Kill Witchfire!

Yes, I’m admitting immediately that I’m using a clickbait headline, mostly…

Above, we have my heroine Witchfire, who is the star of my former attempt at doing something positive with the story world created by Danger Babe Central (NSFW link). I’ve been planning for the last few weeks to reboot the series and try to finish what I started.

Waiting for permission from Danger Babe Central’s owner to officially use images from his site in my new blog has given me some fresh perspective however. I’ve been forced to consider the possibility that “Mr X” may say no. He allows use of his characters for fan fiction, especially if it’s posted at his site, but borrowing images that he tries to make a living off of MAY be another thing entirely to him, even with credit and link backs given.

Long story short, that got me playing “What If” and planning for contingencies. The fact that using my own or alternative artwork while continuing the planned setting of Delta City never seemed a viable option got me to do some real thinking… Instead I was planning a story world of my own.

MAYBE the reality is that the nature of Danger Babe Central’s content bothers me more than I want to admit. All the sexual content there is non-consensual, and it’s honestly rather artless at that. It’s all physically overpowering the superheroines, never something more subtle like demanding sex in exchange for information, or the release of hostages, or just a heroine and villain get all hot and bothered while wrestling around, etc… Consensual sex? Forget about it. I’ve been so focused on trying to show I’m a good enough writer to create something worthwhile from that kind of story world, that I haven’t even bothered with the idea of should I bother? I’m wondering now if the two year gap in writing Witchfire has had more to do with that Writer’s Block post I did; how it’s caused by your subconscious telling you it’s a bad idea…

This WORKS, I Promise’

Don’t get me wrong, I see the potential to create something from Danger Babe Central. I wouldn’t have started the original incarnation of Witchfire otherwise. NOW, the question lingers if I’d be better off… more true to myself… creating my own story world with my own heroes and heroines, and a fresh narrative.

It wouldn’t be that hard to do. I’ve been creating hero characters for various games since the 1980s. I started with the pen and paper Marvel Superheroes game by TSR (now Wizards of the Coast), and have gone through multiple computer RPGs as well. City of Heroes, Champions Online, etc… Long story short, I have an already existing massive portfolio of characters good and evil to use.

The idea of creating a world where superpowers might mean increased libido without turning characters into cliches is appealing as well. Nevermind that I left so many dangling plots in all those old games…

Blast Off!

FINALLY… I got the new Silk Cords website launched this morning! It still needs some fleshing out and polishing in a few spots. I got several posts transferred over and re-written in some cases though. I even managed to set up an age gate and get a plug-in that allows me to stay compliant with all the Euro cookie rules.

As promised in an earlier post, I’ve kept the adult content completely segregated from the normal content, and intend to make sure any blog posts and notifications stay completely PG rated. There will be plenty of Erotica and talk about Sex though, along with the return of my Witchfire erotica series.

THAT was actually what caused the delay in launching. All these bright new features for WordPress are completely geared around everything on your blog being a post. The only way around that is a pretty solid knowledge of CSS code. The site will evolve as I learn there. Right now, it’s still pretty freaking awesome. How awesome?

It’ll hit you like Mjolnir:

I’m still trying to figure out how much ties into Thus far, it seems awkward at best. All stuff to work out.

No, I didn’t bury the lead either. I’m just building anticipation. 😀

Silk’s Writing Corner: Creative Writing, Erotica and Discussion on How To Write

Until I see that .org sites are tied into sites somehow, I’ll be posting notifications here regarding anything new popping up at the site.

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Blogs I Follow

New Site Progress Report & Other Stuff

It’s been a few days, so It’s past due time I checked in here. I’ve been hard at work on the new self hosted site. It’s getting close to finished at this point, but there are still some behind the scenes things that need to be polished and tweaked. Soon though… 🙂

Thinking over the site, and past experience here, I’ve decided that the new blog is going to focus entirely on writing. Absolutely no more social issues, political talk, personal drama (nobody cares), product reviews or even cooking posts. Just everything writing:

  • Vanilla Creative Writing; nothing over PG-13
  • Reviews of “How To” products on writing (books, videos, websites, etc..)
  • Critiques of movies and TV shows from a writer’s perspective; what works and what doesn’t
  • Erotica

Erotica and anything “Adult” related will be in a separate section of the blog, and will be behind an age verification pop-up. I’m going to do a better job than I did with this blog in terms of keeping anything NSFW behind that age check. That means NO racy pictures or backgrounds in the primary section of the blog.

