Posts Tagged Scrivener

A Tour of the Binder

I’m nearing the end of my third month as a pleased Scrivener customer.  Starting our current novel project in Scrivener started as a test of just what the software can do, but it’s now my go-to tool for just about any kind of writing.  For anyone who is still considering whether Scrivener is the right tool for them, I thought I’d give a quick tour of our Binder.  Within Scrivener, this is the navigation tool around the project, so what you see here is our novel project, though with lots of the folders collapsed, because, ya know, it is still a work in progress and I’m not doing this to give away too many secrets.

1. Outline.  Nested folders are helping us keep track of our chapters and sort them into acts.  We’re going for a modified three-act structure, treating the second act as its own three acts.  I suppose this is actually a five-act structure, but one things I’ve learned from writing is that the number of acts has nothing to do with the actual number of acts.

2. Manuscript.  Yes, we’re keeping this separate from the Outline.  In the end the outline is going to be a nice first draft outline with a lot of our notes in place, but where we can collapse it completely out of the way.  Odd choice?  Perhaps.  One that’s working well for us?  Very much so.  Except when I accidentally start first drafting a chapter in the outline.  Oops.  Within the manuscript the labeling tools in Scrivener allow us to keep visual track of the act structure (the pink tab in the upper right of the card), and who the point of view character is for each chapter.  This gives us a fantastic visual hint as to who we haven’t used in awhile.  The built-in suggested labels are for things like “To Do” or “Revised Draft” but customization within Scrivener is the strength of the tool.  It’s all built around users working the way they want to work in the project.  Right now we care a lot more about the POV of a chapter than the draft status.

 3. Characters.  Everyone who shows up on screen more than twice, and several who only show up once.  I typically keep this folder open so I can look up a character name spelling (I’m bad at names, and that actually extends into my writing) or quickly throw a character file in when I create someone on the fly.

4. Random Scenes. These are scenes between characters that my wife enjoys writing.  They’re good character building exercises, and when I see one I really like, I’ll start massaging the story towards putting in at least some paragraphs.

5. Places.  This lets us drill down into our hypothetical world.  Lots of maps I made, lots of maps I found, photos of real buildings that show up in the story, descriptions of fake places.

6. History and World Bible.  These are getting used a little less than I intended, but they’re the background of our world.  I just opened them while drafting this post, and really am ashamed how little I’ve used them.

7. Side Stories.  My wife has the Random Scenes, I have the Side Stories.  She’s fleshing out characters, I’m fleshing out the world.  I hope they end up being used somewhere, but that’s going to be a very late decision in the process.

8. Critiques.  This is where I love Scrivener.  These are the critiques from our alpha readers at the Cat Vacuuming Society of Northern Virginia, typed live as given into this folder where we can easily review them when it comes time for edits.  Losing critiques is one of my worst writing habits, so having them tied into the project is a life saver.

9. Research.  Largely imported Wikipedia pages and other websites that include era slang and some real world people we’ve based fictional people on.

10. Trash.  Absolutely filled with unnamed blank files that I created with a stray click.  Oops.  Not cleared because I’m always paranoid I dropped something useful in there by mistake.  Actually, while putting this together, I found one of my wife’s random scenes landed in there, and has now been rescued.

Without Scrivener, this would all be an awkwardly nested series of folders filled with Word documents.  Several of these files might not even exist.  Scrivener makes it easy as hell to drag in any and all research I want, and wrangles it all very well, even when I find images that are several thousand pixels on a side and want just the highest resolution possible.  It’s a sickness, I know.

Is this the best way to use the product?  I can absolutely say: yes it is.  Because it’s working for us.  I’ve come across many writing toys in the past, things that I can play with for a while, but don’t actual conform to the way I write, and don’t allow for the organic growth that our Scrivener project has undergone.  This is how I know that Scrivener is legitimately a writing tool, because it can be used whatever way works best for the writer.  Is it right for you?  I can’t say.  I just hope that by showing how we’ve put together our project, you might see something of the tool and how it might help your writing.

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Count Them Words

One of the major knocks against Nanowrimo, and one that I’ve agreed with in the past, is its focus on word count to define a novel.  But note: that complaint, at least when I make it, isn’t about the general practice of counting words, it’s more about the particular choice of calling 50,000 words a novel, when most modern novels are closer to twice that.  The issue is the number, not counting.

Because you know what?  Word counting fucking rocks.

