Tuesday, April 5, 2011

OmniOutliner Love

I've had a copy of OmniOutliner for years. I've even used it occasionally in the past. But when it came time to outline the book I'd already written, I'd forgotten about it.

I wrote the book in Scrivener, so you might wonder why the heck I need to outline it in some other app. That's a good question. The answer is that the current version of the book is in Word, with a big bunch of track changes to review. This means there's no way to go back to the great Scrivener. I have to stay in Word from here on out.

So I got some paper index cards and started outlining. Good. Now what? The index cards were fun to look at. I was proud of the stack. Impressed. But I couldn't figure out what to do with them. So I typed the outline into Excel. In retrospect this was idiotic, but I had intentions of using columns to remind me of what characters were in each scene, etc. But it's not really that flexible. The fact is, I'm only a genius because I fix my idiotic mistakes.

So I put the whole outline into Word, using the outline mode. That was more fun because Word outlines are collapsible. But then again, there are no columns. I need columns. I started wishing I had an outliner with columns: OmniOutliner. Duh.

So for the fourth time I put my outline in a new format. This time everything was cool. I've been working with that app for a while now and it works great and helps me stay organized. All of this is the long way to say I've been working on the book and have made significant progress. I've done more than outline. I've revised several chapters and have written a bunch of new words. The net gain with all the revision, deletion and new writing is 2200 words. Doesn't sound like much, but those are some pretty important changes.

I've moved the progress bar to 5%, which feels about right, but it's a subjective measure. Stay tuned.

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