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The Third Rule is now at an end.

It has gone away to be fettled prior to release and that’s more or less the end of my creative involvement with it. There was a tear shed, I can tell you.

But we move onwards and upwards – or sometimes just a little sideways. And the new venture? The new venture is called Scrivener.

I’ve heard many a good tale from writers using Scrivener and was determined to have a closer look myself. I tried the free version during The Third Rule but because I was so keen to get on with my writing, I gave the new software a hard time (because I felt it was giving me a hard time), and so we parted company and I went back to Word.

Well, now that I’m in the throes of first draft writing again, it was about time we became reacquainted and gave our relationship another go; Scrivener after all, is made for first drafting. And yes, it is complicated, but I can see the benefits. Indeed, the good people of Goodreads have been very supportive (thanks, Tim), and I shall persevere this time around.

I don’t suppose I will ever master it, but if I can get to grips with the fundamentals then I am sure it will help me to reduce the huge amount of paper notes I used to keep. I was always acutely aware of the feeling I’d forgotten something with my old system – hold on, system? Okay, it wasn’t a system; it was literally a stack of paper with TO DO scribbled on them, and more with DON’T FORGET… and occasionally a DONE!

The one organised part of me was a Chapter Profile document I kept. I found this invaluable for telling me who starred in each chapter and what their emotions were; what it was about; the word count; the date in the story. At the end of The Third Rule this document spanned 13 pages and had over 11k words all to itself; and over the nine years it took to write the book, this was the document I referred to most.

During the course of writing a novel, one can amass dozens of names and places and so I would keep all these in a separate document entitled (holding your breath, aren’t you?) Names and Places (you were right!). Anyway, I’m hopeful Scrivener can take over these roles and help me reorganise the book as it progresses, instead of me taking a pair of scissors and a roll of Sellotape to the Chapter Profile (yes, it’s true!).