Thursday, February 10, 2011

Getting Started

Well, I can officially say that I have written the first page of my story.  109 words.  I am on my way!!

What I am not sure of is which program to use for the rest of it.  I tried  Scrivener and it looks very useful.  It's only Beta for Windows right now, so I am really afraid to use it long term.  It saves in a format specific to the program.  In the event that the program never is fully released for windows, I am afraid of losing my data.
So for now I am starting with Word, and using One Note to organize my research and notes.  Any suggestions from the professionals (this means you guys!)?

As I started typing, I realize I have absolutely no idea what I am doing!!  I don't plan on letting that slow me down, but this brings me to some additional questions.  Should I take a class?  How many of you are self taught?  Are there any resources that you recommend for guidance?

Happy Friday Eve everyone!


  1. Congrats on starting your first story! I use Word for all my writing projects. When submitting short fiction, that's the most standard program you'll find in submission guidelines, manuscripts generally requested as .doc, .docx, or .rtf uploads. I'm also working on my novel in Word, in a series of documents organized in a folder.

    I haven't taken university or grad school classes, but I have participated in numerous creative writing Internet workshops. Also, I post my short fiction at where I draw feedback from site members, all of which helps me continually hone my craft.

    Good luck with your project!!

  2. I only use Word, i don't need anything any fancier. Well, i also use a notebook for notes.

    I have a BA in creative writing, but you can learn TONS just from the blogs, i promise.
    As for actual story construction, i typically use the first 4-5 steps of the Snowflake Method (you can google it) before i start. But then i'm an outliner, and need to have that worked out before i start

  3. Word is a classic program to use for the actual writing-- there are many more options for outlining/revision but let's not get ahead of ourselves! I think most beginning writers are largely self-taught with the help of online and book resources before they consider classes or conferences. My go-to online resource is Janice Hardy's blog, I can't recommend her highly enough.

    At this stage (your first first draft) I wouldn't worry too much about learning the craft, just have fun with it. If you do find yourself struggling then you might be a plotter rather than a pantser and could consider doing an outline, Janice has some posts about that. Hope this helps some.
    - Sophia.

  4. i think sophia had some excellent advice (though i have no idea who janice hardy is!)

  5. i'm enjoying Scrivener so far, but I have a Mac, so I'm not worried about losing data... It also makes it easy to export into Word for printing/submissions. And I'm still using it as a trial :)

    Like Sarah, I also use a notebook a lot :)


    Go to this lady's site - she will make you an expert! I wish I had found her 20 years ago!

    If you learn to do it right in the first place you won't have to un learn any terrible habits.

    Word is fine - I really want to try scrivner but it would not open on my old clunker.