Nicholas Reicher

Writing Your Next Blockbuster Film or Novel

Month: August 2017 (Page 1 of 4)

5 Must have books for Writers

I only began reading books on writing this year – while I’m working on my third novel. I’ve read some good books on writing, and some bad ones.
What books would I recommend?

  1. Beginnings, Middles, and Ends by Nancy Kress. Where does your book fall apart? The answers are here.
  2. Dynamic Characters by Nancy Kress. Make your protagonist 3 dimensional.
  3. Conflict and Suspense, by James Scott Bell If you don’t have this, you don’t have a novel.
  4. Save The Cat, by Blake Snyder. Yes, its for screenplays! Writing Screenplays has dramatic effects on your abilities as a writer!
  5. Writing Screenplays that Sell, by Michael Hauge.

I’ve got several other books that I just haven’t read yet. One I’m finishing right now was such a huge impact on me, I’m actually going to keep the title a secret! It’s on writing screenplays, and it’s by a professional script reader. That’s all I’m going to say!

Good writings!

5 Changes needed in the Publishing Industry

Years ago, I had a neighbor who paid hundreds of dollars to get one book made with her poetry in it. She literally spent hundreds of dollars to get a single copy of her writing to put on her shelf and be able to say, “I’m published.”

Today, you could do that using Amazon’s publish on demand service “Createspace.” This story stays with me as an example of how things are not right with the publishing industry. Another example is that people rejected books that went on to sell millions in their franchise – and those people are STILL being shown books to render verdict on! Here are some ideas that I think would most definitely help force a much-needed change.

  1. Set up talent scout positions. Start with two per publishing company. Prowl social media and blogs, searching for writers. Read their excerpts. If you like what they’re writing, contact them and ask for more! The music industry used to do this until the 1990’s, when they got fat and happy – and now what’s being produced is garbage today. There’s no incentive to write good music – because you probably won’t get signed. The same remains true for writing.
  2. Make it easier for new writers.. The Publishing industry claims, like the movie industry, to be “Eagerly searching for the next diamond in the rough”, the new writer with good ideas. Then they put up barriers to make it near impossible to look at new submissions. With that in place, they then complain they’re not getting any new ideas! The problem is, you let a few people in and locked the doors! Of course you’re not getting new ideas when the only people you publish are the ones you’ve already published!
  3. Adopt a different attitude for new writers. Forsythe commented in an interview that publisher’s eyes glaze over when they get a manuscript from an unpublished author. Instead, they should be eager… “this could be the next great idea!” I understand a lot of what you run into is bad! But many people still buy lottery tickets who’ve never won a million dollars!
  4. Vanity Press companies should be outlawed. Seriously. Most of them often fail, while taking your money with them. A book company does not charge you money, it gives you money. If they claim to be “Publishers” and not Publish on demand, the answer should always be a firm “No.” Not even, “no thank you.” Vanity Presses are a scam. Get legit, or get shut down. It should be the law.
  5. Publish On Demand as a tool. Now, publish on demand is what it is, and those should be allowed to remain. Indeed, I’d make a case it might be the RIGHT way for publishers to start asking for manuscripts. “Can you send me a self publish of your work?” Why is this good? Because if they’re serious about their writing, they’ll do a publish on demand, READ IT and add notes in the margins, highlight and cross things out, re-write, then redo. By the time the Publisher gets a copy, it’s good to go!

Conclusion

It’s been said Publish on Demand signals the death knell of traditional publishers. And many are spiraling down the drain already, but not because of publish on demand! Instead, it’s the way publishers have done business for years. It’s a new day, and publishers may well find that implementing these suggestions may see a turnaround, and a golden age of fiction begin!

Survival in Catastrophic Conditions

Recent Events have shown me that after years of different survival TV shows, most people still have no idea how to survive a catastrophic storm. To hear that people drowned in their cars recently in Houston shows me that most people still have no idea what to do in a survival situation. Well, in addition to having been part of the Les Stroud on-line community when he first started out, I’ve ended up being a survival expert just from the research I had to do in my first novel! So, I’m going to give some pointers here, and I’d like my fellow survivalists to chime in!

Warning: Really long post! Clip this with Evernote for later study if you’re in a hurry. Print this out,and put in your emergency supply kit in a waterproof plastic sandwich bag.

