I got a book deal!

Actually it is a contract for my second book, the first being a history of African American architecture and neighborhoods in my city, published by the non-profit I work for. Still, we’ve printed 2000 copies and sold 1100 so far, not bad for a homegrown product delivered to stores in the back of my pickup truck.

The first book was done in Word and I can’t say it was a good time, but now I am interested in Scrivener as an organizational and writing tool. I have been to the flaming shores of Version Hell too many times to want to work with Word again.

So, now I have to well and truly get myself in gear, with a year to produce a non-fiction book about a murder that took place in 1885. I am digesting a few recent crime stories and am most interested in how to best integrate the color and smell and norms of a Victorian city into a fairly straightforward story of crime, trial, and punishment. The small press that I am doing this for was sold on this integration, and the idea of the reader experiencing this time period while at the same time savoring a tale of sex and violence.

So, yeah, I’m a writer and all the weight and gratification that goes with the title. This is my first post while exploring Scrivener and this site, and I’m getting a glad kind of feeling that this program just might be a terrific tool.

The best way to pick up on period atmosphere, color, and details is to read local newspapers. Start in 1883 and read through 1887. The ads and short filler stories are especially evocative. 1885 may seem antique, but it’s early modern. Electric lights are replacing gas lamps. Many cities have early telephone systems. The papers carry wire stories from both coasts. Transcontinental railroads let people travel widely and quickly. For research on the murder, see if you can find police records or court transcripts, if anyone was indicted and tried. And if the killer was never identified, you can write a speculative solution to that mystery. Good luck!

Nice one.

Invest in a good cut throat razor and put away.

Writing is the toughest job I have ever done.


Scrivener is a most terrific tool. And, I might add, there is a lively community of writers and Scrivenophiles that live in this forum–which is of inestimable value and due in large measure to the goodness of the tool (and its creator).

Do let us know how you get on with your project. I am in suspense about who done it already.


Thanks for the suggestions. I know there is a lot of reading of period newspapers in my future. I didlike microfilm - watching it go by kind of makes me seasick - but miles of it have to be reviewed.

As to who did it, well, you have to love a story where a lawyer is hung for his crimes. :open_mouth:

I have to say looks very good …Everyone will love story.

Just out of curiosity – where is this story taking place?

Keep us posted. True crime, especially historical true crime, is one of my favorite things!