I like my fiction gritty and detailed. I’m bugged by characters who don’t eat or sleep. Or stumble.

It means that some elements of the story require a fair amount of care. Sometimes this means a slow pace of writing and a lot of wandering around trying to balance a narrative flow against my base desire to be “right." I’ve had to resort to spreadsheets and other off-line notes to be sure that everything’s accounted for.

Scrivener is handy for keeping all of this ancillary material in one place.

As I wind down toward the end of book II (I’m at 135,000 words, today) I’m beginning to doubt my Scrivener strategy.

While the tool seems to be biased toward one book/article/screenplay per project, I have notes that transcend the individual books and belong to the series. I’ve been copying them from book to book. And that could lead to some inconsistencies.

(I’m a software developer, too. Copy-and-Paste programming is a curse. But. Changing a note doesn’t magically rewrite the relevant sections, I still have to search for each place where I mention the Red Knight’s sword when I make a pervasive change.)

I’m almost tempted to try and house multiple manuscripts in a single Scrivener project. This may become awkward, though, and it may be smarter to try and tag items that are copied with one of their “flag” or “book” icons to remind me that it applies more broadly than this book in the series.

Plus, of course, I’ve created my own problems by having separate OmniOutliner notes: all outside Scrivener. For some reason, I find a simple outliner a little nicer for free-form throwing ideas around. I think it’s because I’m still getting comfortable with Scrivener’s outlining.

First things first: four chapters to go. Then some rewrites of Book I (The Forge) to emphasize a few key points that have evolved during the writing of Book II (The Sword and The Crystal.) Then, and only then, I can outline Book III (The Crown, the Orb, and the Scepter.)