Survival is about not dying. Let’s get that straight. When you’re in the midst of a hurricane, tornado, wild fire, earthquake, tsunami, the point is SURVIVE.Your possessions at that point merely are tools that will help you stay alive or not. The autographed Elvis print? If you can’t use that for survival, FORGET IT. LEAVE IT.

I say this because people will run into a burning house to grab keepsakes. I ran into a burning apartment once, to grab my neighbor who went back in to save some keepsakes, and physically dragged her outside. If I hadn’t done it, she wouldn’t be alive today – because everything literally went up in flames a second later.

Once you hit catastrophic conditions, everything is reduced to “how will this keep me alive?”

Floods

Let’s talk about the floods in Houston. Houston was running a campaign prior to the storm “turn around – don’t drown.” BEST advice I’ve ever heard. DO NOT DRIVE INTO STANDING WATER. It will ruin your car. Even if you slam on the brakes and try backing up, some idiot in a stomper truck will barrel past you, create a wave that lifts your Grand Marquis up and dump it right into the middle of the deepest part. I know, it happened to me once.

If it happens, look at your car. It’s gone (my Marquis survived actually, but that had to be a miracle). Get out, go to safety. If the wind is high, you need anchoring. If you’re one of those people with a flannel shirt, a man bun and a paracord wrist band – guess what? You’ve got the tool on your wrist to get out alive. Fasten the paracord to the steering wheel, loop it through your belt loops and tie it. Open the door (if you can, if not it’s the window). Crawl out, and wade FACING the direction of moving water. Right foot to left in a sliding motion. If running water is up to mid-shin, it’s enough to sweep you off your feet. Use peripheral vision to get to safety.
Power windows, and the door won’t open? Two words.. Rear view mirror. Take your shoe off, and hammer the rear view mirror sideways until it breaks off. Now turn, hit your driver’s side window with the mirror until it breaks. Clear out as much glass as you can, take the floor mat and lay it across the window. Climb out. (if you have a knife, the pommel end will break it. If you’re an ultimate survivalist, you probably have an ASP, and stopped reading this two paragraphs ago!)

No paracord? Change that. Get some. But for now, use some of the glass from the mirror to cut all the seat-belts in the car loose, and use that to make your safety line. Nobody in Houston should have drowned.

Tsunami.

Here’s a simple rule – get to high ground. Life saving advice. Don’t try to out run it, out climb it. Here’s your first hint. If you’re on a beach, and the waves start pulling back… RUN. RUN RUN RUN!!!! Get to high ground FAST. If you can make it to your car, forget the speed limit. GO GO GO. In the Christmas Tsunami years ago, people actually walked out on the beach leisurely as the water began to recede hundreds of yards. Every one of them died. Most tsunamis don’t look like anything until you’re being swept across the ground, and it’s too late at that point.
If you DO get in the water, here’s the only thing that’s going to save you. Pull your knees up to your chest. If you can, turn your body to go feet first. Get your head above the water, and keep it there. Angle yourself slightly to get swept towards the sides. GRAB something and pull yourself out of the water. Don’t rely on your hands… they’ll be chilled and too weak, and possibly broken after a minute. BEAR HUG is the technique to use to grab something. Pull yourself up. GET OUT OF THE WATER! You probably will have broken bones by the time you get out. Find something, anything to wrap yourself in, even if it’s tearing wallpaper off a wall, extra clothes, anything. You’re going to start going into shock from the injuries you just went through, so the most important thing is to heat up your core. Some people recommend walking rapidly to prevent chilled blood from your extremities rushing back into your heart.

