Search Term Bingo!

If you’re not familiar, popular author and awesome blogger Chuck Wendig does a little ditty known as Search Term Bingo. The deal is thus:

WordPress includes a feature where it tells us what search terms led people to our site. Some of them make perfect sense. Others, however, can get downright silly. So what Chuck does (and what I’ll be doing today) is post the latest search terms and add commentary. Some of these are variations on the same theme, so I’ll be combining them.

So without further ado, here we go:

BIOSHOCK INFINITE FORESHADOWING

Seriously, this is the single most searched-for thing that gets people here, in one way or another. Personally, I’m curious how many of you lovely readers are video game fans, and if you’d like more stuff in that particular direction. I’m also quite pleased with how good the writing has gotten in video games in recent years.

WHOSE LINE IS YOURE A WIZARD HARRY

That would be Rubeus Hagrid: a half-giant and animal lover from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels, who once delivered a baby on a motorcycle. True story, yo.

On that subject, someone asked for a TIELINE OF HARRY POTTER BOOKS

I don’t have a tieline, but here’s a picture of my husband’s tie-hangar. Three guesses who gave him the fish tie~

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USING SCRIVENER

I happen to use Scrivener a lot– it’s probably tied with Microsoft Word for my favorite word processing program. However, if you’re thinking about getting it, I recommend going for NaNoWriMo first: one of the prizes for winning is a heavy discount for the software.

BEATING DEPRESSION

I did write a post on warding off the return of depression, though this isn’t usually the stuff that works when you’re in the depths of it. At a time like that, sometimes you just need to find your corn.

THE HOBBIT ARCHETYPES QUESTION

Bilbo is the Reluctant Hero. Gandalf is the Wise Old Mentor who has to vanish in order for the Reluctant Hero to actually do any heroic stuff. I’ll actually be doing a post on the subject later on this month.

DIY COMMAR

Dammit, how’s you figure out I live in Indiana? Now I’ll never be able to warsh my car in peace!

HAMLET “SEEMS? I KNOW NOT SEEMS” WHAT ACT AND SCENE IS THIS FROM

Act 1, Scene 2. Now let me point you to my dear friend No Fear Shakespeare, who got me through entirely too much of my high school career.

STANDING ST FORK ON THE ROAD

Here you go. This is St. Fork, the made-up patron saint of tableware. He is standing on the road.

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LIFE GIVING ARCHETYPE

That’s usually a Mother archetype, also frequently associated with the moon and water, thanks to the monthly nature of moon phases, tides, and menstruation.

Didn’t think I’d actually say it, didja?

Adventures with Scrivener

Until now, I’ve only really used a few features of Scrivener: the goal and wordcount feature, the folders, the ‘split at section’ command, and occasionally the research file.

This time I’m trying something different.

I wrote the whole of this draft in Microsoft Word. Because I wasn’t using any features aside from the wordcount and the putting-text-on-white-space features, it didn’t matter what software I used. Now I’m being a bit more discerning.

Sections

I opened a new folder on my project and pasted the entirety of my story into the first text document. From there, I went to the first scene break and split the story to the next section. split at section

By splitting the pre-written sections one at a time, I have the chance to really look at them without getting overwhelmed by how much I still have to do. I can thoughtfully evaluate when the scene actually starts and ends, figure out a title that won’t leave me hopelessly lost in a few days, and add a summary for my purposes.

Metadatameta data

Scrivener has options for metadata. It defaults to descriptions of the chapter/section/idea/what have you, but I tinkered with it somewhat.

Because my story involves traveling between multiple locations, I set one to keep track of the country–this one by color.

I set the other one to keep track of the prevalent mood of each scene, both as the scene opens, and as it closes. I’ve mentioned before that we can’t just dwell on a single mood— it needs to continuously rise and fall to keep the readers invested.

Themethemes

I’ve been doing a lot of reading about theme in particular, and I’ve been trying to apply what I’ve learned so far. I’ve identified three core themes in my story, and the facets thereof that the different characters embody. Now that’s a lot of stuff. It’s too hard to keep track of all the themes of an entire story all at once. I’ve found it’s much easier to take it section by section and noting the themes that are touched on, and how they’re developed over the course of the story.

Characterscharacter keywords

I’ve got a whole lot of named characters, so I use the Keywords feature to keep a track of which characters made an appearance in a given scene, and which ones were only mentioned. So far I’ve found that some of them are mentioned rarely enough to merit combining or cutting entirely (I’m looking at you, Kessie!), while one in particular needs a few more mentions to properly emphasize his place in the story.

Document Reference

There’s also a nifty feature that allows you to cross-reference the events going on in one section with stuff going on elsewhere. This becomes really useful for remembering exact details and wording of past conversations, keeping track of which saint deals with what aspects of life, and using the proper terms for all the parts of a dirigible.

The Cork Board

I’ve always admired the cork board feature on Scrivener, but I’ve never really had reason to use it before. Now that I’m taking advantage of all these other features, though, it’s a great way of seeing a lot of details at a glance.

cork board

What do you use to write and edit your stories? Are you big on features like these, or are you more a traditional ‘just-get-the-words-on-the-screen’ kind of writer?