Writing Brains & Scrivener

Writing Brains & Scrivener

Natalie Bright

Scrivener software totally gets my writing brain. The more I work in this software, the more I’m amazed at all it can do.

For example, this morning the opening scene for the second book of my Texas Frontier Series popped in my head. BAM! There it was. I am almost 10,000 words into the first draft and the opening chapter I’ve already written is absolutely wrong. Does this ever happen to you? I kept replaying the new scene in my head, over and over until I could get to the keyboard.

Here’s where Scrivener makes your life easy: Within the file that you designate as chapter, you can add a new text file. The chapters will autromatically renumber when you compile the final document. No renumbering pages or worrying about chapter numbers. No cutting and pasting to shift the work. I have a seperate text file for each scene and these scenes can be moved easily around within the manuscript document. That first scene may not be the opeing by the time I reach 30,000 words. No problem. The ‘scene’ file can be shifted to any order within the project file.

For more explaination, here’s the link to watch a great video from the creator of Scrivener:

I also recommend the online class, LearnScrivenerFast.com

Stay tuned for more tidbits about this powerful writing tool. Are you using Scrivener? What has been your experience with Scrivener?



An artist is typically a being that is filled with so much passion, love, or pain for certain lands, people, ideas, or images that all they can do with that overflow is bleed it out by creating. And with this type of art, the energy will be shifted from the depths of them and into the depths of the audience to be felt. It is a dance. A transference. An intimacy. It is to touch and awaken another human in a place they hadn’t know was aching, or sleeping. Both are opened. Both are nourished. Both are transformed.


Story Craft: Book Themes

Story Craft: Book Themes

By Natalie Bright

Throughout the art of story craft, you may have noticed common story threads or themes that are used over and over. This is most often observed in movies. Multi-published writers that I’ve talked to usually have an overall theme that might not be that obvious to the reader, but it helps keep the plot line consistent to the end.

A NYT bestselling author told me that she used a common theme for her main characters, as well as applying it to sub-plots and minor characters. For example, the pain of loss was a theme of a recent book. Every major and minor character had to deal with loosing something or someone.

A theme for books can be used in both fiction and nonfiction. It keeps the author on track and prevents them from deviating from the basic story structure.

For example, the hero’s journey is a popular theme that is used in a lot in books and movies. The hero is reluctantly called to adventure, faces insurmountable obstacles, and ends up saving the day. There are several excellent books on how to craft a story using this popular theme.

Listed below are some other examples of overall themes for books:

*Cinderella: down trodden girl is rescued from her dull existence and finds true love with her prince.

*Perseverance: characters never give up, even when faced with impossible obstacles.

*Honesty: always tell the truth, no matter what the cost.

*Kindness: generous, considerate, friendly characters, even when treated differently.

*Acceptance: differences and beliefs are overcome and characters find respect for each other. Or, maybe it’s an acceptance of love lost, crushed dreams, or life’s path.

*Romeo and Juliet: star-crossed lovers against the world.

*Loyalty: trusting each other, friends to the end or trusting yourself and your heart’s desire.

*Cooperation: a problem is solved or a goal is achieved through everyone working together.


Happy writing and thanks for following WordsmithSix!

Write The Book

Write The Book

By Rory C. Keel


With the New Year off to a blazing fast start, many people who have made their New Year’s resolutions are now on their way to succeeding while others have already thought about throwing in the towel of quitting. This year my goal is to complete my Novel UNLAWFUL WORDS without quitting.

You’re a Quitter!

I consulted my dictionary for the meaning of the word quitter. When I turned the page and looked at the definition I saw the outline of my face beginning to form beside the word, metaphorically speaking. It read, “A quitter is a person who gives up easily and does not have the determination to finish the task before him.

I think about how many times in the past I’ve wanted to finish my book and haven’t. This year I need to finish my book.

The need to write the book

Is it a passing fad or a one-time flash-in-the-pan idea? Does the story touch the heart and mind, or carry a message that would inform, change or move mankind in a positive direction? The answers to these questions can make a difference in the motivation or need of a writer to finish a project, or it can stop them completely.

Driving me to write this book is a personal need to share the story of an honest man who finds himself on the wrong side of right. When the truth is revealed, he faces severe persecution and death itself while seeking redemption.

Lets be real.

What makes this year different than last year? If the world continues to turn, this year will have the same amount of time as the last, but the difference is having a plan. With organization, scheduling of writing time, and other distractions eliminated or minimized, I can visualize success this year.

Nothing comes without a cost

To write a book is not free. There will be a sacrifice of time, a must have in order to write. There may even be certain individuals who need to be weeded out, or places avoided and distractions to the writing mind need to be removed. This will be a conscious effort to de-clutter and streamline everyday life, shall we say, “spring-cleaning” the closet of life.

With determination not to be found in the dictionary beside the word quitter, the proper motivation, plan and willingness to pay the price, let’s do this!


Characterization Part II

Characterization Part II
by N. Bright

I’m going back through my conference notes to provide you with a hodge-podge of all things on character development over the next several weeks. (I might add that in a past job I used short-hand every day, so I’m a diligent note-taker. In today’s world his useless skill is next to impossible to forget.)

Creating Ancestors

It was a larger-than-life character who came to me in a dream which caused me to become obsessed with learning everything I could about characterization. As pointed out by a few writer friends, I wrote her adventures but had never given this character a past.

The idea for a young girl who lived on the Texas frontier appeared in my head so vibrant and alive, I couldn’t shake her. Her adventures began as little snippets of scenes in no particular order. As I began thinking about her life, she’d have to be a little independent and more worldly than most kids her age. Her father is a U.S. Marshall so he’d be gone a lot. Her mother is of Mexican descent from a sheepherding family. She loves books, thanks to an Aunt, so her vocabulary would be above average and well-developed. I can imagine she was riding horses at a very young age along with fishing and exploring and doing chores; all of the things necessary for survival on the frontier. All of these things come together to create what I hope to be a unique and memorable character.

Just like real people, your characters must have a past life filled with family, friends, joys, and loss; all of the things that shape their motivation and personality. This gives your characters dimension and believability.

Character History

Most writers I know are curious and fascinated by human nature and their motives. This should be a fun process for you. As you develop your characters past, consider where they grew up, why they moved there and where their families came from.

My grandmother told me about traveling by wagon with her parents to Texas from Oklahoma. That was only three generations away; not that long ago. That independent, can-do spirit remains in the people here, much like those before us who came to this barren place to build towns and raise families in the middle of nowhere. Our buildings and communities are not that old, as compared to places in the eastern United States. I get aggravated at the way we seem to so readily tear down the old to build new in this part of the country. I guess we’re still in pioneer mode.

Kids in this area play video games just like big city kids. My kids and their friends watch movies, read books, and love their iPhones, too.  On the other hand, families here have space; to ride 4-wheelers in sandy river beds, fish and ski on area lakes, and the mountain ski slopes are only half-a-days drive away. As an FYI, not everyone in Texas owns a horse, however, I think my kids are a little more “out-doorsman” than urban kids, but probably not as much as kids from Alaska might be.

Your characters are no different. There is much to think about when considering the many influences that shaped their behavior.

Keep writing and have fun creating a past life for your characters!