Hurricanes

I’ve endured plenty of category one hurricanes. There’s three common forms of death from them – drowning, flying debris, electric shock. Yes, people can die in a category one hurricane. Nobody should, but they do.
Storm surge is the number one killer. See Tsunami’s above. DO NOT sit in your car in rising waters and panic. PANIC IS THE REAL KILLER. Take a deep breath, understand youre in survival mode, switch gears NOW, and GET OUT OF THE CAR. See above.
Flying Debris. I know, we all want to say, “Yeah, I stood out in the middle of the storm.” We all think of doing it because we see those reporters standing out in it. What you don’t see is they usually pick a spot where they’re shielded from a lot of the wind, so flying debris doesn’t hit them. A license plate flying at 75 miles an hour will embed itself in your scalp just nicely. Not hit you and keep going (that requires stitches, it’s an emergency, and if you try to tough it out, you may bleed to death), but EMBED. As in, stuck in your head. If you see ANY stuff flying around, DO NOT GO OUT THERE! Category Two hurricanes can propel simple litter like soda cans at speeds that can be life threatening in the right circumstances – like if it lifted on floating water, and a gust catches the open mouth of it. ZZZING!!!! It’s like a baseball flying through the air. Most of the time they go rolling across the ground, but once I’ve seen them take off like a missile! Because… I went outside in a Category One hurricane!
Anyone who wants to go outside in a Category Three hurricane should go ahead and do it, and remove stupidity from the gene pool. A lot of people laughed at Stormchaser Jeff during the Houston hurricane, but he was trying to show you how drastic and dangerous a Category 4 hurricane really is – something not often filmed.
If the police tell you there’s an evacuation, take it seriously. If they hand you a sharpie and tell you to write your name on your arm, there’s a reason – they want to be able to identify your body. Don’t be an idiot, pack up and go.
Electrocution. Power lines tear loose all the time in hurricanes. Just because all the power is out in that area, don’t assume the line is! People walk into water where power lines are, and drop where they are as their heart stops. Make a wide detour around all power lines. Avoid driving over them if possible.

When you decide to bug out in a hurricane, that’s when you understand what a BOB is. That’s bug out bag. Everyone needs to have a bug out bag and survival supplies pre-packed. Survival shelves in your house? Useless. Keep everything in water proof plastic tubs, and at least one backpack. If you have to abandon your car in rising flood waters, the backpack will go with you. The tubs, you may not be able to rescue.
Wear Warm clothing. Better to get a little bit warm when you’re evacuating than comfortable. Why? If you don’t make it, now the warm layers will keep your dry-er. Plastic rain ponchos should be in every bug out bag – because in almost every major catastrophe, it seems to be raining at the time.
Bugging out when the hurricane gets there is too late. Better the day before. Figure out which route everyone is going, and plan on a different one. This may be a life saver! How many people die on the highway? Well, none. But traffic jams are stressful.
Pack your car with everything you need. Money, credit cards, important papers in plastic sandwich bags. Weapons and ammo if necessary. Medicines. Food. Clothes. Food. Water. Survival tools. Food. Cat food. Pet carriers (by the way, don’t be bashful about buying a dog carrier if you have more than one cat – they’ll be together, and their combined body heat will protect them better).
I use those metal water bottles all the time, with the annoying clip on the lid. If I had to bug out, those clips can hang from a belt, or a backpack.
You should make it a priority to raid Walmarts and buy sleeping bags, a tent, all survival tools you can get your hands on. Amazon sells Mountain Home and other “72 hour meal packs”. By the way, examine those carefully. I think that those 72 hour kits are a little light to last 72 hours!
Learn to read a compass.
Learn to read a map.
Carry a map with you – don’t assume you’ll always have your phone!
Look into wristwatch style GPS.
Plastic tarp is killer.
You can never have too much rope.
You can never have too many flashlights
You can never have too many knives.
Two is one, one is none. I’ve got three different ways to make fires. Swiss Army knife, pocket knife, multitool, folding saw… you’d think I have enough ways to cut things. From my estimation, a pocket knife is insufficient. A knife in a sheath with a blade longer than 4 inches can truly save your life. No kidding, one of the Les Stroud or Bear Grylls survival knives should be in every emergency kits. Hey, even one of those Rambo knives!
Folding shovel.
Shemagh.
Hatchet or axe.
Signal flasher mirror.
Whistle.
Collapsible water bags.
5 person tent (Coleman is a good choice).
Water bottles.