Seriously, if there’s a better motivational tool for my process, I’ve yet to find it.  There’s something about watching that number gradually rise (now that I’ve switched to Scrivener, it’s always at the bottom of the screen), having hundreds pass by barely noticed, seeing that number tick up into four digits, approaching triple zeroes for the second time in a writing session.  It’s all about those numbers, those beautiful, beautiful numbers.

I’ll admit to being a bit of a numbers geek.  Alright, a lot of a numbers geek.  I follow two different site hit tracking programs, not because I distrust either one or have any desire to monetize viewership, but because they show me numbers.  Real, tangible numbers I can track and chart and affect in some slight way every day.  I love my Prius not just because it’s fun to drive and has a shockingly roomy interior, but because in the dashboard just to my right as I drive is a graph.  A graph!  It tracks my MPG in five minute increments, and while I don’t get into hypermiling, there is a sense of accomplishment to see a nice tall bar.  Do you understand how exciting it is to drive along and see a graph?  Of course you don’t, because you’re probably not as crippling obsessed with numbers as I am.

I do long division for fun.

I try to determine whether the numbers in license plates in front of me are divisible by three.

I’m not kidding.

I’m just a little nutty, and I realize this.  I accept and embrace it.  Few people are probably nearly as numbers obsessed or motivated as I am, but you don’t need even one tenth my crazy to find word counts motivating.  It’s something seated deep down in our psyche, our love of round numbers, crossing arbitrary benchmarks.  There’s just as much liklihood of your purchase at the store ending in twenty-three cents as being a rounded dollar, but isn’t the latter so much more interesting when it happens?  Just think how damnable is it to hit that word count button and see a milestone so close and yet so bloody far.  That pushes me, it gets me wanting to write one more paragraph, one more scene, just to get that count up.  But then I get close to another milestone.  And another.

Scrivener is just fueling the obsession.  I can track word counts for a writing session, a day, a scene, a chapter, and the book.  And while there’s typically some overlap (yesterday my day and chapter numbers were the same), I’ve still got enough different word counts I’m tracking that one of them is close enough to push me forward.  Do you know just how much it killed me last night to walk away from my manuscript when it was at 14,864 words?  I can smell 15,000, my fingers are twitching to get back to it, and that’s probably going to drive me to do some writing tonight, which is unusual as I typically don’t write the nights my writers’ group meets.  Is that irony?  I’ll admit I suck at irony.

I suppose one of my favorite features of Scrivener is how passive it’s made this obsession of mine.  In Word it always required an active choice to check word count.  There was a button to hit, a disruptive window would pop up with far too much information.  If I wanted a partial word count, I had to find a starting point, highlight, then hit that button.  It doesn’t sound like much, but it was something that pulled me out of writing, especially on those nights that I was feeling particularly numeric, when I knew I was getting close to a BIG milestone.  Something with 4 consecutive zeros in it.  Thanks to Scrivener I’ve always got scene count, and can get chapter and manuscript counts with one click, then back to writing.  It feeds me.  It stokes the fires of my insanity, but in this case that’s a good thing.  Because it keeps me motivated, keeps me pushing forward, and keeps me driven.  And it makes my obsession less disruptive to my process.  Which frees me so much to keep writing.

So count those words!  Just like WordPress is counting the 790 in this post.

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Thankful Writer is Thankful

Unless I accidentally hit “publish” instead of “save draft,” today is the day before Thanksgiving.  Though it may seem trite, I’d like to use the occasion to talk about what I feel thankful for as a writer.  Certainly this is not a comprehensive list of everything I’m thankful for, just a curated list of what has made my life as a writer better.

Scrivener.  I’ve talked about it a lot lately, I realize, but that’s because it’s turned out to be the first actual writing tool I’ve used.  Oh, I’ve tried other products that called themselves writing tools, but in the end they were little more than toys to be played with then put away as I went back to Word.  This is the first product that has actually changed my process as a writer for what I feel is the better, and for that I am thankful.  Of course, there’s that little toy called the “name generator” bundled in, but that’s just for when I’m seriously writer’s blocking.

Vacuumed Cats.  I’ve heard so many horror stories about bad writers group, especially from my fellow members of the Cat Vacuuming Society of Northern Virginia.  I joined the group years ago while doing Nanowrimo and have constantly welcomed their presences as cheerleaders, beta readers, ass kickers, and their attempts to push me into a more extroverted state at conventions.  The last hasn’t succeeded yet, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the effort.

