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Writing

Quick revision tip for Scrivener

I finished the last scene for the current work in progress today. At least what I think is the last scene. As someone once said, art is never finished, merely abandoned. Before I abandon this one and try to sell it though I have to complete a thorough revise. And for those of you who use Scrivener (which I did for this project) here’s something I find invaluable.

It’s important for me when revising never to be in fear of taking a sharp scalpel to absolutely everything on the page. It’s also important for that editing to be ‘non-destructive’. Or to put it another way… I want to be able to revise freely but change my mind and go back to the old version if I wanted.

In Word and other word processors there’s track changes, of course. Which is fine but I hate all those coloured lines on the screen.

Scrivener has something called snapshot (Command-5 on a Mac). This makes a backup of the entire document you’re working on. You can compare old with new, roll back to the old version, and, very handily for me, name each snapshot to give you a clue where it sits in the editing process.

There are similar functions for other writing apps such as Ulysses. Whatever you use, I recommend the ‘feel free to cut like hell but always have an easy route back’ approach.