Aeon and… God, I need coffee…

It’s too early for this crap.  I need coffee because I still have this twilight zone-ish feeling I get from waking up.  Sort of like your bones don’t belong in your body and your flesh is a big puddle of goop someone threw on your bones.  Modern art.  Back to writing about writing…

I’m currently learning Aeon Timeline for writers.  I didn’t think I needed it but this rewrite of Standing Stone has proven me wrong.  Ouch.   Seriously, ouch.

I need the timeline for Will and Joe, but that isn’t what started this.  What started it was “Under the bed”.  It’s a chapter that has Will, Joe and Mac hiding under a bed, out of their jurisdiction, trapped as a possible serial killer walks around his house.

If he catches them, you can kiss three careers goodbye.  And not only are they trapped under the bed, they are trapped there together.  A current lover who plans on keeping Will, Joe.  A former lover who wants Will back, Mac.   Poor Will in the middle of this mess.  Yeah, it ain’t too cozy under that bed.

I realized that the action is so fast, I was screwing up the timeline.  I also woke up to the fact, the timeline for the entire story is iffy.  I could sit with a tablet and write it out or I could dig out Aeon and use it.  I paid for the damn thing so I pulled out Aeon and installed it.   [Disclaimer:  Okay so I got it cheap by winning NaNoWriMo but I still paid for it.]

I forgot what a learning curve these programs have. Scrivener is a nightmare learning curve.  I’ve relegated it to fancy word processor to save my sanity.  I hate Microsoft word.  It’s as fussy as a old queen on crack.  Not much learning curve but fussy.  I hate fussy.  Well, and I hate Microsoft so…

Opening Aeon, my first reaction was “Oh shit.”   I remember trying it without instructions before.  That’s pretty much why Aeon was put away for two years.  It was worse than Scrivener.

And it raises the question why they don’t make these programs more intuitive.   How would you ever guess that “Go out in the back yard, strip naked, paint yourself pink and lavender,  dance around the clothesline pole naked, come back in and start a new paragraph [event]” is the way it works?  They need to do some serious work on these programs and find someone who knows how to write a manual.  You practically have to translate the manuals that come with the program AFTER you find them, somewhere on the net, hidden…   It’s easier to translate a dead language than a Scrivener or Aeon manual.

Oh wait!  You can use the videos.   Even getting past the bad sound and the rapid fire instruction… HELLO, we are ON the video because we are clueless, slow the hell down…  because of my learning disability, videmus of how to use Scrivener is useless.  [I like videmus because it makes the instructional videos sound like a disease. ]   I either have to write my own instructions from the videos or find a damn manual for it to be any use.  Oh wait, the manual that is worse than a dead language.  Sigh.

Admittedly, you can find Scrivener for dummies, Scrivener classes by people you need to pay to learn it and lots of other help for the Scrivener impaired.   The problem is what they teach?  I usually don’t give a rats toot about until I need it.  And 99.9% of the time, I don’t need it.   I do my printing on   And it hasn’t failed me yet.  Print PDFs, epub, and mobi turn out perfect when we test them in different readers.

Front page from Pressbooks for Standing Stone

So, it’s pretty much limited in its usefulness which makes me reluctant to pay for further instruction.   If you can prove to me how taking the classes is valuable to me, I’ll pony up the money.  So far?  No pony.

Aeon turned out to be valuable after I figured out the initial video.  It was start, stop, scribble in note book, start up Aeon, watch the same thing again stopping to follow along in Aeon, read notes and… I’m lucky I’m not bloody bald.  BUT I did do this:Aeon timeline of events at suspects house

And let me tell you as fast as that scene is, I needed that timeline.

I downloaded Save The Cat software to take a look at but quite frankly?  99.99 [marked down to 99.95] is not in the ballpark unless it writes the damn story for me and edits it.  Yeah, I know.  I’m a cheap bastard but I grew up writing on a manual typewriter and was ecstatic when they came out with the electric ones.  So software must prove itself very useful before I jump for it.  Aeon and Scrivener made the cut because they are both extremely useful and, well, cheap.  Especially since  I won the half off during NaNoWriMo.

And frankly, with the learning curve on both?  They have to be cheap.  All I want out of life is someone to make a no brainer writing software.  Is that too much to ask.  I mean what the hell is wrong with intuitive?  Is it a dirty word or something?

Ah well, it sure beats MS Word/Office any day of the week.  [That’s pretty much why I went to Scrivener.  It works fantastic as a word processor.  Plus how can you beat $20 bucks?]