I was surprised by how many extra things there are in papyrus author pro. (This is not an advert for the company, just my experience.)
I picked the free program up a couple of weeks ago and spent a couple of days watching Ben’s videos, then set it up and started to write in it.
I’ve been at it ten days now in that free version and could finally see some benefits from features only available in the pro version.
I don’t write like most authors are advised to. My method is not easily labelled.
Finding a system that works for me has been tricky, and I have tried everything so far that I could get my hands on. The pro version of papyrus author seems to be a decent fit.
I currently write every day (around 3000 words, sometimes more) and I keep track of it by making notes about what happened in each scene, who was in the scene, whether there was any important clothing or item to remember, and things like that. I like to be able to see the structure of the whole novel at a glance as it develops.
Yes, I outline in reverse.
I write the story, then I create the outline.
I was struggling a little to fit enough information into the Navigator and knew, from what Ben had shown me, that I could fit a lot more information into the abstract but still show it on one screen using the organiser.
It also suits my workflow, even the free version was an improvement.
I work in a cycle. I write 500 to 1000 words, kind of slow down or come to a stopping point, and then go back and do some fixes on what I’ve written. Being able to turn on the grammar checker at that point and spot the obvious flaws is a great help.
In Scrivener, for instance, I had to quit out of the program and run Pro Writing Aid, or cut and paste the text into pro writing aid’s Web window, to get the same kind of support. Clicking a button at the bottom of the screen is a lot easier.
I keep track of viewpoint characters by colouring the scenes in the navigator, but now I can also keep track of characters, locations and important items in each scene using the organiser. Being able to access it as a tab, or even split it off onto my second monitor, is very handy when I want to have a quick look at the structure.
I used to do my mind mapping in Inspiration 9, which is getting a little long in the tooth now, but I find the think board is allowing me to do something very similar.
When I feel like my creative brain is getting stuck, I just create a visual map of the characters, the locations, the items and of the puzzles I have not solved yet and sit and look at it for a few minutes. I don’t try to solve it. I am not the author, the unconscious part of my mind is where the creativity takes place and I find giving it something to look at tends to spark that creativity.
The research feature is also quite nice, as it can save webpages in a similar fashion to that used by scrivener, although it does not preserve the layout. That doesn’t bother me much as there tend to be only two or three sentences on the whole page in which I am really interested.
Back when I was a computer programmer, twenty years ago, people used to complain that I would write the whole program, and then create the pseudocode outline, and the documentation, afterwards. I am just wired that way.
Once I realised my writing brain works the same way, I threw away the outlines and the plotting books and the Hollywood beats and all the other nonsense that will never work for me.
The trick is finding a system that suits you, and papyrus author pro has helped me to refine mine.
Thanks for giving me a few more pieces of the puzzle.