Creative writing of all flavors will have separate pages, and the blog posts announcing new stories will only have links to those pages with a note regarding whether it’s NSFW or not.


Part of the process with the new blog has been moving some of my more relevant past posts and existing stories from the two old blogs to the new. I want to rewrite damned near everything also, and already have in a couple of cases. I noticed something though as I went back through my lists of pages and posts.

I jumped around WAY too much on the focus of each blog. With the actual creative writing, it was self doubt and too much real life drama killing my mojo. The stuff I tried to do as filler too often took over though. Not only that, I jumped from idea to idea as I tried to keep things fresh and attract new readers. Even when I tried to have a structured theme for daily posts I flopped. I just need to focus on the writing and stay consistent. THAT is my pledge with the new blog.

AND that I’ll also be upping my game across the board. No more holding back on my writing.

In Other News:

This isn’t the new blog, so I can sneak in one or two QUICK personal updates here.

First, the house that we got defrauded on is back on the market, at $50,000 higher than we bought it for. All the mortgage company or listing agents did was the most basic of house flipper cosmetic repairs to hide the defects (patching the cracked mortar, fresh paint, clean the carpets, etc…). It pisses me off that somebody else is going to be put in a likely world of financial trouble as well living in a toxic house. I have precious little idea what I can do to correct the situation though. The laws in Georgia are completely corrupt and promote screwing the buyer. I could get sued for tortious interference with a contract with most options or charged with trespassing if I put up signs, try to talk to people during open houses, etc…

Most people nowadays would sadly be content to sit back and let things unfold, especially if it meant the house would sell for enough money to put them in the clear. This level of injustice literally makes my skin crawl though. Likewise, it’s not right to be made whole at the expense of an innocent party.

And lastly, I *MAY* have a new job; a real one for the first time in a decade. I had the realtor job for a while during that time, but between my health and lack of money, I was never able to really make a run of it. I’m in the final phase of the hiring process. All that remains to be seen is if they will accept the fact that I’m a virtual blank. No social media presence, no credit history now thanks to following the Dave Ramsey plan, and really no recent job history as well.

I’m just glad that the spinal decompression and physical therapy got me to the point I can work again. The prospect of being a contributing member of society has been a huge morale boost.

Medium.Com, Content Ownership and Other Pros and Cons (Review)

11 minute read.

As promised in my last post, it’s time for a post about my experiences with

I’ve been curious about Medium for a long time. That curiosity has only grown as more bloggers and writers seem to migrate there. My investigation was hardly In-depth, but I managed to do enough digging to uncover the major pluses and minuses.

The Big Drawback:

I’m not one to bury the lead, so I’m going to lead with what SHOULD be the biggest drawback for creative types, and explain what it could mean.

That big drawback is that Medium claims ownership of your content from the get go, right in the Terms of Service:

Rights and Ownership

“You retain your rights to any content you submit, post or display on or through the Services.

Unless otherwise agreed in writing, by submitting, posting, or displaying content on or through the Services, you grant Medium a nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully paid, and sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, publicly perform and display your content and any name, username or likeness provided in connection with your content in all media formats and distribution methods now known or later developed on the Services.

Medium needs this license because you own your content and Medium therefore can’t display it across its various surfaces (i.e., mobile, web) without your permission.

This type of license also is needed to distribute your content across our Services. For example, you post a story on Medium. It is reproduced as versions on both our website and app, and distributed to multiple places within Medium, such as the homepage or reading lists. A modification might be that we show a snippet of your work (and not the full post) in a preview, with attribution to you. A derivative work might be a list of top authors or quotes on Medium that uses portions of your content, again with full attribution. This license applies to our Services only, and does not grant us any permissions outside of our Services.”

On the surface, the explanation for the shared (“nonexclusive”) ownership seems reasonable enough. Especially if one considers how legally complicated the world has gotten today. People will sue over anything, and distort even legitimate business practices IF it means there’s a chance at making a fast buck.