A funny thing happened to me a year ago… the Quest pipe in my house burst, and flooded my house. The repair men who helped afterwards all remarked I was the first person they’d seen with an emergency kit. Literally this means, I would be the only person out of all the people they’d helped in the past to survive catastrophic disasters. I had lots of bottle water, canned foods, a Swiss Army Mess Kit (Truly a lifesaver… we’ve used it a dozen times).
Baofeng UM5VR 2 way radios. technically, these are for FCC licensed persons ONLY – but if you start scanning frequencies and hear Hams chatting and you’re in an Emergency, do this… click the talk button and say “BREAK BREAK BREAK Emergency Traffic.”
No kidding, the Hams are required by law to help. They’ll want to know who you are, where you are, how many, is there anyone hurt, are you in immediate life threatening danger…. While you’re telling them this, someone’s logging it (FCC Law requires it be logged) and the Hams will contact rescue and send people your way. Many Hams are actually members of CERT and ARES, and have had emergency response training. No kidding, police have ended up relying on them in many emergencies, because their radios are finely tuned to proprietary frequencies, and they can’t alter those. But Hams obsess about making sure if they are licensed to talk on a frequency, they have to have the equipment for it.

After the Hurricane:

This may not seem like an emergency, but up to three days after a hurricane there’s often freak flooding. Cities sometimes go as much as 14 to 17 feet underwater. Rising water is not an annoyance, it’s a life threatening emergency. Treat it as such and you will live. Ignore it, and you may die.

Fires.

When wild fires are on their way to your house, it’s time to go. If you can see the smoke, it’s time to stop worrying about the Elvis autograph. It’s time to get your survival stuff, your pets, and GO. If you’ve got lawn sprinklers, kick them on and GO. Don’t wait to see if you’re homeless.
If you see the fire… Get all synthetic fiber clothing off of you. Better to get burns on bare skin than artificial fibers that will melt onto you and keep burning you long after you’re out of danger. Better yet, wear wool, cotton, denim all the time. Polyester is death. Drop everything and RUN. If roads are clear, drive fast, but be prepared to get out of your car and run if necessary.
If you have to run… GET WET. Get your hair and body soaked. The fires can leap ahead of you. The best thing really is wet mud. Get your hair and body soaked and covered in dripping wet mud. A Shemagh over your mouth, soaked with water, will keep the smoke inhalation down to a minimum. Squint your eyes (sunglasses will help) and RUN. Do not run INTO flames that are higher than mid shin. Pick the route that’s the clearest (duh advice) and RUN. Do not stop! Stop means die.
When safe, if you’re burning, STOP DROP ROLL. Best done in water if you can. Keep rolling until you are 100% sure the flames are out. Dust bath your hair if you have any left.
You may need extensive care in an ICU Burn Unit, but you’re alive. People that run back in for the Elvis autograph died.

Earthquakes

Get outside. Better under a table than a doorway. I know we’ve all heard doorway, but in the last 40 years, more contractors skimp on building codes than they’ll admit. Doorways now collapse. Better to get outside. Middle of the street is best. Never assume the earthquake is done shaking.

Volcano.

You may laugh… but there’s a lot more volcanoes in the United States than most people know. I’m an amateur vulcanologist, and I can say… yup. One area I target as a disaster waiting to happen is in Washington State. You know those mountains you see on the coast?
They’re not mountains.
Two months after those go off, we’ll all be buying Macs. Because Microsoft has its office right under one of the biggest sleeping giant volcanoes in the United States (Mt. Ranier). With a blocked cone.

Meaning that when it goes off, it’s going to create a pyroclastic flow event. If you live in Washington State and you hear that any of the mountains just erupted, get to the ocean as fast as you can and start swimming. 20 feet offshore will be safe from the gases from the pyroclastic flow. Ask Pliny the elder. He was six feet closer to the shore than Pliny the Younger. Younger Pliny lived, Dad didn’t.
Don’t assume that all volcanos do the famous Strombolian fireworks and lava.Yes, you could outrun most of Kilauea slow moving lava. But most Volcanoes don’t do that. Some do pyroclastic flow (superheaed ash), some do laharrs (superheated mudflows, like Mt. St. Helens), and a few just do ugly things like…. Blow up. Like Krakatau did. BOOM.
Sinabung, one of my favorite volcanoes to watch, is going to do that someday. BOOM. And nothing left. The cone keeps plugging itself and collapsing when it erupts.

