My name is Brandon. I'm a writer, cartoonist, husband, and father. This is the online space where I talk about life, family, art, videogames, and anything else that interests me. Disclaimer: a lot of things interest me.

Rewrites and Ret-Cons

scrivener

Phase one of the move-in is complete, which means that the downstairs living space is more or less in order and all the boxes and furniture that belong upstairs are in their proper places to be unpacked at a later date. We originally set Ruu’s crib up in one of the spare bedrooms, so that we can get her new nursery painted. That’s a project we’ll tackle this weekend. There’s still tons to do and will be for months to come, but it’s time to get back to some of my routines again and that means exercise and writing. The exercise part is going pretty well. The writing, though, is another matter. Like this blog, which I spend more time designing than actually writing on, I have an obsession with carving out an ideal creative space for me to work in. As important as creative spaces are, I think I use them as a tool of procrastination, and I need to stop.

Right after I build my writer’s nook. Hush, you. Don’t judge me.

In spite of lacking a creative space to call my own, I have been writing. I’ve submitted one piece of flash fiction to Glimmer Train, I’ve got two other half-finished pieces of fiction with deadlines fast approaching on Duotrope, and I’ve begun re-writing The Devil You Know using Scrivener which is kind of amazing. I bought Scrivener about a year and a half ago after the glowing endorsement of someone I like and respect. When I originally tried to use the product I found it frustrating and confusing. There are a TON of features to help keep you organized, so many that my initial attempts to use it felt daunting. I abandoned it when I felt like it was more distracting me more than helping me be organized. I guess I’m just an older and wiser writer now, because I totally get the system. It encourages a modular writing style that can be organized in a drag-and-drop style and then compiled for printing when the manuscript is finished. As I import the long form of the manuscript into the program I’m already seeing some of the plot issues that plague any first draft and I didn’t even have to do any close reading to see them. One of them is my inconsistency with an important rule of writing fantasy: magic has to cost something. If a character can do anything and has no limits then there are no stakes. No conflict is too large for him or her to tackle. I was keenly aware of this fact when writing, but in importing the manuscript into Scrivener I realized that I was inconsistent in applying the rule which has led me to an overhaul of the entire magic system. There’s lots of work ahead, but it’s manageable with Scrivener’s system. I’m looking forward to see what other ways Scrivener will improve my process.

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