Flash Fiction Contests.  I’ve stepped away from them the last two weeks while trying to get my brain into Nickajack mode, but they’ve kept me creatively energized lately, given me story concepts, and even inspired my own Flashathon insanity.  I worry a critical mass has been reached with regards to new ones, but there’s at least one contest now every week day, so they’re always there and waiting for when I want a quick bit of writing inspiration.

Collaboration.  Doesn’t hurt that my wife is my cohort in crime on this new novel, but collaboration is bringing more out of this story than I could have put into it alone.  I’m not going to say that every novel should be a collaboration, but at some level most novels are, just so long as the writer is doing any bouncing of ideas.  This is just a more detailed idea-and-draft bouncing that is working well as we can both focus on our strengths, which are complimentary.

Readers.  Not just my readers, but all readers everywhere.  People who would want to read my stories.  People who wouldn’t.  The mere existence of readers in the world requires writers, creates markets, drives demand, and gives me hope going forward in all my projects.

This is just a subset of those things that make me love my life.  Just those things that pertain to writing.  The full list is so much longer.  So let’s take a few days off, let’s enjoy some friends, some family, some turkey, and meet back here on Monday.

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Biblical Names

I finally sat down and worked out a first draft of the Biblical Names list for the Scrivener Name Generator.  If you just want the list, you can find it in the Scrivener tab above (handy link).  When playing around with the list in the generator, I found it played very well with both the Virginia First Families last name list, and the Civil War Generals list.  Probably because those periods in time featured a lot more emphasis on children being given Biblical Names.

So why did I want this list?

Civil War era names.  Biblical names were much more popular in the early 1800s, when those individuals who got involved in the Civil War were born.  That makes the list good for the 1870s novel I’m working on, and probably a good go to name generator for American-based Steampunk.  I’ve also made good use of Biblical names when creating an isolated or otherwise anachronistic society.  The list does contain several standard names (David, Jonathan, Mark, James) but it also includes several names that immediately stand out more in modern society (Abaddon, Dathan, Joezer, Zedekiah).

Now is where I get comments from angry Zedekiahs, I’m sure.

There are modern groups that lean more towards Biblical names, especially Amish society.  That might be why they strike me as feeling appropriate for isolated groups.

I’ve not done this before in the first name lists, but I’ve also included name meanings, since that was a driving force behind the use of these names.  Especially given the sheer number that paraphrase down to “hey, isn’t God awesome?”  I’ve had mixed success actually searching for name meanings that I know are in the list after importing it, I hope it’s working correctly, but I’m not entirely sure it is.

My goal is to expand the list as I go, and I’ll tweet updates when they happen.  There are names (such as Maher-shalal-hash-baz) that I know aren’t in there yet, but the challenge is finding lists that are easily digestible with both gender and meanings included.

Next big project will be along similar lines: Saints, with patronage in place of name meaning.

On a side note, I’d like to say this is turning into an interesting and ultimately fun project.  I’ve always enjoyed randomizers, more so when I have the opportunity to seed them.  I used to play a game called Age of Empires II that included several built-in random map generators, meant to give every starting player equal access to the necessary resources to win, without having the map be entirely predictable.  When an expansion came out, the company opened up the random map generation code to the public and let people go to town.  That was the last time I can remember having this much fun generating randomization files.  Just something about putting a file together, compiling it, hitting the randomize button, and seeing the fruit of my labor.  Having it work.  It appeals to the bits of me that learned programming in college and thought that would be my career.  Hell, at one point I even wrote a Visual Basic program that would automatically generate random map files for AoE2.  Yes, that’s the kind of geek I was.

So, as with all the files, share.  Use.  Enjoy!  And let me know if they’re helpful, or if there’s any glaring problems with them.

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Naming Names

It’s odd to think that anyone was ever born with the name Bertha.  Or Mabel.  These are names that only apply to people later in their lives, women who step forth one day fully realized.  Yet if you were to look at the Social Security Administration’s list of the most popular baby names for given years, both were among the 50 most popular names for baby girls in the years 1911 and 1912.  By today both names have fallen out of even the top 1000, meaning you’re far more likely to find a Mabel celebrating her first century than a Mabel cooing in a nursery.  According to the list of the most popular names in 2010, those babies are far more likely to be named Khloe (#42) or either Zoe or Zoey (#31 and #47 respectively).  Even Mary, a name that was the #1 most popular name for a baby girl from the earliest SSA records in 1879 through 1946 and again from 1953-1961, has now fallen out of the top 100.

