Scrivener outputs your manuscript, or parts thereof, in many different formats. Here are screenshots of what the output looks like with comments and synopsis included, for one particular scene in Part 1 of Salvage. Note I still need to learn to keep internal thought italicized, instead of changing to underlined.
Through the surging crowd she glimpsed Master Geary talking with an older man — the grandmaster? — who often led the lessons. The grandmaster nodded, Master Geary bowed, then Master Geary worked his way over to the table where her mother now read.
Her smile faded. Uh-oh. Did… did I do something wrong?
A few minutes later, Master Geary navigated the crowd and approached her with an encouraging smile. “Hi, I’m Master Geary.”
Kaylah nodded. I know. She darted a look at her mother who was once again immersed in her book.
“I talked to your mother.”
At Kaylah’s expression, he quickly added, “You’re not in any trouble. In fact, you did very well on the course.”
“Uh…” She stared at her shoelaces. “Thank you.”
“Would you like to train with us?”
A broad grin returned to spread across her face. She nodded vigorously, her short curly hair bouncing around her face. “Sure! That would be great! Tuesday and Thursdays, right? I’ve never really did sports, but I really liked running the course. I’ll need a uniform, right? Will I—“
For a split second, all movement froze.
In the next instant, everyone scrambled for the door. As the crowd surged around Kaylah, crowding her, looming over her, she worked to keep on her feet.
Maybe this drill will go better?
Work continues on the Salvage project. I’ve leveled up (so to speak) in my writing, and I feel like I’m actually adding layers to Part 1 that add depth and, interestingly enough, streamline the story flow some. Work on Part 2 continues, sketching scenes in terms of dialogue and some action.
Meanwhile, I’m branching out with ideas about an article for Christian homeschoolers and an essay about Christan contemporary music’s lyrics as a reflection of society.
Okay here’s the writing snippet, but, a disclaimer — it’s raw writing, very little revision:
“Come to order!” The assistant director’s voice blared once again through the ancient megaphone. “Come to order!” The A.D., the diminutive Mrs. Holang-Lee, stood near the back wall, in front of a stack of crates, the black strands of her hair sweeping her face as she shook her head at the crowd.
Milling around, the colonists filled the converted cargo hold, their excited voices adding to the clamor of the kitchen staff working furiously. A few latecomers entered and passed Kaylah’s perch on a storage unit by the hatch. After the tank puncture scare, the animosity of the other passengers, and the complete ineptness of most of them when it came to ship drills, she felt safer near the exit.
As a beginning writer, I’ve struggled with describing my story ideas. After research, thought, and effort around the definitions of idea, concept, premise, synopsis, and theme in writing, I discovered a solid concept, premise, and synopsis can help me craft the story more robustly.
I came up with the following premise and synopsis for Salvage:
Here’s a little backstory on the ship in Salvage, Episode 1.
Brio’s Hope is a solid workhouse of a space transport. It’s old but serviceable, and the crew are used to working in a pinch and using what’s at hand to fix problems.
The small crew consists of the captain, first mate, cargomaster, engineer, doctor, and a new hire. Possibly few other unnamed crew. Most of the crew have been together a long time. While the captain owns the Brio outright, money is tight.
They’ve ferried colonists in the past but not recently, so this trip required some re-tooling.
The ship consists of a cylindrical dome on the front, followed by a ring of crew quarters, then the massive drive and engine, then the cargo holds. At the very end lie the crucial water tanks.
Water onboard is used for drinking and, in limited fashion, for hygiene and cleaning the ship. Water is also used to preserve valuable seedlings and embryonic tanks for the colonists. It’s also used to generate oxygen and in CO2 removal systems. Solid waste is not reclaimed/reprocessed but stored for to be sold for composting later. The colonists worked out a deal for the compost to be used on-planet when they get there.
The Brio uses a water reclamation system that’s usually about 90% effective, but slow. Inefficiency in the system comes from the planned non-use by the crew of solid waste recycling, in oxygen generation, and from losses within the CO2 scrubbers. The colonists brought onboard a system that processes the solid waste into fertilizer, but the process doesn’t reclaim that much water.
So, the Brio has planned water stops along the long route, as well as secondary stops favored by the crew and noted in an open-source database used by most spacecraft
I’ve completed a draft of the first part of the first episode of the Salvage project. May not seem much, but it took a great deal of honing my writing craft to get here.
If you’re interested in being a beta reader, let me know. I will — hopefully — cruise to the novel’s midpoint by early next year. The time I’ve taken to hone the plot and supporting scenes should really help.
Dim lights flickered on, illuminating curved metal walls extending into darkness. While he waited, he put one hand on the smooth metal, envisioning the giant struts just outside, encasing the tube and holding the water tanks fast to the body of Brio’s Hope.
From down the corridor came soft sounds, a light series of tapping soon followed by tiny green lights swirling around the tube, moving closer. Soon he could see the crowd of centipede-like robots spiraling around the corridor walls, the cleaning brushes sweeping around conduit and pipe. They soon streamed around him, on their way to their docking stations.
The drone shot out of Brio’s starboard port. The shimmering light of the FTL bubble danced and shivered as it curved around the hull. Inside the ship in a narrow access alcove near the water tanks, Emmett and Mr. Davis watched its progress on a small holographic display. A collection of manual controls, unneeded for now, ranged below.
So, sometimes a writer has to tighten her belt, er, plot. Did I mention my unique talent for making a short story very, very long? Turns out that’s something to rein in to create a great story.
After research, thought, and analysis, I’ve tightened up the plot for Salvage’s episode 1.