Snow

Snow, meaning blizzards, is one of those “stay or go” questions. You are safer with your car unless it’s buried. Hopefully you have that Baofeng and a cell phone. Call someone. Now, if you’re miles from someplace, and you have no food or water, here’s where the decision gets made for you. GO THE DIRECTION YOU CAME FROM. Hopefully, you know where you are, have a compass and a map. Get your shoes off, stuff anything cotton like a handkerchief into the sox, put your shoes back on. If you have plastic bags, put them on over your shoes.
Go the way you came. You know you came from somewhere! Forwards is not always the best solution, unless you know for a fact you are only a mile away from the destination. Wrap in layers. Take clothes off as you start getting warm. Wind is the killer, not snow. Snow is actually a good insulator, unless its mixed with ice.
The most dangerous situation is walking across a snow field that’s dry powdery snow on top of a frozen layer. If the field of snow is on a 14 degree pitch, stop, wait until noon, THEN walk. I’m not kidding. That’s how avalanches start.
If of course the field of snow above you is well… two inches higher, then you’re fine. Keep walking. (how would you know if it’s a 14 degree pitch? If you can’t estimate well… and who can? Carry a protractor in your car!).
Do not eat the snow. Scoop it into a bottle and hold it in your armpit. It will melt the snow. You still get dehydrated in the cold.

Rule of thumb… overheated, get wet, spread your arms and legs away from your body.
Freezing… get dry. Pull arms and legs up to your core.

I know some of you have things to add… chime in and add your own survival hints! What are must have items in your BOB? What did I forget and leave out?

6 Things You Need to Know to be a Writer

Back when I started writing, well, it was in my dining room in Willingboro, New Jersey when I was in 1st Grade. Yup, I wrote my very first story in while I was attending Midvale Elementary school (Armand! What’s going on? How ya been?). Most kids in my class were still learning to read. I was writing.
I wrote on and off most of my life. I never had a single book or lesson in it. No advice from anyone. I knew a guy in Newport who wrote like me, but in many ways he was a nay-sayer, because he never gave me any advice, but would listen to my ideas and shrug and say, “Who’s going to like that?”
It was great that the 2Guys Movies production company actually cast him for a role in my first movie script. Apparently, someone did like the idea!

I’ve now got a lot of books on Screenplay Writing and Book writing, and I’ve learned a lot about writing novels. What six things do I wish someone had told me when I was first starting out?

  1. Write Every day. Yup, that one’s a big one. I could have been published years ago if I’d just known this. Every time you sit and write something new, you learn. Things happen. Your character occasionally does something unexpected. I can’t explain it. If you’re just trying to write a single novel within a genre, with a different character every time, things happen a little slower. But even in mysteries, where you expect the protagonist to remain unchanged, they sometimes end up doing something different, and it surprises you.
  2. Write different genres. I’ve read one article where someone actually advises you find your own genre, and stick with that. It may work for them… but I’ve found that you’re going to write within your genre the most anyway. But when I tried working on Screenplays (my second medium, so to speak), I found my fiction writing dramatically improved. When I began putting together ideas for non-fiction, it improved my writing. All this benefits your writing overall ,but mostly in your genre!
  3. Your first draft you can skimp on words to open scenes. I often end up setting up a scene just with “so and so is sitting at a desk.” Okay, by no means is that anything resembling good writing. But, I need to get words on paper, and that’s my “drop it and run” line.
  4. Rewrite your novels. Ywriter got me in this habit. Both Ywriter and Scrivener have status labels, allowing you to call something “Rough draft”. That’s a clue. I go a level further and call it “raw draft” for my first. Then “Rough” is the second, for me, once I’ve finished putting in real scene openers.
  5. Embrace procrastination.This one I got from Jerry Jenkins.Your mind needs to hum and tick on your story, before you start hitting keys. Don’t take too long with it, but you may find the first month of writing punctuated with brief pauses. Let your mind work! Once it hits a span of four days, you’re now wasting time. Write!
  6. Buy Scrivener. Trust me on this. Night and day. That novel you’re not finishing would be done in Scrivener already, and you’d be working on book 3 or 7 by now.

Conclusion

The above advice would have helped me a lot through the 70’s and 80’s, where I wrote very little, except in six month segments, where I’d start novels and abandon them. Absorb that which is useful to you, discard the rest, and WRITE!

MOS

A Funny acronym that makes its way in Movie Scripts to this day is the cryptic MOS.