I’m overly-suspicious after being defrauded by everyone from the moving company to our real estate agent, contractors and lawyer in the last couple of years.

Exaggeration, but it makes the point. 😀

Here’s where *I* start to get suspicious. Two paragraphs down from that quote is this:

“We may stop providing the Services or any of its features within our sole discretion. We also retain the right to create limits on use and storage and may remove or limit content distribution on the Services.”

Google at least USED TO include similar language and ownership rights in their TOS for all their online services (Gmail, Google Docs, Cloud Storage, etc…). Essentially the first part gave them permission to data mine the *bleep* out of you via going through your online work. The second part holds them harmless if they lose your stuff due to a server crash or whatever: “We said we owned it and could dispose of it as we saw fit”.

Last I looked, Google had either buried their similar TOS language even deeper or eliminated it. I”d bet on the former not the latter. The point is, I’d bet Medium has the same rights set up for similar reasons.

Data mining… It’s unavoidable. Everything you do online or near an online connected device is tracked. THAT is not an exaggeration. So, it doesn’t matter where you post whatever you do.

Data Loss & lack of responsibility for it… That’s easy also. Just cut and paste your posts to M$ Word, Libre Office, or some similar program and keep a backup copy. Given how much they hold nowadays, you can keep YEARS of posts on a single thumb drive. You SHOULD do this regardless of the platform you use.

Beyond that, there’s the POTENTIAL of what I see a greedy company with crooked lawyers being able to do with those permissions.

Yes, still trying to have a little fun there. I really can see how that “nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully paid, and sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, publicly perform and display your content and any name, username or likeness provided in connection with your content in all media formats and distribution methods now known or later developed on the Services.” COULD be twisted by a halfway decent lawyer to give Medium permission to do whatever they want with your content though, right down to running it through a content spinner and / or just reselling it for their own profit.

Crazy? MAYBE. Does Lexus (as an example) need to give a TV or Radio network ownership of their cars to advertise them though? Even with the modest understanding I have of the law, the “sub-licensable” term is a wildcard for potential misconduct: “No, it wasn’t in our direct ‘services’ to sell your script for Bambi 3 to that adult film maker”, BUT it was within the range of marketing services of that company we subcontracted… and therefore within the Terms Of Service you agreed to.”.

Am I being a bit paranoid there? Yes. They’re probably not going to care much about the content posted by more people. None the less, I think the potential for abuse is clearly there.

The Positives:

First, there’s a HUGE plus to switching over to for many writers: The amount of views and “claps” (ie Likes) you get are typically MUCH higher than on WordPress. One author I know who uses both Medium and WordPress and runs the same book ads on both sites. She gets less than a dozen views and maybe 2 likes on WP, while that same ad on Medium gets hundreds of “claps”. We’re not talking Stephen King here either. Just an average self-published author working off of Amazon, Smash Words and similar sites.

That’s a BIG difference in numbers, and people caring enough to actually give a “clap”

One former WordPress blogger also mentioned in one of her last WP posts that Medium also gives you stats on how long people are spending on your post. This can be a really helpful indicator regarding whether or not your posts are truly getting attention, or just “drive by looks”. The latter is likely to indicate you need to need to do something different than you did in that post.

Nominal Setup Required: A plus for the technology challenged, but perhaps a minus for those who really want to customize their blog or site is that Medium runs off a pretty standardized format. There’s not much website to set up beyond adding a few pictures and social media links and filling in the “about me” page, which is apparently required to help cut down on scam sites. The “about me” page can (by my limited understanding) be fairly general information however, and screen names are OK so long as they’re tied to social media accounts an “an active project domain” whatever the hell THAT is.

A Quality Editor / Interface: This next part is second hand information as I don’t have a full account on Medium, but multiple reviewers have said that Medium’s writing tools for composing a blog post are well designed, have reasonable depth and are very intuitive. I can’t remember anyone ever saying the same about WordPress. 😛 🙂

Swimming with Big Fish: Medium has CEOs, major media outlets and other “thought leaders” (as one review described them) among it’s community of writers.