The most common name for baby girls now?  Isabella.  A name that wasn’t even in the top 1000 as recently as 1989.  For boys it’s Jacob, a Biblical first name that’s always been in the top 400, but has risen in popularity around the same time as Isabella.  Odd, that.  Edward is down in the 130s for the curious.

Among the top 10 most popular baby boy names in 2010, Jayden and Aiden.  Jayden wasn’t in the top 1000 until 1994, Aiden not until 1995.  Which means you may find nurseries or kindergartens with Jaydens and Aidens in them, but probably not a lot of high school or college graduating classes.

Names are odd fads to consider.  They grow in popularity, they decline in popularity.  Sometimes, as with the example of Mary’s recent decline, it’s because of overuse.  Sometimes, as with the decline of Adolph starting in the late 1930s, it’s a geopolitical thing.  Sometimes it’s even meteorological, as the name Katrina has gone from the 200s to the 800s very quickly.  New names can come from foreign languages, such as the adaptation of Aiden from Irish.  They can even be invented whole cloth in movies.  The first name Madison for girls did not exist on the SSA listings until the movie Splash came out in 1984.

Why am I talking about names?  Because Scrivener for Windows finally moves from Beta to Full today.  What’s the connection?  Because I have entirely too much fun playing with the Name Generator in Scrivener.  Tell it a nationality for a first name, a nationality for the last name, and suddenly you know what to call your Maori/Armenian main character when he first comes on page.  It even has lists of ancient names from bygone cultures.

The one flaw I saw in the whole of it was a lack of basic American first names.  Oh yes, there is an American option in the first name drop down, but it’s largely populated with the modern trendy names.  Fortunately there’s a nice way to import more names into the database, so rather than complaining about things I decided to do something myself.  That’s why I started putting together files based on the most popular US first names based on the same SSA lists I quoted above.  The files start in 1880 and are a snapshot of the 500 most popular boys and girls names every 10 years right up through 2010.  All the files are available in the Scrivener tab at the top of the page (or this link, for the scrolling adverse).  There are also lists based on the major families in Colonial Virginia, and the first and last names of every general on both sides of the Civil War.  Those were more for my own purposes, but I figured why do the work if I wasn’t going to share it.

I’m really thrilled to now have the SSA listings in the Scrivener Name Generator, as they’ve been my go-to lists for names for as long as I’ve been writing.  A note on usage, however.  Remember that the names are the most popular names for children born in a given year, not the general population living in a given year.  So when generating names, consider when the character was born.  What this means is that the 40 year-old titan of industry in your 2050s near future science fiction is, for better or worse, more likely to be named Jayden, Aiden, or Mason than John or Mark.  Last names, you’re currently on your own.  There’s plenty of fantastic lists included in Scrivener.  I’ll likely put together a few more files in the near future, but more likely focusing still on first names.  Make sure you’re following me on Twitter and Google+, as I’m more likely to announce new files there, or just keep an eye on the Scrivener page above.

So use.  Enjoy.  Share.  I’ve based the databases I’ve put online completely on open source material, so I feel it should be perpetuated forward in the same form.

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The Limitations of Reverse Outlining

The process of carving Capsule apart is slow.  Slow and mentally exhausting.  I’m averaging about three chapters per night before my brain and eyes stage a coup and leave me insensate.  Something about staring at my own writing and trying to reverse engineer it into an outline dries my eyeballs.  Or maybe that’s just all the dust being kicked up by the kitchen renovations taking place on the first floor while I write in the basement.

Something about using the phrase “while I write in the basement” as part of a blog post.  Nevermind.

The process is slow, but I’m pushing on, largely for the sake of the novel that will still be called Capsule.  The toughest part about transitioning from the conjoined story to the split novels is pulling out the murder motivations, which entirely belong to the frustrated cultists who’ll land in Post Apocalypse.  So I need everything about the murder plot that I can salvage, so I know where to start weaving in entirely different characters and motivations.  It’s that age-old question: Why would someone commit murder in the 2070s if not for the influence of Tezcatlipoca?  I’d like to think Shakespeare and Hemingway dealt with this same question when working on King Lear and Old Man and the Sea, respectively.

