Girls Write Out
Wednesday, July 29, 2009

For me, writing a book is like cooking in the Crock Pot. It has to stew and take its own sweet time for the flavor to come out. First, there's the process of getting the characters. Who are they? What do they want? What makes them unique? How are they weird? (That's my own special spice because I always tell my kids, you don't want to be normal. Normal is boring. Never is this more true than in a book!)

So Chapter 8 has been stewing for a long time. It's the turning point for my heroine. Where she changes her focus, where she decides on a different life. If you've ever left something in the Crock Pot for too long, it gets this nasty, gummy ring around the rim. That's the danger on stewing on something too long. So I got this new program (for me, Colleen and Angie Hunt have been using it for a year or so.) It's called, Scrivener and it's only available for the Mac, but it's amazing. I'm not much of a program user because I tend to be lame at user interface, but this one allows a writer (or screenplay writer) to separate their large documents in sections. But then, let's say you're deciding whether or not to add that carrot (paragraph), you can add it in another section, or put it into research with a photo and combine it all later. It's magically delicious!

I'm loving this because it allows me to go forward when one particular part of the recipe may still need to stew. You can check it out at

What tools did you find made a difference in your life?

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posted at 9:39 AM  
  Comments (10)
Delicious Delicious
At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this concept! It really is that way.

At 11:12 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

I'm just so shocked I found something that worked for me. Usually, the learning curve is too much to bother with for technology. LOL

At 2:44 PM, Blogger Jill said...

I feel much the same way you do about the technological learning curve, but I downloaded Scrivener earlier this week and I'm looking forward to seeing how it works. Your post is encouraging!

At 2:45 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

You'll love it, Jill! I've written three books on it now and am just starting the fourth.

At 4:10 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Jill, it's really good for people with creative, ADD type minds because it lays out it so visually for you. And it only lets you look at one chapter at a time, so there's no getting overwhelmed. I can't believe how much more effectively I'm working with it.

At 4:12 PM, Blogger Jaime said...

I dunno, I still have to say coffee has been my greatest "tool". ;)

At 4:52 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Jaime, there is no better tool than caffeine, you've got that right.

At 10:22 PM, Blogger Angela said...

The more I use Scrivener, the more I like it. :-) I'm using it now for a nonfiction book, and it's great! I can see the entire book at one glance, so organizing is a cinch. Enjoy!


At 8:07 AM, Blogger Lisa Jordan said...

I have Scrivener, too and LOVE IT!! I'm still trying to figure out different aspects of the program, but I love having my chapters broken down into different sections, but all in the same binder. If I have an idea for chapter ten, but I'm still working on chapter four, I don't have to scroll through pages and pages to add my thoughts.

I haven't written in a week because my inner critic shoved a mental block in my face, but I woke up this morning with renewed determination to push through and fix the problem.

At 11:01 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

I've been using Scrivener about a year, too! I love it! Never would have found it had it not been for my tech-guru husband. I love shuffling scenes around. It's so gosh darn cute, too.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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