SIGNED – Free Copies

Hi friends and followers,

I’m excited to announce the launch of my Goodreads Giveaway for “To Raise a King”.

Use the link below to enter the contest for a chance to win one of five SIGNED copies! The contest ends May 31st, and the five lucky winners will be drawn at random.

You must have a goodreads.com account to enter.

Good Luck – and thanks for following.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

To Raise a King by Justin Orton

To Raise a King

by Justin Orton

Giveaway ends May 31, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Dunadd – Scotland

Hello friends! Sorry I’ve been absent for so long. Life really has a habit of getting in the way sometimes but I’m back and happy to be connecting with you all again.

In this post I plan to start a new series that will share with you a recent journey my wife and I took to Scotland, following the path of Matt – the hero of To Raise a King.

Scotland is without doubt one of my favorite places. It is to me a magical country rich in history, and I find myself inspired to write with every visit. There are so many heroes, so many tales of love and tragedy wrapped up in the tapestry of Scotland that I find myself constantly longing to return.

So – let me tell you a little about Dunadd!

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Dunadd is situated at the southern end of Kilmartin Glen. Anyone visiting Scotland with a penchant for history, and mystery should make every effort to visit this enthralling place. The first thing Lisa (my wife) and I noticed was how unlike any Scottish Glen Kilmartin is! It lacks the grandeur of Glen Coe, Glen Nevis and Clova, enclosed by hills, rather than impassable peaks. It also lacks the prettiness that can be attributed to other noble Glens, such as Trool, Affric, and Tilt.

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But what Dunadd has in abundance is atmosphere. An almost featureless plane – The Great Moss – stretches for miles between the gentle forested slopes that enclose it, and this area is richly populated with Stone circles, burial mounds, and stone age relics.

 

Park in the little parking lot at the base of the hill and take the short but strenuous hike to the top of the fort and you will be standing in the footsteps of kings, standing at the birthplace of a Nation.

Lisa and I made this pilgrimage in rain and howling winds, but loved every second of it. What amazed us about this place was the lack of fanfare and celebration marking what some would argue should be hallowed ground. _DSC0082

A few simple boards tell the story as you climb to the top of Dunadd hill. Protected behind a shield of plastic, they don’t stand proudly anchored in stone, or iron, but have been placed flat on the ground, for only those willing to seek them out to find.

 

The Kings of Dal Riata ruled from here, and the Pictish people of the area called these men of the Isles Scoti – invaders. Their decedents became the founders of Scotland, and overtime their influence spread from this unassuming glen to encompass all the north.

Archaeological digs at this site have unearthed many treasures of the 6th, 7th and 8th centuries and Dunadd is attributed as one of the most important ensembles of any medieval site in Scotland.

While one could argue there is little to see here – no castle, no jewels, no towering battlements or statues, no priceless works of art, Dunadd is a place you visit not to see – but to feel. You can smell the history in the air, taste the tears of the past in the rain, and when the golden rays of the sun break through the clouds above you can sense the richness in the land and the love and joy of its people._DSC0080

Stand atop Dunadd hill and picture around you a once lively citadel, a vast stone wall, enclosing the dwelling place for the lords of this land. Look a little further afield and imagine the small township of Dunadd protected by the fort above, nestled behind the sinuous bends of the River Add. Nothing remains of it today.

North of Dunadd hill you can drive, or hike, through a vale full of standing stones, their purpose long forgotten. Ancient burial mounds dot the valley floor. Stand here in the early morning light, and watch the mists drift from the boggy land around you like long lost spirits of the dead, rising from their stony mounds.

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It is here that Matt’s quest truly begins in “To Raise a King“. Here he is first confronted with the horrors of war and finds he must infiltrate Dunadd castle in search of one of the fragments of the Broken Crown:

The mournful group worked in silence until the first body was identified. A stricken wife fell to her knees, clutching at her dress and crying into the night. Children gathered around her, their heartbroken sobs shaking their little bodies. More wails and moans of grief filled the night as those who had clung to the brief hope their man still lived were confronted with the awful reality of death.

Matt’s journey will take him north to the burial mound of a king, and you can trace his path today. Just as this landscape marks the birth of a nation, so it marks the birth of a new beginning for Matt. While his story will take him across the breadth of Scotland, it is here, in Kilmartin Glen, where he will throw away the last vestiges of an innocent childhood, were he will confront the awful terror of kill or be killed, and it is here he will meet the girl who will capture his heart.

