Mark Noldy


Creating Order from Chaos

Although the headline was shamelessly stolen from the Literature and Latte ad copy for Scrivener, it comes the closest to describing what this writing tool has done for me. I’m not even close to using all the features yet, but I have found that I have far fewer papers and notes spread out over my desk. My favorite feature? The Character synopses.


Besides turning me from a pantser into a plotter, I think Scrivener is helping me create better characters. Previously, the extent of my casting was to think of a character from a TV series or movie. Now I can add this description to my character sketch cards, adding my own physical characteristics, personality traits, and back story. As I write, I have found myself going back and forth to the characters’ sketches to augment the dimensionality of the characters.

Since forming the habit of writing every day at the same time (4 a.m.), I have become much more familiar with my storyline and plot twists. When I add a new personality trait to a character, I find that I am easily able to go back to tweak a previous scene involving that character.

As this is my “first” story (“first” in that I want to publish it for Kindle), I know that the characters must be multi-dimensional to engage young adult readers. But more importantly, it’s more fun and challenging to write when I have to think about how people would react. I am finding myself thinking, “Oh, he would never be so brash,” or “She would not talk like that behind someone’s back.” These character dossiers have definitely helped me to see my characters as real people.

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