When I sit down to work these days, I have one goal: Make Pages. I hunker down for four hours at a time and just crush it – making sentences one after the other until the whistle blows. I abandoned all formal outlining, preferring instead a sketchy, back-of-the-napkin daily battle plan, sometimes with as little as a single sentence to guide the day.
To stave off the panic that comes with totally letting go, I also re-introduced a “Draft 1.5” period in the evening – a little time devoted to shuffling and editing and thinking about the stuff I’d done during the day. I love this step, because it frees me from that kind of fiddling while I work, and it sets me up nicely for the next round.
I started doing all this with a small notebook to my left, and Scrivener in front of me. And almost right away I discovered that, in Crush It mode, Scrivener wasn’t really working for me. (Yikes!) The problem wasn’t anything major. It was part software limitation, part the guy at the keyboard – i.e. Scrivener’s lack of instant autocomplete + my need to fuss with the binder while I work – that was slowing me down. And what’s worse, I’d recently done some revision work in FD8 and discovered that I absolutely flew in that environment! But… but… I’m not that guy, right? I wanna be a Scrivener guy!
My first thought was to jump on this forum and beg Keith for better autocomplete in Scriv. Which would have been a stupid waste of time: Scrivener isn’t made for that kind of thing, nor should it be; Keith doesn’t have the time for that kind of thing, and probably wouldn’t do it if he did have time; and begging for it online is just a way to pretend to address the problem without actually fixing it.
So a made a radical (and, it turns out) great decision: I now write during the day in Final Draft 8, save the day’s work with the date as the name of the file, and export that chunk seamlessly to Scrivener, where I can Draft-1.5-it to my heart’s content. My Scriv binder is now overflowing (bonus: I also have a pretty accurate day-to-day page count). FD8 has become, in essence, full screen mode for me – all of its auto features are my version of distraction-free writing.
Anyway, I guess the lesson I take from this is that by making an app that doesn’t much care how you work, Keith has managed to make an app that works however you care to. I’m really grateful for that – thanks Keith!