“I killed him.” Matt said. He felt dirty, ashamed. “I—I killed him!” He knew with sickening regret that he would probably have to kill again if he were ever to defeat Aldivon. He suddenly wanted to quit. Lying back on the grass he let the scalding tears flow, blurring the stars above, aware that with each tear ran the last of his childhood, the last of his innocence.

In my follow up post to this I will tell you how this glen also holds a key to a legend known around the world, but far removed from Kilmartin. It is from this glen that a certain young man named Artur is descended, and it is my belief that this young man is none other than the legendary King – Arthur of Camelot!

Thanks for reading – and if you would like advance notice for the sequel of “To Raise a King” then please join my Mailing List

Beginnings –

A Brief excerpt from the Book of Myrthinus –

Home. After so many lifetimes on this world one would expect me to see it as such yet on evenings like these, when I allow my mind to wander, I see my lost world so clearly the yearning to return becomes overpowering. I feel then some empathy with Dardanos, but it is short-lived, for unchecked, his insanity would have doomed Earth and all that dwell here to the same terrible fate that destroyed our home.

Nothing good comes from dwelling on sad and bitter thoughts, yet as our numbers dwindle, I live in growing fear of finding myself unable to recall the simplest detail of my former world. It was a thriving planet before the impact. Oceans, rivers and lakes teemed with fish. Snowcapped peaks towered above the plains, and giant birds akin to eagles soared for miles across the ranges. Leagues of forest gave home to a myriad of creatures, and insects buzzed across meadows lush with herbs and flowers of vibrant color. It was a beautiful world, and we lived in complete harmony with it. No heavy industry choked the air with fumes. Our land was not plundered for its resources. One could not imagine a more wondrous place, but surpassing all was the might and majesty of those creatures that shared it with us. Dragons! Oh how my heart would soar with the sight of them! Brilliant Red and mighty Gold they would shine in the morning sun, yet in the evening their scales would reflect the muted light of our twin moons in hues of purple, amber and silver.

Dragons! I could fill page after page with tales and descriptions of these strange and powerful beings, but I digress, for that is not my purpose here. Perhaps if time allows then that tale can be told with the detail and richness it deserves, but this history serves a more desperate need. These pages are to explain the course I’ve charted through Earth’s turbulent past, and to serve as a warning to those who will follow me should I fail, for I am old now. Old beyond measure, and the weight of the centuries, and the burdens I’ve carried lay heavy upon me, yet while the threat of Dardanos’s legacy remains, I must strive to stand against it and recruit others to the cause.

So——Dardanos? Who is he, you may wonder? Well, once I counted him closer than any brother.

It was he who had first alerted the elders to the new star that had appeared in our sky. We were an inward-looking people and the path of the stars and planets, while well known, held little interest to us. His discovery was met with little more than mild amusement.

As the years passed, so this “star” grew in brightness, then gradually size. Then, for the first time, our society began to know fear. People talked of an impact that would destroy us all, and the elders became divided. Could we perhaps change the path of this thing we now understood to be a comet? Did we perhaps have nothing to fear and this visitor from the depths of space would pass us by? Or should we, as some demanded, seek a means to flee our doomed world? The latter suggestion was met with complete derision but time would not wait, and the comet grew larger as each month passed, seeming to hang threateningly over us each night, a constant reminder of our impending fate.

Dardanos and I, in secret, fashioned lenses to study in more detail our new star and our neighboring planets, and in Earth we found a possible escape, but how could it be reached? How does one travel such vast and empty distances? The comet was now visible in the daylight sky, and chaos gripped our people. Society inevitably succumbed to the basest human level, and our ordered culture began to tear itself apart. People blamed the elders, violence erupted in the streets; it was a time of darkness and decay.

The art of translocation was well practiced, but never had any of us attempted to move across the void of space. Could it be done? Ancient legends of our people spoke of the founders of our race traveling between worlds at will, but this had become a thing of myth. In desperation, we turned to anything that offered hope for our salvation. Dardanos and I pored over the old texts and crumbling tablets seeking a way to achieve what even to us seemed impossible.

To travel to earth we needed a location that could be visualized. Some would call it a pattern. If we could fashion that location on earth then we could travel between worlds at will. We first determined the spin and rotation of the earth in relation to our planet and the stars. We then looked for a reference point in space common to both worlds, and we chose the constellation Orion. During the spring season the three stars of the belt were bright and easy to spot, and we used these as alignment guides. Our telescopes, while crude, had shown us little more than a blue and white ball. But we worked hard perfecting the art of lens and mirror making, and as the months passed so our view of Earth improved dramatically until before us appeared a world of clouds, of oceans and land.