My companion and friend on this road was and is Scrivener for Windows, and thank Lit & Latte for that.  I’m not drilling as much as I could with the tool, but the constant presence of a little note card beside the chapter I’m currently dissecting is keeping me sane.  No hand written notes, no flipping between programs, just a friendly little note card.  Pulling this novel apart is teaching me a lot of the features I’ll be using to stitch Frankenstein back together at the far end.  I’ve got the file broken into chapters, but not into scenes, just because I’m not going to do the kind of rearranging in this file.

At some point I’m going to reach the end of how useful the reverse outlining is, well before I reach the end of the conjoined draft.  The farther I get away from Chapter One the more I drift afield from the eventual plot of Capsule.  After that I’ll probably carve out all the dream sequences that will get adapted into Post Apocalypse, and then get to outlining the two new novels.  That’s probably my November project, as I doubt I’m doing Nanowrimo this year.  Maybe next year with the next of the three outlines in the queue.  After the post on Writers Block and Nano, I’m serious about not tackling the challenge again without a full outline ready to go.

For now, I need some eye drops.

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Outlining Outlines

I have a very real feeling this blog is going to turn from a focus on writing to a focus on outlining over the next few months.  Especially after crafting my last post about Writers’ Block #5 and using outlines to counter it I can’t help but think about the three novels churning in my brain.  The longer they stay up there, the more essential it feels to get them into some solid form, to get them outlined.

But do you want to know my dirty secret?

I’ve never done a full novel outline before.

I’ve done partial outlines, section outlines, but never felt moved to outline a novel from opening to closing scene, touching on everything in between.  So I’m also going to be doing a lot of learning about the process, reading up on it, studying it, finding the tools and the methods that work best for me.  In terms of tools, Scrivener for Windows looks like the clear early winner in terms of software, especially with the full release finally coming out on Halloween.  I’ve been doing some poking around with it the last two weeks, going through a process akin to reverse outlining as I pick apart the manuscript that was Capsule to turn it into two new outlines.  Outline one will still be called Capsule and will include all my near-futurism and the murder plotline.  Outline two now has a working title of Post Apocalypse and will include all the Lovecraftian dream elements, kidnapping, and frustrated doom cultists.

Outline three will be the joint project I’m working on with my wife, a steampunk adventure novel we’re calling Nickajack, a name that I’m seriously intending to keep.

Being that I’m new to this whole outlining thing, I’m not sure how long to expect it to take.  I’m hoping to get a rough outline of each of the three done by the end of the calendar year, so that I know which needs the most focus.  Post Apocalypse is the most time sensitive of the stories, so might get priority for that.

I’d love to know anything you have.  Articles.  Books.  Recommendations.  Suggestions.  Tools.  Methods.  I’m going to do my own research, but I’m stepping into a world that scares me, ground I’ve never really walked on before, and any and all guidance that can come from my blog readers is one step closer to making these novels actually work, and not just wither and die in my grey matter.  Help me tell these stories!

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How Many Novels Am I Writing?

Ah, Capsule.

Anyone in my writers group knows my long struggles with this novel.  They’ve seen me start it, stop it, restart it, walk away from it, return to it, circle it, and just generally futz with it for about three years now.  And still, it’s only a shell of the story that I had in my mind when I started writing it.  Bits and pieces of it have made their way into short stories, some intended to be related, some entirely unrelated.  It’s led me to make a series of blog posts about where technology is going, and read the Popol Vul.  It frustrates me, and excites me, and leaves me absolutely bewildered.

It has largely taken a back seat to my burgeoning career as a short story writer.  And that may have been for the best in the long run, though I’m now going to avoid rehashing my Unleaded post this week about the dangers of getting into a novelist-only mindset.

However writing that post has got me pondering just what the hell is up with Capsule.  And after picking some pieces apart I’m starting to wonder if the whole problem is that it’s two novels that I’m trying to write simultaneously.  If it has too much story, if I’m trying to do too many things.

On the one hand it’s a novel about someone trying to solve a crime in the 2070s committed by people living off the grid in a society that has forgotten that they’re on the grid.  On the other hand it’s a novel where a father is trying to save his daughter from an apocalypse cult that is disappointed that the world didn’t end in 2012 like they were promised.  Those are both stories that I’m enjoying, and that I think could be novels.  But more and more I don’t think they’re the same novel.