Making MONEY from Your Blog: Yep, paying members have the opportunity to make money off of their blog posts. How much is determined by your view count (and probably the time per view also). I have little knowledge of the system or it’s pay rate, just that it’s there as a possibility.

Also A Joke. 😀

Social Media Tie-Ins: Maybe a negative IF you dislike social media as much as I do, but Facebook and Twitter are both tied to Medium, making it easy to promote your posts on those outlets as well as scan to see if Twitter friends are on Medium as well. By my understanding, Medium is also in the process of connecting with Mastodon in a similar manner.

The Negatives:

Cost: Medium does have a $5 a month member’s fee. This might be seen as a negative to somebody who likes their free WordPress account. I’m going to outright argue it’s a good thing though. Why? Because it’s a minimal fee and keeps out of the picture the people who blog only to collect likes or troll or scam people… err sell stuff in their blog. For less than the cost of one Starbucks cup of coffee, you’ve increased the quality of the group tenfold.

You Don’t Control the Platform: In plain English, that means that has content moderators. If you put up something that violates the TOS, they can gank that content. The general content prohibitions are fairly standard for hosting content:

  1. Nothing that’s a Trademark or Copyright violation. Also give credit to sources.
  2. No Graphic Pornography, although nudes are OK. No pedophilia also, but that SHOULD be common sense.
  3. No “Hate Speech”, and they do seem to have a pretty broad definition of the term.
  4. Nothing “promoting” (ie even mentioning) self harm in any form. I’m NOT sure if this includes depictions of drinking or drug use, but it covers everything else from suicide to cutting and other forms of injury.

There are also rules against any kind of harassment or cyber bullying, as well as pestering people for follows and claps.

Most of this is NO big deal for me. It’s common decency, AND the same restrictions are already in place here at The same is true at most any other site you could use as well. My only concern is the “hate speech” ban.

Anything perceived as a negative portrayal of a protected group can potentially fall into that definition if it’s interpreted with enough bias. There’s a HUGE difference between some racist piece of trash neckbeard saying “I hate N words” and somebody else writing a post saying that Black Lives Matters’ rhetoric MAY be too heated at times and could actually hurt their cause. Yet both could be interpreted as hate speech by somebody with a severe enough bias.

Unfortunately, I don’t have enough inside information to make a valid determination as to how balanced’s interpretation of that rule might be.

Bottom line though; it’s really not TOO much different than The enforcement of things like copyright rules may be a little more vigorous however due to Medium being a more visible target for lawsuits nowadays.

Changing Trends: This is something I saw mentioned at least once; the idea is that if Medium is no longer trendy or goes under, you’re out of luck. Reality is, that’s ANY internet site or platform that you use. Social Media startups have come and gone like crazy the last 10 years. Facebook has lost popularity, Twitter is imploding, and yes WordPress is (in my opinion) slowly dying also. It’s a danger, but you’re no more at risk using Medium than anyone else.

There’s ALOT of Competition: What I mentioned about big fish up above can also work against you. There’s alot of quality writers on Medium, so no matter how well you write, it’s going to take networking on the site to get noticed. Like most of the negatives here however, the same can be said of ANY blogging, writing or social media platform.

The difference that I see at first glance is that Medium gives me more of an impression of writers who want to engage with each other. Where WordPress has a twitter style vibe of trading likes for likes (and who cares what you actually said), Medium FEELS more like writers wanting to boost each other up. Granted, that’s only a first impression, so I may be wrong. It’s the vibe I’m going with though.

Some of WordPress’s Metrics are Better: WordPress does track more data regarding your post than Medium does. Information such as what time of the day do you typically have the most views as one example. If you’re obsessed with numbers, WP might be a better bet. In my 5 years of experience in my other blog however, quality, consistency and networking count for alot more than statistics.

This next negative, I’m quoting directly from an article at

You (Probably) Won’t Earn a Fortune: Although you may welcome the opportunity to earn a little extra income, it’s important to be realistic about your potential earnings even if your content is of an extremely high standard. According to data released by the company in September 2020, the highest sum earned by a writer in the previous month was $49,581.31, with 6.2% of its active writers earning more than $100 per month. Flip this around, and it also means that almost 94% of the platform’s writers make less than $100 per month.

