Productivity and Insight,
for Fiction Writers
When I wrote the Accidental Heretics series, I also had a job that demanded 60 to 80 hours a week. I often had to put my fiction aside, then get back into the flow of the story whenever my time became my own again.
The Accidental Heretics story is large—Books I and II are ~1,000 pages—and told from multiple point-of-view (POV) voices, with dozens of characters, and a timeline that crosses several generations.
To keep moving ahead, I used mechanisms I’ve relied on for years as a tech writer. I use Microsoft Word to manage structure, character, scenes, clues, timelines, and research notes. These processes keep me organized during the first draft and then help significantly during editing and revision.
Wringing a Novel from Word collects these ideas, along with some additional Word tips.
Catch Up on Basics First
To adopt these ideas in your working files, make sure you’re familiar with these basic Word features.
Try these videos for an introduction:
Quick overview of styles (Print version)
Create a Table of Contents
Use the Document Map for Navigation
(In Word 2013 and later, you can move sections in the Navigation map)
Also, a longer tutorial, with a practice file, that covers styles and table of contents
To find the correct videos for your version of Word:
Word training in the support.office.com Training Center
Discuss on Twitter: @AnniePearsonOK — #wringanovel
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