We made many assumptions. We assumed the oceans of earth would be akin to those of our home, and therefore targeted an area of coastline much like our own, a giant delta where a large river emptied into the sea.

To will ourselves such a large distance would not be possible. No individual would be strong enough, so we built a gate that would open a channel between both worlds. Many great minds bent their wills to holding the gateway open, which was a considerable feat given we had no known target upon which to anchor the other end.

Countless brave people died making the first attempts to cross the void of space and we had no way of knowing what had killed them. Had they arrived in a poisonous inhospitable atmosphere and choked to death? Was our portal misaligned and we had sent people to drown in the seas? Had we failed to create a bridge at all and sent our travelers not to Earth but blinking into nothingness, lost in the endless void of space?

There were so many failed attempts, but it took only one success to establish a bridge. It was slow and dangerous, but one at a time we made the journey. The energy expended to hold the portal open, even for a few minutes, was immense. If we were to save our people we had to find another way.

Earth was lush with vegetation and wildlife, and the different life forms we encountered were a constant surprise to us, but not all life was different! Who would have thought that two worlds harboring such diverse plant and animal life would have also produced creatures that were the same? Crocodiles we had never seen and they filled us with terror, but the hippos were identical to the kuowli of our home—river cows, we called them.

We spent many weeks traveling upstream along the river now known as the Nile, and here we encountered our first humankind. Primitive people yet proud. They looked on us with fear and called us gods, the shining ones, those who bridged the stars, and they gathered in awe as we began construction of the pattern that would act as an anchor between our worlds.

Our alien structures took shape over the coming months, reaching up in perfect alignment to Orion’s belt, with the Nile a mirror of the Milky Way. When complete they were a poor comparison to the structures of home, but given we spent less than a year in their construction, the three great pyramids would serve as a recognizable pattern to begin a mass translocation from our home—the planet Mars…

If you enjoyed this passage then check out To Raise a King available on Amazon.com

Free! To Raise a King (Quick Update)

Hello everyone – this is a quick post to let you know that my novel “To Raise a King” is now available in paperback format:

To Raise a King (The Broken Crown)

To celebrate the launch of the paperback, the kindle edition will be FREE April 4th and 5th only. Don’t miss out! Available here:

To Raise a King (The Broken Crown Book 1)

I’ll be posting a new Scrivener update later this week, and will be starting two new threads:

  • Follow Matt’s journey through Scotland – these posts will include pictures, excerpts from the book, notes of the history, and my own fun experiences as my wife and I traveled through the beauty of Scotland
  • The Book of Myrthinus – those of you familiar with To Raise a King, will have read the excerpts from the Book of Myrthinus that are included as background material to the novel. On these blog pages I will be releasing each excerpt as an individual post, and adding comments to expand on the history

I’m also excited to announce that Book Two is now in production. I aim to release, “To Save a Queen – Book 2 of the Broken Crown” towards the end of the year.

Thank you all for your ongoing support and remember – To get advanced notice for the release of Book 2 – signup to my mailing list

All the best!

Justin

Scrivener – Comments and Notes

Hello Scrivener fans. Sorry for the delay in posting the next set of tips, but I’ve been busy on a couple of writing projects.

In this post I talk about comments and footnotes. Scrivener has quite an ingenious method of allowing you to leave notes to yourself or others in your document, and magically suppress them when printing. Why this is useful we’ll discuss shortly – first let’s take a look at each of the options available to writers when it comes to jotting down notes, to-do items, and comments.

First thing to note [pun intended] is this. You don’t have to use all of these methods. Pick one that works for you. I personally favor the sidebar comments as they are always visible reminders and don’t scroll out of view when reading the text. I use these heavily for to-do items. That said I do use inline comments for glaring issues in the manuscript.

So how do we add notes, comments and footnotes to our projects?

Back to our helpful inspector again. If you’ve read my previous blogs you’ll be familiar with the inspector – but for those of you not sure how to bring it up or what it is – the inspector is the “toolbox” on the right of the scrivener workspace. You can toggle it by pressing the large “I” in the blue circle top right of the main menu.

