‘Say Hello to My Little Friend…’

However difficult it is to put together a book as nuanced as Soap: The Inside Story…, it would be infinitely more difficult without the use of a little program called Scivener.

My last two books were written in Microsoft Word and let me tell you, there is a difference.

As you can see here, Scivener allows you to drag-and-drop not just chapters, but individual pieces of the book. Once you get used to this, your mind starts composing the book a different way. Take the sample above [a rough draft I should point out here]. In the chapter about the making of the Soap pilot episode, I can change the order of whom I discuss first in terms of casting (Robert Mandan could just as easily come after Katherine Helmond, for example) simply by grabbing the section in the left-hand column and moving it.

I can also keep all of the short biographies I wrote about cast and crew — which will be included as sidebars throughout the book — all in one place. Finally, I can color code each section to let me know where it is in the writing process. Blue, I’m sure you’ll be happy to discover, means a section has been completed. Yellow means it’s been sent to design (or Pamela Berman as she’s otherwise known), and the little silhouette icons tell me instantly that these are bios and not straight text sections.

Don’t get me wrong: the aforementioned Mrs. Berman will be the first to tell you I’m the last person to enthuse over technology. But when tackling a project of this size, I will welcome the most helpful tool in the basket.

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2 comments on “‘Say Hello to My Little Friend…’

  1. That’s interesting, Aaron. Thanks for taking us behind the scenes. Now quit playing with your Scrivener and get back to work! : )

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