I have very detailed character profiles, reasonably detailed world information and then some basic major plot points. Then I go by 4s as I have 4 POVs. I plan four chapters, write them and then plan the next four, just keeping in mind the major milestones I want to make. I like using the Group Mode view for outlining the chapters. I split the chapters into scenes based on their setting (one setting per scene) and then in Group Mode view I write what happens in each scene on the little index card that is shows up as, which helps me identify what happens where and what should happen where. I also title them with a description of what happens. This way I can easily move them around or refer to them. I also love the comment feature for editing things I notice to help block out my internal editor. Another really useful thing is the research part. I just jot down all sorts of tidbits in there (I actually have a document called tidbits) including small pieces of description, poetry or dialogue that I want to include or any wild sparks I have. Basically, it is super, super handy, although I do wish you could rotate images on the software directly. No matter, but I do keep my maps that I draw (something that comes with writing fantastical sci-fi in outer space) and index cards with notes in a separate binder that is NOT electronic for ease of access.

My Novel: Names and Casts

So I don’t want to reveal too much about my novel in case (hopefully?) I get it published one day, but I will be giving sneak peeks if you’re interested. This time I want to share with you the names of my four main characters. I have a Cast A and a Cast B and it is your choice to pick who is the protagonist and who is the antagonist or whether they are both neither. Who knows? It is standard, in this era that my novel takes place in, to have four names, which is why they do.

The names are…

Poppy Calanthe Rebecca Falcon

Evander Adalwolf James Hawthorne

Norna Hanna Eva Karlsson

Jun Seong-min Alex Pak

Can you guess where my characters originally came from? I will give you a hint: none of them are from the same place and they all have first names from their country. You obviously don’t have to guess, but it would be cool if you did!

Okay, well thank you for reading my very non-visual and somewhat rambly/confusing post! Happy reading, writing and sleeping, Keira x!

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