“The man on the TV is speaking MOS.” Is how the usage reads in many cases.
What does it mean?

MOS means silent. We don’t hear the man on TV.
Huh?

Why? Why is it called MOS?

Director Eric von Stroheim used this trick a lot in movies. He was from Austria, and his usual speech was, “We’ll shoot this mit out sound.”
Hence – MOS.

Page Counts for Novelists!

Jurassic Park – 448.
Andromeda Strain – 350
Left Behind – 468
Fellowship of the Ring – 480

So why are they trying to push 283 pages as being the most you should have???

5 Reasons Writers Should Ignore Nay-sayers

I read recently how a lot of writers simply don’t write because they fear they’re not any good. We’re all afraid we’re not very good at something. I struggle sometimes to do some tasks that seem ridiculously easy to others. I’m sure that everyone has the voice of failure speaking into their ear constantly. Many people know how Stephen King wrote “Carrie” and then threw it in the trash when he finished it. His wife pulled it out of the trash, and now he’s a household name.

Sure, you may not think you’re good enough – and you may know people who give you horrible advise about your writing that make you want to give up. Was that the best advice for Stephen KIng? And is it still the best advice for you?

Let’s face it… we all have fear. But if we let our fears dictate who we are, then we’d never accomplish anything in life! I asked a woman once to marry me, positive she’d turn me down. If I’d let that fear rule me, then I wouldn’t have a quarter century of marriage with her today.

Write. Just write. Write your book. Write your novel. Write your short story. Just write.

Is it any good? Who cares? You’re writing because you have a story you need to tell, advice you need to give, an argument you need to make! Just write!
Why?
Here’s 5 reasons!

  1. You’ll get that story done. It’s going to be a huge relief to finish it! Why do people create? Because they NEED to! And who cares if it’s good? The first draft may be terrible… but you’re going to re-write and re-write and re-write… and you’ll get better every time!
  2. You’ll find out what parts of it you’re good at you never suspected. What if one artist who suffered from depression listened to other people about his paintings, and admitted he wasn’t a portrait artist? We’d never have Bob Ross, a man who created masterpieces in less than half an hour, and convinced millions they too could paint! And trust you me, I’d love a Bob Ross on my wall!
  3. You’ll enjoy it! Half the fun of creating a novel is seeing what changes you hadn’t anticipated! But if you don’t write… you’ll never have that discovery!
  4. Someone else may enjoy it! I’ve had books and stories I’ve owned that resonated within me. There was something they wrote that reached me deep inside. If they’d let their fear or nay-sayers stop them, I’d have missed that connection!
  5. And you might just get published! I had a neighbor who paid hundreds of dollars to get her poetry published in a book, to be able to look at a bookshelf, and know this was something she’d done! Certainly Stephen King had wanted and hoped to be published, but never thought it would happen. Now, he lives in a lifestyle where he can sit… and just write! Whether you get published traditionally or eBook, that’s a milestone that will be a big “I told you so” to everyone who thought otherwise!
Conclusion

People have all my life told me the chances were against me in everything I did. I don’t know, maybe I’m stubborn, but I’ve done many things well meaning people told me I’d never be able to. Don’t let your fears or other people rule your life!
Just write!

The Winning Logo!

Logo number 4 from Logaster! Yes, I paid money for it… but when you compare the $275 a lot of other companies charge for it, the $30 was a no-brainer! I was able to download i think about 50 different graphic files of this logo, plus designed business cards, a Favicon, and designed business envelopes and letterhead/fax designs!

So, how do you order all the extras? Logaster does the rest for me… with a click of a button, it ports it over to Zazzle where I can order it.

When you think of it that way, $30 was cheap for a custom logo!

How to Master The Art of Working Harder than You Need To in Writing!

At last, the secret is revealed here! How to take years to finish your book, face frustration and delays, and the right software to keep you from finishing your novel!

Interested?

A lot of people MUST be, from what I’m seeing. Let me tell you a little story from earlier this spring.

I took an online class with East Anglia University about Screenwriting, and the subject of Screenwriting software came up. The instructor (Michael) explained that the tab system for Screenplays is a little difficult, but if you just buy Magic Movie Screenwriter or Final Draft,
1. they automatically do the formatting for you
2. both have a lot of tools that reduce the workload,
3. and Final Draft is the industry standard.

