Monthly Archives: March 2013


Okay, so today I felt that I needed to ‘get my hands dirty’ so to speak and begin to use Scrivener properly for the first time.I booted up the program and began with the character section because I have had two characters in mind for some time now. They are both protagonists and will work together in the roles of mentor and student.

I then went to google and ran a search of all likely characters to be given a massive range of images from which to chose from. I did not really want a complete image of my characters but rather pictures that would illustrate an aspect of their appearance. After a fruitful harvesting of images I then began to narrow them down to about three and load them into the research section of Scrivener, taking care to label each carefully i.e. protagonist 1’s hood and cloak. or hairstyle.. I even happened across a perfect setting picture of a forest which I imported and used as my desktop wallpaper too by way of inspiration.

Next I began to flesh out the two protagonists in my character section, adding their pictures and details about them, all suggested by Scrivener. Soon I was finding myself being drawn into the character’s backstory. An immediate consequence of this was that some initial, rough ideas could be thrown away at once as the characters would not relate in that way due to their backgrounds and manner. As a newbie writer it was exciting to feel a character begin to show signs of life in this way. It is certainly a moment I will not forget.

The end result was that my secondary protagonist, the mentor, had a much richer backstory and so was the stronger, more believable character. The main protagonist looked two-dimensional in contrast until I happened across a third character, now dead. As soon as I realised this character needde to have existed in protagonist 1’s life, I found a whole new backstory begin to emerge, each jigsaw piece posing questions that lead to further depth and more questions.

The final piece of work I did today was to import my setting picture into the settings section and flesh it out with some ideas, with particular reference to Protagonist 2 whose environment it is. Next I want to look at the antagonist and her main setting. I know that when I do, there will be alterations needed to the work done today and that is easy to do with Scrivener.

In fact, throughout all of today’s work, I found Scrivener clean and efficient. Now I can’t wait for tomorrow.


Over the past few days I have watched a lot of authors talking about where best to make a start with a story or novel. All have had differences and it has been these differences that have proved enriching. You see, it is clear to me that all writers need to approach this in a way that will suit them (hence the differences).

I remember reading that C.S.Lewis often said that he had an image in his mind long before any concept of Narnia ever surfaced. It was of a fawn carrying an umbrella and meeting up with a little girl in a snow-coated wood.  It is easy to see how such an idea would endure and appeal. Consider the many possibilities, only one of which was ever explored in ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ so many years later by Lewis himself.

I am not suggesting all writers should have a fawn in their story but I do think that ‘the fawn factor’ has a lot to offer. Namely, to start with a key image or scene that may already be written in one’s head in some detail. This would give the writer the tone for the entire story and help make a start on characters and setting. The outline would generate from this one scene that is so vivid. It could even be that in the end the ‘faun scene’ is removed from the story altogether but it has done its job and served to stimulate the writer to create more.

Just as with music, writing needs a tone, a timbre…ranging from light hearted, even flippant to more serious. Perhaps ‘the fawn factor’ would help the writer realise the tone needed more easily.

Get Published TV

Congratulations for finding your way to this website. Stick around for just a few minutes and you’ll be amazed at the vast about of information you’ll find.

In fact, there are over 30-hours worth of high quality training videos – all entirely dedicated to helping you write and publish your own best-selling book, and avoid the mistakes 98% of authors make.

I was looking through the app site and came across some writing tools, the most expensive of which was ‘scrivener’. After reading about it, watching a few introductory videos on the app on youtube and reading the reviews I decided to take the plunge. It is early days yet – too early to do any sort of review but the app certainly seems to be packed with features. Here’s hoping!



Screenshot showing the Scrivener corkboard

For as long as I can remember stories have always held a fascination for me. When I became a teacher I found that, although my memory was often far from perfect and I could be absent-minded to Olympic standard, I could always remember a story in quite exacting detail. I enjoy the more personal telling of a story rather than the reading of one where appropriate. But I think it was when I started to embellish those stories I told with details of my own that I began to entertain the idea that one day I may write. To me, that was the sort of amazing idea that could only be kept on a top shelf to collect dust. Now and then I would stumble upon it and smile. The idea always made me smile as a pleasant but fantastical notion.

Now, as my circumstances are about to change I have the chance to re-evaluate aspects of my life and what I want to do with it. In doing so I find myself returning again and again to that shelf and taking down this idea of me as a writer. I am beginning to ask myself if it might not be possible. Why not write? After all, I am not writing to be on some bestseller list or to make pots of money. Both would be great, of course, but they are not what is driving me to return daily to that shelf.

It is simple the desire to write.

Of course I realise that there is a great deal more to writing professionally than just the desire to write. However that must surely be the foundation stone. In order to record and help clarify my thoughts and ideas, I have set up this blog to set down my journey.

So please accept this invitation to follow me. Feel free to offer suggestions and comment.