25 March 2010

Scrivener, more value of, and Spotlight on the Mac

In working my way through the structure of the novel in Scrivener today, I realised I had lost an important chapter, a thousand words or so on the history of the protagonist's father in China from the 1930s to 1957. I knew it was important, important in informing my head about the weight of direction of the story, whether it was to stay in the story or not. Somewhere it had dropped from an earlier cobbled draft.

I could not find it by looking in all the sensible places. I found it when I realised I could use Spotlight on the Mac to search for key words not mentioned in other places. I remembered that his patron had been the general who had become mayor of Beijing in 1949, so a search for Mayor of Beijing produced the text, the name of General Nie Rongzhen and all the history which I have now been able to improve with fresher mind and seeing where it is able to fit in the structure of the novel, thanks to Scrivener. Yes, I'm pleased to have an application that works for me, helps me organise, rather than shapes me to its own designs.