Just writing that sentence feels good.  I don’t think they’re the same novel.

Where it all started to fall apart for me is when I tried to make the one novel turn into the other novel, when I shifted from a murder investigation to a kidnapping plot.  Where just because both stories relied on a fanatic underground element that they had to be the same fanatic underground element.

My wife, ever wise, suggested that maybe I should put it all into Scrivener, that picking apart the pieces, summarizing the scenes, figuring out where the plot pieces are, that maybe it’ll help rebirth Capsule and get it to work in its current form.  I’m going to do that, in a large part because it will also help me dissect the two stories from each other, attempt to pull apart these conjoined twins without killing one or the other.  If that surgery is needed, it won’t be easy, but who ever said writing a novel was?

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Crutch words

It started with “suddenly.”

I was a kid at the time, either in late elementary or early middle school.  My parents got me a computer program that let me make little picture book stories on the computer, using provided sprites and a text box roughly the length of a tweet.  And so I wrote stories where all sorts of things would suddenly happen.  People and aliens would suddenly appear.  Cars would suddenly drive.  I remember clearly one time even a seed suddenly sprouted.  Which, in reality, only happens in nature documentaries employing stop motion.

It was my first understanding of crutch words.  My parents, being supportive, listened to the stories, and pointed out that I was using “suddenly” far too often, and in frequently inappropriate places.  I, being a new writer, pushed back.  Surely there’s a point in time where something wasn’t happening then the next moment it is.  Even that plant.  There must be an instant where it hadn’t broken through the soil then BAM, seedling.  There I was, a happy little punctuationalist, happily dividing the world into discrete instances of time and insisting that there be hard lines between events.

By the time I did Nanowrimo for the first time, it was “a bit.”

Everywhere characters went, they would come across a bit of this, and a bit of that.  Things that weren’t happening now were happening a bit later.  It’s an odd evolution from suddenly, when put that way.  Anything that wasn’t quite something were always a bit of something.  I think I did an editing pass on the novel intended just on killing that phrase and came away with, on average, just over one instance per printed page.  Which is entirely too many.

Crutch words.  We lean on them, we use them, we over use them.  We don’t really think about them.  And therein lies the entire problem.  They’re the words that we go to to fill in a phrase that needs just a little something else.  I see them in works that I’m beta reading, I see them in anthologies, they exist all around us.  I’ve read published short stories that I put down because the word “had” drove me to the point of distraction, actually taking me completely out of the story.  And that’s at least often a grammatically arguable word in situations.  “Suddenly”?  “A bit”?  Wow.

That I’m talking about crutch words doesn’t mean I know a fix.  Instead I find that they’re evolving.  Situational.  Just as I get rid of one, another comes up.  Sometimes for a few months, sometimes just for one short story.  For a period, everyone was finding themselves doing things.  Everyone was starting to do things.  Everything was actual.  In the end, I don’t know how to enact a complete fix.  I’m not even sure there is a complete fix, a way to never have a crutch word ever again.  But there are a few tools that have helped me track down their latest incarnations:

  • Beta readers.  Not enough can be said about having someone else sit down and read the story.  They find the sentences that work in your head that don’t work on paper.  The motivations that aren’t quite right.  And, if they’re good, they find your words for you.  Sometimes with a ruthlessness that can border on mania.  But one of the early lessons that comes with any kind of writing submission is to grow that thick skin.
  • Word frequency analyzers.  I love that Scrivener for Windows (and I assume the original) has this built in.  Not just built in, but it’s automatic anytime the total word count is generated.  There are things that are allowable near the top of the list.  Direct and indirect objects.  Pronouns.  Character names.  “Said.”  Conjunctions.  But look for words that are out of place.  Some of the really good ones will even pull out phrases that are used multiple times.
  • Awareness.  This can come from the other two, but just learning what your crutch words are will get rid of them.  At first it’ll come from knowing what to look for when editing, but eventually it’ll evolve into just striking those words from your internal narration while writing the story.  And Awareness is a very specific word choice here.  I’ve seen awareness ribbons for any number of things, and crutch words would probably benefit, so if that’s the way to keep them close to mind, make some.  Put them in your writing space.  And remember.

Together, we can end word crutching.  Or at least find a new word to lean on.  I’m going to try “squamous” for awhile.  Do you have crutch words?  Maybe we should set up an exchange.  Or a bonfire for them.

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