What that author didn’t consider is that 100% of authors are absolutely ZERO directly from their blog content… barring Ko-fe or some similar tipping service. Medium has similar tipping and donation options by the way.

I’d LOVE to know who made almost $50k on their writing that month by the way, LOL.

Lack of Advanced, Code Based Options: Typically a concern for advanced writers with at least some coding background. There’s no A/B testing options, tracking pixels or custom code allowed with Medium. Options there are pretty limited on as well however, and you typically will need a more independent account to get all those technical options.

“Curation” is a Mixed Bag: Curation is a feature on Medium where the editors pick content they like and (theoretically) find exceptional, and feature it around Medium, and even in their newsletter. It’s great promotion IF you can get it. Reality is it’s fellow human beings with their own personal biases making largely subjective decisions about “best” content. Keep in mind my previous remarks about stiff competition as well.

Tracking and SEO: I’ve read that being under the umbrella of Medium’s vast array of content and writers mean that it’s hard to get noticed by search engines. In theory, the same should be true of, yet my sites both have turned up in searches without too much trouble. The reviews I’ve read on this are a couple years old, and Medium has supposedly been working to improve this problem for members. Realistically, I don’t know enough to comment here intelligently. My advice, consider it a possible issue, but keep a healthy skepticism.

Final Thoughts:

Personally, I’m a little uneasy about a few of the concerns I listed. Content ownership being the first one. I’ve seen a few articles that quote Medium as saying (much like Google eventually did) that “your content is yours and you own it forever”. The thing is, even if they really did say that in the company blog at some point, the Terms of Service carry far more legal weight, and the “we co-own everything with you” clause is still there on the web page.

POSSIBLE censorship is something else I worry about… a little anyway. Not so much about sex or copyrights, etc… I get the potential legal complications there. It’s the “hate speech” clauses in their TOS that bother me. The terms are broad enough that anything that offends anyone, no matter how sensitive they might be, can potentially be pulled. All I can say there is that I’m glad I’m not doing a political or social issues blog.

So is it worth it? I lean towards the advice I saw in another review of Medium: Use it as a secondary or mirror platform to increase your exposure. At the very least, it’ll give you an opportunity to judge for yourself how valid the pros and cons listed above are. If it turns out not to be for you, Medium advertises a “cancel any time” policy on their $5 a month membership fee.

Alive… AGAIN!

Yes, I’m back after a year and a half.

The last couple of years have been hellish, to say the least. On top of everything else I wrote about, we got defrauded on a home purchase, lost our life savings, got cheated by the lawyer we hired to help us, got severe COVID, and dealt with a dozen other lesser issues. I even injured my back with the rowing machine that I highlighted in a previous post.

Setting this blog aside has happened more than once already.

I’m grateful that by some miracle I still have all my followers. In a bit of irony, this blog got more views during my absence than my “main” blog did. Over twice as much for more than 15 months straight! Obviously I chose the wrong blog to step away from. As I’ve said on past posts however, it’s HARD (no pun intended for a change) to write anything remotely sexy when your world is falling apart.

I can’t say that I’m in an ideal situation at present. SOME things have improved. Some, such as the house, continue to dangle over our heads like the Sword of Damocles.

What II can promise my readers is that I’m mentally in a much better place than I have been in many years. I somehow in the midst of all the disaster regained my center. Everything just fell into place and I’m more focused.

Plans for the Blog:

First, I plan on returning to writing. Everything from a reboot of my Witchfire series to more “conventional” erotica. I think I’m FINALLY at a point where my former self-doubt is no longer killing my ability to write erotica. I’ve spent some time studying up on writing as well, so as to get myself to a higher level than my previous posts and stories.

For you kids who don’t recognize it, that’s called a notebook… and a pen. 😀

I’ve spent time sorting through quite a bit of trash writing advice and found some really good stuff as well, so on top of my usual stories, I’m planning on doing some reviews in the hopes of helping other authors find quality advice. Hint:’s writing classes are amazing. I will be reviewing far more than those however.

I also want to throw in some reviews of TV shows, movies, etc… from a writer’s POV and point out areas where I feel they made mistakes.