The last icon on the inspector panel resembles a speech bubble with a “n.” in it. This is the comments and footnotes panel.

inpector_notes

Now – let’s create our first note. In the screen shot below you will see a paragraph from my novel “To Raise a King”. I’ve mentioned here that Aldivon has a scar across his neck. I want to remind myself here that I need to let the reader know how he got that scar.

note_ex1

  • First I highlight the text to which I want to attach the note, in this case “scar tissue”
  • Next – from the inspector “comments & Footnotes” panel I hit the plus “+” button

This generates a comment for me – automatically adding the date and time the note was entered. I can then type as much text here as I want. Notice how the text in the manuscript becomes highlighted but the note remains in the sidebar. Now I can hover my mouse over the text in the manuscript and see the comment, or I can read it in the sidebar.

Note: You will notice on the sidebar comment an arrow next to the heading “comment:”. You can use this to hide the comment text or expand it. Useful when you have a ton of comments or long comments. Collapsing them allows you to see most of them on your screen and you can expand the ones you are interested in.

note_ex2

What’s really cool here is as I scroll the manuscript, the notes stay visible in the sidebar – prompting me that I have a to-do item in this section of the book. Clicking the note in the sidebar jumps me to the section of the manuscript to which this comment belongs.

If you right click on the comment in the sidebar you can even change its color, allowing you to create different note types for yourself and easily distinguish what they are for. I use red for awkward phrases, yellow for to-do items, orange if I feel something needs embellishment.

This commenting capability is particularly useful if your editor also uses Scrivener. Your editor can leave you sidebar comments attached to text that needs further attention – much like you can in Microsoft Word. In fact if your editor used Microsoft Word and leaves comments they will import into Scrivener just fine, and appear as sidebar comments too. Cool huh?

Note: I’m frequently extolling Scrivener in this blog but I will make a minor criticism here. The notes appear based on the document section you are in at the time. There’s no option to “View all Comments” which would be nice. I do have a work around for that though. If you notice I prefixed my comment with the phrase: TO_DO:

It’s unlikely that phrase is going to appear in the manuscript text, so I can then use the Scrivener search tool to search for “TO_DO:” and bingo! I have all my todo items collected together and can work through the manuscript to address them.

As you work through your comments you can delete them. When you compile your manuscript into pdf, ebook, word doc or whatever the compiler allows you to include or exclude comments. This is very useful, and brings me to a novel [another pun] use for these sidebar comments.

Let’s assume you are working on a paper to submit, or a report. Scrivener is an ideal writing platform for more than just books and screenplays! You can put research notes, or comments that some in your audience require, but others do not. When compiling the completed document you can now simply produce documents that have the main text minus the comments, or special versions that also include your reference notes and extended markup for a select audience.

If you want the comments to appear as true footnotes in your finished document, then use the “+fn” button next to the “+” button.  It’s important to understand here that footnotes entered this way are expected to be included in the manuscript at compile time. You’ll have to tell the compiler to suppress them if you don’t want them.

So that’s comments. Next we’ll take a brief look at inline comments.

Inline comments can be entered into your document at any point. From the drop-down menu bar select “Format” and then “Inline Annotation”. You can then start typing in your document and your text will appear in red, in a frame, clearly standing out from the rest of the text. Using my novel as an example I’ve added a comment about a location. I’ve given the location it’s Celtic name, but used an inline comment to remind me of the modern name.

notes_ex3

I find this type of commenting intrusive. It breaks the flow of the actual document, which is why I favor the sidebar comments but the point here is it’s an available option, and may be preferable to you. Again, like the sidebar notes you can elect to include these in your finished document, or suppress them.

When I compile the manuscript into its finished product the inline comments will be suppressed (by default), but scrivener gives me two very cool options here:

  • I can include them and have them appear in the text at the point I inserted them with the option of having them encased in “[ ]”.
  • I can have them included as footnotes at the bottom of the relevant page

I’ve mentioned “compiling” your document several times in this article and plan a future post on the compiler. However I have copied a screenshot below that deals specifically with the options available when it comes to handing comments and notes.

compile_notes

Footnotes:

The checkbox “Remove footnotes” will suppress any sidebar comments you added using the “+fn”

If you don’t elect to remove your footnotes, then the drop down option below is available to you and allows your footnote type comments to be included as: comments (in the text), footnotes at the bottom of the page, or end notes at the end of your document.

It’s worth noticing here you can also change the font and formatting for footnotes.

The “Comments and Annotations” section by default will remove all inspector or sidebar comments – the ones entered with the “+” option in the inspector, along with all inline comments or annotations.

If you uncheck either of this options Scrivener will include your annotations or sidebar comments in the finished manuscript. Enabling either option will allow you access to the drop down where you can elect to have your comments inserted as: Margin Comments, Inline comments, footnotes, or end notes.

