Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Marshaling a Plan for NaNo Prep

The Marshall Plan Novel Writing Software
see more screenshots

For weeks I have been deliberating on what approach to take with my NaNoWriMo novel this year.  I've been gearing up in my mind to really and truly start prep a month to six weeks before November 1st so that I'm not using the first 5 to 7 days of November for that and can devote myself to writing the scenes as the clock ticks over to midnight on Halloween.

As much as I enjoy participating in NaNo, I've also developed a certain dread of it as the accumulation of NaNo novels in my computer files represent a daunting exercise in editing.  They call to me with plaintive pleas at one moment and with scornful rebukes the next.

Why do I need yet another massive mess of manuscript wannabe? I have asked myself each year since the my forth NaNo.  This will be my tenth November Nano.  There were also three Camp NaNos.  Then there were three JuNoWriMo novels.  And four ScriptFrenzy files.  And let's not forget the Sweating for Sven challenges in 2007.

Let's not even talk about the novel and short story files that made their debut before or between WriMos.

Thankfully, I've not begun any new stories for the six ROW80 rounds I've participated in but focused my goals on editing and reworking the existing WIP.  But my year of dabbling in the massive WriMo messes has made me yearn for a way to diagnose each one's malady so I can apply appropriate remedies.

Well, the doctor was in my inbox this morning in the form of an email from Evan Marshall, author of The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing which I had repeatedly checked out of the library a few years ago and blogged about at least once.  He had found my post mentioning it from 2009 and wondered if I'd be interested in trying out their new software for writers based on the book that has become a classic in the genre.

Would I?!  I shot back a reply and he replied in minutes asking Windows or Mac? Half an hour later I had it installed.  I spent my entire morning work session playing with it.  I won't go into a lot of detail about it this time as I'm still getting oriented but in a nutshell it is an interactive workbook based on The Marshall Plan book.

I'm finding the review of The Marshall Plan particulars priceless.  I couldn't get ahold of a copy of the book from the Longview library this year and it has been over a year since I had it checked out of the Rogue Valley system.

I didn't realize until a few minutes before starting work on this post that there were some extra goodies bundled in with the software.  7 PDF including The Marshall Plan itself and several on building a web based writer's platform and use of social networking.  I was going to list them but I'm running out of steam as it is hours past my bedtime.  You can find the list here as its the same bundle that comes with the program when you purchase it.

And take a look at this description of the software accompanied by many screenshots.

I have found only one drawback so far and that's the small fonts.  Probably a minor issue for most but with my visual impairment its a major irritant.  But its not the only ap I've had this issue with and I've a few workarounds.

I'll be blogging my experience with this software going forward as I first prep for NaNo then do NaNo then face the edits beginning in January.  Maybe this year I won't make a mess I can't bear to look at again after the clock strikes midnight on November 30th.


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