I’ll also be writing the occasional sex advice article like my previous one on boobgasms. I’m by NO means the absolute expert, but it SEEMS like bad ideas about sex are growing even faster nowadays than the hostile political climate.

I’m also going to be shutting down the other blog. It’s always been a distraction to my writing ambitions. I did nothing but cater to my audience and beg for followers. I’d prefer to focus my efforts here.

Eventually, I plan on hopping the blog over to paid hosting and switching to as well. More options, fewer restrictions, and I’m all but sure I can get a simple yes or no age gate to help reduce the potential for drama and let me get away with a few racy pictures. 😉

It’s good to be back. I missed you all.


Yes, I’m back. Real life had gotten kind of hectic. Some of that is detailed in the other, vanilla blog. That specific link will take you to my most recent post there, where I complain about feeling I can’t be myself or say what I want as a blogger. Read it if you want, if Not I understand. Be forewarned though; it is a classic redhead rant, lol.

What I’d like to dialog here about though is a calmer continuation of that whole mess as relates to sexy blogging. I have two main stumbling blocks when it comes to posting here or getting anything “adult” written.

First, as I mentioned in the other blog, there’s the worry of being judged and labeled. Doesn’t matter who you are, if you deal with erotica and similar topics, you’re either a whore or a male pig. You’d think being a redhead, I wouldn’t give a F what others think, BUT like most stereotypes, that’s all it really is. I have a fairly strong spiritual side and am an honest to goodness empath too. That last part in particular makes it hard to tune out the crap sometimes.

Second is a problem even “regular” writers face; I have to REALLY be inspired to write. In the case of erotica, that’s in the mood and able to visualize the scene almost enough that I could almost see it as I’m writing.

That second part is the bigger stumbling block by far. Those of you out there who actually find the creativity to turn out high quality stuff regularly, I’m truly jealous of.

So who has any advice? How do you turn off the worry and find inspiration? I’ve had several ideas for ages, I just haven’t been able to get them off the ground.

I Learned Something While I Was Gone

Still tired and still hitting the blogs later than I’d like to, BUT the followers here deserve a little something for hanging in there this long. 🙂

So, what I have today is a little piece of wisdom for writers. What I learned while I was away, but still rerunning my latest drafts in my head, was that my complete writer’s block almost always comes from not liking the direction the story is going.

It’s my subconscious telling me to stop, look it over, and rethink (rework) what’s happening in the story.

No, nothing I’ve tried to write is anywhere near THAT bad, but the meme was funny. 🙂

Thinking back though, every time I’ve hit a case of writer’s block that’s just seemed absolutely insurmountable, that’s been the case. My subconscious simply wasn’t happy with the quality or direction of my work.

I’m writing about it because that MAY be true for some of you also. Once you realize what the problem is, you can develop a plan top work around it.

Ironically, while working on this post, I came across this YouTube video that largely confirmed my intuition:

The video is only a little over 4 minutes long, but if you don’t want to watch it, here’s the synopsis:

Writer’s block is caused by a need to be perfect (or at least really good), and the cure is to give yourself permission to write garbage, and then let it work itself out in the editing and rewrite phase of your work.

If you’re too OCD as a writer to do that, at least stop, take a step back and ask yourself what’s NOT working with the project. Then STOP and listen to the answer from that little voice in the back of your head. From there, you can figure out what changes to make.

Need Some Reader Input

It’s been a while. For those who don’t follow my other blog (the PG rated one), I’ve been battling through some long term spinal issues, and finally got decompression treatments to try to restore my neck and back.

Excuses aside, I have been working on the next chapter in my “Witchfire” series. I’ve been stuck for a while at 8 pages (in Word) into the story though.

I finally had a breakthough and realized the issue. I was unhappy with the pace of the story.

I’m curious what readers here think though… Does the series move too slowly for you? Am I working in too many explanations into conversations instead of just getting to the fights and the kinky stuff?

It’s a tough line to walk; trying to create a real story out of porn, especially when it’s superheroine exploitation themed. If I can turn that into something readable though, I’m ready to write something I can publish

Riddle Me This…

A question (or two) for those who read my stuff and other erotica.

