East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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In praise of Scrivener (in the face of catastrophe)

And so my much vexed, five years old PC finally kicked the bucked and went dead on me.
Utterly completely dead.
Dead dead dead.


Which is bad – considering I have a lot of things going right now, and all the work in progress is currently buried in my dead hard disk.
It’s still there, mind you, safe and warm.
Only, I need a new PC to get to it.

But not everything’s lost. Continue reading


Working at a collaborative novel

So I’ve finished my novel – what now?
Quite simply – I’m working on the next one.

Starting this weekend, I am working on a collaboration with a young writer, a kid of twenty five that has a 40.000 words science fiction novel first draft needing some doctoring.
The idea is to go through the manuscript, see what’s good and what’s not, and develop a full novel – say 50.000 words worth of it.jim_burns_dan_dare_ii

There’s a catch: the young guy I’m collaborating with is… me. Continue reading


It’s over (almost)

victoryAnd so it’s finished.
Clocking in at close to 68.000 words, my pulp/fantasy novel of high adventure set in Shanghai and parts east in the year 1936 is done.

Well, actually I’m doing the final revision – or the post-revision revision, if you will.

I did my writing in Scrivener, and it was a really pleasant experience.
But now I’m exporting it and I’m making a LibreOffice .odt file for my editors to be able to go through it at their leisure. Continue reading


Revision and final draft in Scrivener

Scrivener (software)

So the final draft of my novel is coming along, and I’m doing it in Scrivener.

Now, the first draft was written two years back using my usual Gedit + LibreOffice.
I hammered away at a chapter in Gedit, then I pasted it in LibreOffice, revising and cleaning it up.
Then on to the second.
In this way I wrote a workable first draft of a 40.000 words novel in 20 chapters, and I did it in ten days.
Nice and smooth.

Now, for the revision.
I have here the editor’s notes – I know what my editor and my publisher want from me.
We discussed the details, we worked out what worked and what not.
Time to do the final.
And I’ve to do in in English (the first draft was in Italian). Continue reading


More Scrivener experiences – scenes

Scrivener (software)

Short and sweet (hopefully) report on my adventures with Scrivener.

First, a note about how I write – I normally do a quick outline, and then think up a structure.
For instance – in the stories I’m writing right now (two 10.000 words pieces) I’m trying to follow the Seven Points Structure I mentioned in a post a while back.

Now, in an ideal world, I could lay back and let the story develop in my mind while I listen to music and browse illustrated books, so that when everything’s fleshed out, I can just go through a long bout of writing, and do a first draft in a few days.
But time is tight – so I basically go and write. Continue reading


Twentifive hundred words in ten days

_wsb_422x226_Writer+in+JarThis is going to be tricky.
I’m about to write 25.000 words – give or take a few paragraphs – in ten days, or I’ll miss a deadline.
And I can’t miss the deadline.
Two deadlines, actually

The plus is, I’ve about 5000 words already – so yes, I’m cheating, I’ll have to write only 20.000
It’s not much, really.
It means writing two thousand words per day.
Twenty hundred good words, that is. Continue reading

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Selling Out (not!)

scrivener-300x253OK, as some of you might have noticed, a button appeared in the sidebar by clicking which, you’ll be able to purchase a copy of Scrivener for windows (or, with a minimum of fuss, for Mac, if that’s your game).

And yes – should you decide to shell out your money for the software, I’ll get a small commission.

I’m posting this, now, in the spirit of full disclosure – the fact that I get a commission if some of you decide to buy a software that I use and I am quite happy about does not mean I sold my soul.

After all, were money my chief concern, I’d try and sell you a much more expensive writing software – getting a larger commission.

So – new button in the sidebar, but no change in my blog policies.