As you can see Scrivener as always is nothing if not generous with its options and flexibility, allowing you to work the way you want. Such flexibility is the hallmark of great software and thoughtful design.

I hope you found this post helpful! As usual feel free to leave comments, ask questions and make suggestions for future posts.

Thanks to all those that have followed me – and happy Scrivening!

Justin

Scrivener – Keywords and Saved Searches

Hello again and welcome to the next helpful tip for you Scrivener users.

In my previous post I mentioned using Keywords to track scenes and characters throughout your novel. This is a very simple feature but when coupled with Saved Searches it becomes an incredibly powerful tool!

You access Keywords via the third icon of the Inspector panel. (Note: An asterisk shown against any of the Inspector Icons tells you there is information on that panel).  For this post I’ll actually use the Scrivener file associated with my latest novel “To Raise a King” (Currently Available on Amazon) [Shameful Plug!!]

keywords

Here is a view of the inspector panel from Scene 1 of Chapter 2 of my novel. A very brief synopsis reminds me of what is to take place in this scene, and below the general meta data are our keywords.

You can start adding keywords immediately to a scene by simply hitting the “+” icon to the right of the Keywords heading. This allows free text entry of anything you want to associate to that scene. Just as simply the “-” button removes a keyword.

Easy – but a little dangerous maybe. Being Freeform, you can enter anything there. So – lets assume you have this amazingly powerful wizard and you name him “Myrlinus”. The idea of the keywords would be to add the keyword “Myrlinus” to every scene he appears in, but with a name like this guy has it would be easy to miss-spell the name. Some scenes may have “Myrlinus” while others have”Merlinus”. One of the reasons for using the keywords in the first place is to perform instant searches against our huge manuscript, but if we type the name wrong we’ll not find them in our search.

Worse yet – what happens if we change this characters name to “Merlin”? We’re going to have to replace that keyword in every scene. Nightmare!

Enter “Project Keywords”.

On the image above you will notice a gear wheel icon to the right of the Keywords line. This brings up a drop down menu allowing you to add or remove a keyword (basically replicating the “+” “-” buttons), and a third option to view Project Keywords.

You can also access Project Keywords from the Main Menu: Project / Project Keywords.

Here is view of the Project Keywords from my novel:

projectkeywords

You can see I have a keyword for “Flashbacks” – anywhere in the novel my protagonist experiences a flashback I add that keyword.

Then I have a selection of characters (color coded of course – red for the bad guys, green for the good, gold for supporting). I also have a tree of locations.

Project keywords can be as simple or complex as you like, ranging from a single list, to a more involved hierarchy. The Outline buttons at the bottom of the window allow you to add “sibling” or “child” entries to the keyword list and you can also set the color using the built in color wheel.

 

 

So why use Project Keywords?

 

Firstly – you don’t have to keep typing the keyword on each scene. Simply use the gear wheel icon to bring up the Project Keywords and they will float in a separate window while you work. Now you can simply drag a keyword from the pop-up window directly into any scenes keywords frame. Bam! We’ve eliminated the risk of typing mistakes.

Secondly – what happens if we want to change a characters name? Simple. Bring up the Project Keywords window – double click a character and change their name. You will get a warning dialog as belowkeyword-used

how cool is that? Thanks Scrivener! With a simple click of “Update Existing Documents” all the scenes that had “Myrlinus” as a keyword, now have “Merlin”. You have to love this application for its power and simplicity right?

Ok – so we’ve got a bunch of keywords associated with out scenes by why is that useful? The answer to that is searching! Scrivener excels at searches and it can find anything, with searches confined to a scene, a chapter or your entire manuscript. That’s fine when looking for one off things here and there, but what if you want to identify all the scenes with a flashback? Or all the scenes with Matt? Or all the scenes that took place in the library cos you want to change the red carpet to a wooden floor?

Search.JPG

Using Scriveners Search located at the top right hand of the main menu bar note the drop down arrow next to the magnifying glass. Clicking that arrow will bring up a ton of useful search filters for you to apply, and notice right there in the center of the top group is “Keywords”! Now entering a keyword of “flashbacks” will instruct Scrivener to search for all scenes that have a keyword of flashbacks.

Your search results are shown as a set of scenes beneath the binder in the left navigation pane.

Now here’s where it gets super slick. If you check in the search list the bottom option – Save Search As Collection – your search isn’t just shown in the binder under search results, but as implied by the option – a whole new collection is added to your navigation panel.

