Finding time to write is never easy, all amateur writers know that. I suppose everyone would like to spend more time on their hobby, but writing is a particularly slow process. (At least it is for me. No doubt the pros can sit on a crowded train, or at the back of a lecture as I have seen Rob Sawyer and Kevin Anderson do, and rattle out a couple of chapters.) I find it’s best done when I have multi-hour-long chunks of uninterrupted quiet time. Now I’ve written before about how I’m hoping to write this novel at the same time as looking after a young child so how am I going to square that circle?
The answer –I’m hoping– is Scrivener… Scrivener is a computer program created specifically for writers. It’s a word processor that allows you to write in chunks and move them around at will. The chunks can be chapters, scenes, anything you like really, but the main idea is that you can get the copy down and then re-arrange and tinker to your heart’s content.
The plan is to get the whole story down in dot-point form as much as I can before the baby arrives. In every chapter I want to know what scenes I need. In every scene I want to know which characters are involved, what they’re doing and why, and what I want to achieve in terms of the overall story arc. I want to add snippets of dialogue, sketches of conversations and anything else I can so that when the time comes to write the scene I know just what needs to be done.
I know that life as a house husband will not be a walk in the park. But I’m also hoping that there will be times when the washing is done and the baby is sleeping that I will be able to grab half an hour for myself to write. In that time I want to be able to go to my chapter list and pick up just where I left off and hopefully find a chunk that can be written in the time available.
I don’t know if this strategy is going to work. But I do know from past experience that I’m a planner rather than a discovery writer so I’m hoping that this will help me to get the words down. Time will tell…