Scrivener Tutorials: Keywords and Compiling

It’s really been a crazy week for me at the day job, and I just didn’t have the time to post my video on Scrivener keywords. So this Saturday you get a two tutorials in one post!

Keywords are perhaps the most powerful feature of Scrivener, and Compiling a manuscript is perhaps one of the most challenging ones. These two videos close out my tutorial series, but I’m now looking at other websites and software that I’ve used that might be helpful for other authors.

Take a look at the end of Part 7 to see some that I’m looking at tackling. If you have one you’re curious about, leave me a comment below!

Scrivener Tutorial: Part 5: Keywords

I love finding tools or features that make my writing life easier.

When I was in junior high, we had to use notecards to keep everything organized. We created a code for our organization system, and that’s what we used for any kind of research paper. It was drilled into our heads how to keep track of references and quotes. In the creative writing world, however, we have to keep track of characters and themes.

That’s where Keywords come into play, one of the most powerful features of Scrivener that I’ve found, simply because it is so flexible and can be used for so many different things. It can help keep track of characters, locations, themes, missing scenes, and even a murder weapon for your mystery novel.

Watch my latest tutorial on Keywords to see how useful this organization tool can be.

Scrivener Tutorial Part 4: Using the Inspector

It’s been a busy year so far, y’all. I’m glad to get back to continuing my Scrivener tutorial series for fiction authors. I was really pleased to see how many people enjoyed the first three videos in my Scrivener playlist, so now that festival season has gotten a little bit quieter, I’m jumping back in with it.

In this video I tackle the Inspector and show features like labels, statuses, notes, an document references. I also show how to add color to your Binder to help organize scenes, chapters, and books.

BookCon and Vending as an Author

BookCon was an incredible experience.

When I say that, I don’t mean just the convention. It’s a huge event and of all the festivals and conventions I’ve attended, I felt the most at-home there as a reader than I ever have before. There were reading nooks, book giveaways, inflatable bean bags, and of course, plenty of Starbucks to be found. But what made BookCon incredible for me wasn’t just the event, it was the people.

You see, we had a group of determined indie authors get together and decide that yes, we were going to pitch in to get a booth at BookCon. And yes, we were also going to find a way to get to New York City along with a bunch of books. You know, without going broke. So we did just that. It was really a tough decision, and we all had to budget and plan and coordinate. We had to figure out what we could bring, who could bring it, where we would stay. We had flight delays, panic attacks (have you seen the traffic in New York??), parking woes, and somehow found a way for seven women to share a single bathroom.

I think when most people see an author at a convention, they’re super excited, but they don’t always understand the work that goes on behind the scenes to get there. Writing a book is a truly difficult process. Stolen was a work of love that started back in 2013, but some authors work on a book for even longer.

At these events, I have to get in front of strangers and talk to them about the books available at the booth. Most seem interested, and that lifts me every time. Others give you a polite shake of the head, say “no thanks”, and move on. Some people might internalize that kind of reaction, but you have to learn to smile and nod, understanding that every reader has different tastes.

It’s still tough though. That’s your book baby that’s been incubating for eight years. It’s a piece of yourself in physical form, a world you’ve glued together, characters crafted out of thin air, and scenes that would possibly blow people’s minds… if they gave it a chance.

We live in strange times, where writing a book alone usually isn’t enough. You have to work to convince people that it’s good, then you have to continue writing. Wash and repeat. I personally love doing this. I love talking with fans about my work and seeing them light up when I describe the premise of Stolen. That’s the response that keeps me going. That excitement is what pushes me to keep grappling with manuscripts, whether it’s in the writing, editing, or proofing stage. That glimmer of curiosity is what motivates me when I can’t sleep and watch dawn come through the curtains of a New Jersey Airbnb on the last day of BookCon.

BookCon was an incredible experience, and I hope you’ll watch the video I’ve put together that shows what it was like. At the end, I list out all the amazing booth members and booth helpers we had, but I wanted to list them again because they were amazing. Go check out their work!

Here it is, our final day of BookCon!

Festival Kick-Offs

I think one of the awesome things about being a local author and a co-owner of a small business is that you get the chance to be part of the kick-off for some awesome events. Last year we got invited to the 4th of July Family Fun Fest and that was one of the best events we attended last year. I not only got interviewed live on the local radio but I also sold copies to folks who would go on to be some of my biggest fans.

It’s like you get an preview into a place that you know is going to be filled to the brim in a couple of years. That’s how I felt at the First Annual Sewell Mill Storytelling Festival a few weeks back. They only had ten vendors for the event, and we were lucky enough to be part of it!

It was a small event, but since the center is attached to the library, you get to see all the excited kids who walked through. For the first year of it running, I was thrilled to see the turnout that we had!

Hope you enjoy my video (with a lovely cameo with Q)!