Looking forward to Wednesday's meet-up

Feature requests, and in-depth discussions of features and the way Mellel works

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Looking forward to Wednesday's meet-up

Post by Amontillado »

I'm very interested in hearing how others use Mellel.

A stack of index cards, for example, has always sounded like an effective tool for planning a manuscript. Forget a hierarchical outline, just take idea nuggets and put them in logical order. Write that. The reader isn't going to care about a pyramid-shaped outline.

I saw a video championing story notebooks, something I've never used. What if, I thought, I used a Mellel document as a notebook, a companion to what I'm writing just as an outline is a supporting document?

Two layers of auto-titles seemed about right, Chapter and Scene. Chapters are prefixed with page breaks. Scenes are prefixed with a return.

Things don't usually work the first time out, so I added an auto-title called Version. Chapter and scene were indented as subordinates under Version. Now I can have Opus 1, Opus 2, This Was Really Dumb, Opus 4, etc.

Next came another second-level auto-title called Character group with Character subordinate to that.

Plot device and Location went in as additional second-level auto-titles. That's probably as organized as I want to get.

It's an oddly comfortable way to plan a story. Start a Chapter, get an inviting blank page somewhat insulated from other Chapters by vertical white space. There's a sense of continuity while maintaining fences between major ideas. If a character or plot mechanism is relevant to several points in the story, each of those Chapters or Scenes can contain a cross reference to the Character, Plot device, or Location that has relevance. Auto-titles are natural cross reference targets.

Whether or not I use this setup long term, it seems a lot nicer than a physical notebook.

Any thoughts?

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