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Pass me my glasses Body text design starts the ball rolling for many other design decisions. It's the majority of what your reader sees. In choosing the format for your body text, you need to consider these four settings. How big will the text be? This is called the point size. What font style do you plan to use? There are two main types: serif and sans serif. More on that...

Wrong shaped spoon? Adrian Frutiger says: If you remember the shape of your spoon at lunch, it has to be the wrong shape. He explains: The spoon and the letter are tools; one to take food from the bowl, the other to take information off the page...

Scrivener: the DIY publishing tool Formatting is a huge topic and I've written many blogs about it already. Formatting with Scrivener 3 Formatting with S3: All projects, this project, this document Formatting for printed output The Scrivener Mindset: Formatting via section layouts The Scrivener Mindset: Formatting via Compile The Scrivener Mindset: Formatting thru Section Layouts You might think, that's quite enough! No ...

Step 10 = Ask for feedback Once second-fix editing is complete, what happens next? Asking for feedback At various times in the writing/editing process, you might decide to seek feedback from others. In my RedPen Editing cycle, this is Step 10. Once second-fix editing is done, and you feel as happy as you can be with what you've produced, you might send your manuscript to a developmental editor for professional guidance. This will involve an...

Word choice reveals voice While I'm writing, at speed, words tumble onto my screen via my keyboard. They are rarely consciously chosen. Instead, my unconscious (or maybe subconscious) mind selects words from my vocabulary. Each of us has a unique vocabulary: a set of words that are familiar to us, and that we use with confidence. When we write, we include a subset of these words, and – with luck – the ones...

People, places and props deserve equal status In a previous blog post, I explained why I give places and props the same (if not more) attention than the people in my stories. I also introduced several tools that I use while writing. Split screens The Search function Collections Metadata Now that I've reached the second-fix stage of editing, metadata becomes even more valuable in allowing me to focus only on those scenes...

With dialogue, less is always more Steps 5-7 of my RedPen editing cycle required me to check on two fundamental decisions I've taken while writing Dead Wood. My choice of tense (present) My choice of voice (first person) And then to see how well I've structured the book. Having identified issues with the structure and balance, I have a number of options. I can add new material, filling any plot holes, providing more...

Scrivener has your back How you structure your book depends on what you're writing. Whatever you're writing, and however you prefer to write, Scrivener will support your strategy. A bottom-up approach might suit you if you're writing a novel. I tend to establish what scenes I need, based on my character sketches. Since I usually only start a new novel in September for that year's NaNoWriMo, I aim for 100 scenes...

I’m now hard copy editing (i.e. on paper) and my main focus is on pruning, but Scrivener still has a role to play. Three tools come to the fore at this stage. Searching Collections Styles For those keen to learn how I use these tools: scroll down towards the end of this post where I share specific examples. Meanwhile, this blog post explains how to create collection when you do a search. ...