Advice from an Old Pro

I went to a conference recently where an experienced writer shared his process for writing. He writes nonfiction and fiction, mostly in the western genre. It’s not the genre that interested me, but his writing process. He has several Open Top Bin Boxes, QV. He puts together files for his story ideas, scenes, character research, and anything else he thinks of into standard file folders and files all the ideas in one Bin Box.

Once he has his physical files set up to receive data, he types no more than three pages about the subject he intends to write about (he typed with two fingers in the air as he described this step). Then he cuts his pages into subject strips of paper and pastes them on the top of manila files. (I’m not making this up, folks.) As he generates ideas under the subject headings, he puts them into the manila files until he has sufficient information to write his book or article.

Using this tried and true method, he has over forty books and over 300 articles!

As I listened to his description of how he worked, I saw the lady beside me taking down his every word. When he finished the group took a ten minute break. I told her there was software now that performed the same functions. (Check here for a link to find a link to Scrivener and some Alternatives to Scrivener). I told her how to find Scrivener and some Alternatives.

I like Scrivener, especially with complicated projects. More about Scrivener later.