For this example I searched for Keyword “Flashbacks” and opted to Save my search as a selection named: “Scenes with Flashbacks”.

 

flashbacks

You can see here we have four scenes that have important flashback moments in them. And because they are now a “collection” they are always available to us on the navigation panel so we don’t have to search for them again.

Important Note: A collection is not another copy of your scenes. It’s a virtual folder that links together scenes from your binder / manuscript under a meaningful header. If you double click one of these scenes and edit it, then navigate to the same scene in the binder you will see the change has applied there also.

I’ve saved the last piece of Scrivener Awesomeness for last. Collections are dynamic, not static. What does this mean? It means that if I add the Flashbacks keyword to other scenes in the novel, those scenes will automatically appear in the “Scenes with Flashbacks” collection! I don’t have to search for the keyword again and rebuild the collection.

If you get into the habit of using keywords as you build your story, you’ll find you are building a wealth of powerful indexes and search capabilities that when it comes to continuity checking, and detailed editing later you’ll be glad you had.

If you decide to use keywords, how you use them is entirely up to you. For the novel “To Raise a King” I tagged each scene with a location, and the characters in it. I also tagged any scenes that had flashbacks, and as this is a novel that covers time travel, I also tagged each scene with it’s period – “PresentDay” or “597AD”. Flashbacks, PresentDay and 597AD were saved as three separate collections, allowing me to follow each flashback as the reader would experience it, and also enabled me to read all the sections of the novel that occurred in the present day time frame.

A longer post this time – so hope I didn’t lose anyone along the way and that you found the content valuable.

As always – please leave comments, likes or suggestions for future posts.

Until next time – keep writing!

 

Scrivener – Document References

I’ve received a lot of questions recently on the features in the “Inspector” panel, so this post will focus on the second button of the Inspector – “References”.

inspectorThe “Document References” section allows you to add links to external reference information but more importantly scenes, characters, and locations in your own manuscript!

If you’re looking for a simple way to index which characters or locations are used in specific scenes then the “keywords” inspector (future blog about this) may be a better choice for you, as it’s integrated into the Scrivener search feature. However if your approach to producing a novel is to outline heavily, and flesh out as you go, then the document references is an invaluable tool.

I tend to use both the keywords and the references.

When you create a scene, you would typically add a brief synopsis in the Inspector pane that acts as a ‘reminder’ to you of what is to take place and why. If you’ve already compiled a list of characters, and locations you can then link to those in the Document References section.

inspector-references

To do this simply click the “+” sign highlighted in the image to the right, select “Internal Reference” and then navigate through the tree view of your manuscript to the desired location or character sketch.

Once you reach the stage that you’re ready to actually write the scene, you now have an instant reminder of the purpose from your synopsis, and access to the details of who you planed to include and the location the action takes place.

Why is this useful?

It’s useful in two ways:

  1. Rapid access to your character sketches can make sure you don’t make a mistake with your character – nothing’s worse than the blue eyed hero of chapter 1 gazing at the love of his life from deep brown eyes in chapter 9!
  2. As you write, so you will enrich or develop a character or location. This quick link allows you rapid access to the character or location sketch and makes it easy for you to add to the definition, making more information available to you in future scenes. This helps enormously in continuity issues. Was the gun on the dresser loaded the last time you were in that room, or empty?

If you read my first post on Character Building this use of Document References makes it easy to grow the Character Journey I described as you write your story.

In addition to the ‘Internal References’, Scrivener allows you to reference external data also, and I find this invaluable. I use external references rarely in actual scenes, but use them a lot in location sketches.

If I have a scene taking place in a “real-world” location, then to save copying into Scrivener the wealth of information from the internet I’ll tend to copy pertinent data, things I know I really need, but will use Document References to store links to the actual sites that hold valuable information. This way all my research material, and links to even more of it, stay within my project, right where I need them each time I sit down to write.

Document References are a very powerful feature and eliminate the need for maintaining separate documents of links, or a growing list of “Favorites” in your browser of choice. The developers of Scrivener worked hard to make sure an author has ready access to everything they could need, so we can focus on what we do best – write.

Happy Scrivening everyone – and hope you enjoyed this second installment of Scrivener Tips.

Please leave comments, and feel free to suggest articles you would like covered in future posts.

If you’re interested in my novel: “To Raise a King” written, and formatted in Scrivener then check it out in the Amazon store… To Raise a King