Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

What I Use: Writing a Novel

(or, more accurately, Writing This Novel)

Well, seems like a good a week as any to talk about the tools I used to write my first novel, The Caledonian Gambit (available from fine bookstores now!). Someone asked whether the tech story behind the years long development of the book was basically “Scrivener + stuff?”

It’s certainly not far off. I’ve been through a bunch of different tools over the years, but Scrivener has been largely a constant. That’s because it lets me break down the story, creating separate documents for each chapter. (I know other writers who break down to scenes—that’s not the way I process, but in the end, it’s about whatever works for you.) My book follows two major protagonists, so in later revisions of the novel, I color-coded the various chapters to reflect which character was narrating—green for Eli, blue for Kovalic, and orange in the few cases where the chapter contained narration from both of them.…

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