No kidding, someone asked in the class discussion part – “What software should I use?”
I answered “Final Draft – you stand a better chance of being taken seriously if you just use Final Draft’. I also explained there’s a no-frills, lower cost of screen-writing software called Fade In you can use until you can afford Final Draft. And of course, Final Draft has many features you won’t find anywhere else that save a LOT of time.

Someone came in after me, and immediately chimed in that with only 6,000 hours of template formating and creation, you can get Microsoft Word to work almost kind of. Everyone began to answer excitedly, “I’m going to use Microsoft Word!!!”

Dumbfounded? It’s true! Move on to Jerry Jenkins, Michael Hyatt, and many others. In many, many, many articles I’ve read, no kidding, authors / novelists all are beginning to chime in and say, “If you want to buy one piece of inexpensive software that will DRASTICALLY change the way you write, stay tuned, I’ll give you the name of that software.” You read the article or booklet, and finally, they all tell you the same thing – if you DRASTICALLY want to change the way you write forever, then you want to buy Scrivener (no kidding, I’m writing this blog entry in Scrivener now!).

So what are most authors whose books aren’t finished after six years of writing still using? Microsoft Word.

Microsoft Word is good for BASIC tasks, and for BUSINESS writing, where linear flow is no problem. Want to drastically reduce the time and work to write a Business plan? I can tell you one $40 piece of software that will impact your job positively, and allow you to write that business plan FASTER. Answer – Scrivener.
Want to write a book? Fiction or non-fiction? Answer – Scrivener.

Want to write a movie screenplay? Answer – Fade In until you can afford it, then Final Draft.

Until you’ve tried these two software titles, you have absolutely NO IDEA how much time you’re WASTING using Microsoft Word, Open Office, LIbre Office etc. . Using Microsoft Word to write a book or Screenplay is like using a chainsaw to chop down a tree,, instead of pulling the chain and letting the chainsaw do it. It’s like buying a cart, then putting the horse in the cart and tugging it down the street.

Writing a book (fiction or non-fiction) with Microsoft Word or Open Office was okay ten years ago. You didn’t have Scrivener. You didn’t have Ywriter.

Those programs are out now, and they ENCOURAGE creativity. They ENCOURAGE editing. They ENCOURAGE speed and work-flow.

Writing a book or Screenplay with Microsoft Word (six times more expensive than Scrivener) is senseless. It costs more, slows you down, makes editing nearly impossible, and you cannot visualize your workflow as well.
Yes, you’ve got ONE DOCUMENT. Quickly, find the section where the scuba diver is pulling the shark tooth out of the sunken ship, and the head pops out, and he loses the tooth!
Unless you spend the extra time to write an index of scenes and update it daily… what page is it on? Get there in two seconds. Ready…. Go. TIME! Find it yet?

No? Because I’m already editing the scene in Scrivener.

Look at your document in Word. Who is in the scene at the coroner’s office? Quick, answer that. Who’s in that scene? I’ll wait, while you scroll through your document to first find the scene, then read it. And I’ll tell you that in less time than it took to write this sentence, I found the scene in Scrivener, took a look at the index card, and saw it was the Coroner, Chief Brody, and Hooper.

The truth about writing is that it is enjoyable, exciting, and fulfilling. The secret is to use software that enables you to look at not only PORTIONS of your book quickly, but also the entire project when you need to. Scrivener and Ywriter both have tools that allow you to focus on things like the who (is in the scene), the what (object in the scene), the where (scene location), when (the scene is) and the why (what happens in the scene) are ALL available at a glance in both programs.
You CAN’T do that in standard word processors.

If you want this benefit, act now. Get YWriter for free. Then when you’re convinced, buy Scrivener (it’s just $40) and find how much more rapidly and confidently you’re finishing that novel. I easily hit my 1,667 words a day, thanks to the word count indicator in Scrivener, and often shoot past that. It’s more work to try that in Microsoft Word.

Conclusion

Give these programs an honest, dedicated try. You’ll be convinced once and for all as you see your page count JUMP. I can finish a 150,000 word novel in three months with Scrivener. How long is it taking you to finish your novel?

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