I try to do stories with actual plot in them. My Witchfire serial being a good example. That serial is why I’m asking this question. A chapter takes a long time to do right. Enough that I’m worried about getting discouraged myself or losing readers.

Would you prefer smaller chunks more often, even if some chunks didn’t have sex in them or would you rather wait for a full, longer chapter that has it all?

It’s an easier thing to break up most any other genre into smaller chapters, but people read erotica for the nakedness and orgasms after all.

Initial Impressions of Scrivener

Many moons ago, I downloaded Scrivener and said I’d give it a lookover and then report my impressions of it. Well, life got a little insane, distractions occurred, etc… Admittedly, I fell back into the familiar of using MS Word when I wrote also.

Side note here for new readers; every bit of creative writing I do, as well as some other work gets done offline first and then posted to the blog or other sites. That way I have master or backup copies of my stories. Admittedly, some of my posts are seat of the pants work though.

Getting back on track, I have started looking Scrivener over more carefully as I start to write. I’ve wanted something that lets me plan more carefully, etc… since as my writing is slowly maturing, I’m moving away from seat of the pants storytelling to plotting and planning. So what have I found?

First, Scrivener has a fairly nice tutorial to get you familiar with the program. HOWEVER, I immediately got pulled away from the computer when I first opened Scrivener months ago. Somehow the hands on document that went with the tutorial went poof. Probably a glitch on my end vs a bug with Scrivener. It has slowed my learning down though. The tutorial is supposed to take 2 hours total and “make you a Scrivener aficionado” when you’re finished.

Best advice; make sure you’ve got time to work through the tutorial before you fire it up, even if you plan on taking short breaks while leaving the computer running.

Even being slightly hamstrung in learning, I’ve noticed alot of nice features in Scrivener already. Most of them revolve around note taking and organization of secondary or supporting material for your writing project. You can even store pictures and such in the project’s media folder. Editing notes, a corkboard to “storyboard” your project. There are even “cards” to keep notes on characters and places involved in your story.

Think that last part is not important? Akira Toriyama, the creator of the Dragon Ball series of TV shows and manga (comic books) has had to be reminded by his crew that he created certain characters already or had an event take place or power manifest in a character. He’s not dumb or senile by any means either. He just has too many past and present projects.

So let’s be real. Do you NEED Scrivener? Is it the greatest thing in writing since the magical Author’s pen in “Once Upon a Time?” 😀

Reality is if you are an EXPERT with Microsoft Word, many (if not all) of the editing and notation features that Scrivener has are available in Word also. They’re not as obvious to a user who isn’t an expert though.

You could also set up separate documents for Plat and Chapter Synopsis Cards, Character Cards, Place Cards, etc… or set up a database file in MS Access to do similar work, along with a Windows folder to hold your supporting media. There’s alternative options for nearly everything Scrivener does.

IF you’re a plotter or even a pantser who likes to take notes for rewrites, where Scrivener truly excels is the ability to neatly organize,edit and access everything relating to your story in one place. It’s all there without swapping programs and sometimes easier to access and manipulate than with Word and supporting products.

I have not had a chance to test it yet, but another feature that Scrivener has that I like is the ability to write your project in chunks or segments, and later rearrange and compile them into a finished project as you see fit.

In the past, I wouldn’t have cared about that feature. I wrote completely linear; start to finish. As I’ve gained flexibility and learned to write where inspiration has taken me, I appreciate that idea more than having to leave a blank space in a Word document for a gap in a story and later ‘cut & paste’ juggling several blocks of text. Kind of like the lock editor is handy here if you decide one paragraph works better in front or after another one.

I’m going to admit a slight bias against Microsoft also, as I’m on my forth copy of office bought in the last 8 years because they keep finding reasons to invalidate perfectly legal copies. “That version is old now”, “sorry we don’t care that your hard drive crashed, you can’t reinstall that copy”… blah blah blah. Another $150 or more down the drain to pad Microsoft’s profits.

So, one of the best reasons to buy and use Scrivener in my opinion is it’s a $40 program with minimal Digital Rights Management that does everything that a $100+ copy of MS Word will do, along with organizing your project and a trick or two from MS Publisher.