The Mandalorian Review: Chapter 1

The Mandalorian Review: Chapter 1

If you’re a long-time Star Wars fan, and have kept up with this generation’s movies, you’re probably aware of the reported drama and disappointment around the brand over the last few years (a quick YouTube search will take you down a sad rabbit hole.) Some argue that a political agenda may be motivating the franchise’s recent decisions, and others simply feel like the recent Star Wars movies haven’t lived up to the brand’s heritage and mystique. My intent with this review isn’t to get into all that. That said, wherever your opinion lies, I think its safe to say that Star Wars fans just want good content. We know it’s universe is rich with possibilities, and we want to see them realized.

Enter The Mandalorian, a new space western Star Wars series available only on Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+.

The blurb from the series page reads as follows. “After the fall of the Empire, a lone gunfighter makes his way through the lawless galaxy.”

Mandalorians are known across the galaxy as trained assassins, bounty hunters, and the like, and our main character in this series is no different. Though, that’s not to say he is without heart–more on that later.

Chapter 1 opens as the Mandalorian comes on the windy, icy scene, referencing his tracking beacon, as he closes in on his target.

(light spoilers ahead)

He enters a space bar, and space bare things ensue. There’s a few patrons roughing someone up, and that someone happens to be the Mandalorian’s bounty (target for capture). A fight breaks out, and our main character is toting his bounty across the galaxy. 

Upon delivering his cargo to his customer at another cantina, the Mandalorian begins inquiring about additional bounties. It quickly becomes clear that the next job is much more nefarious: off the record, untracked, and underground. There is no bounty puck to identify his target, and very little information about how to proceed.

The intrigue picks up quickly as the Mandalorian visits a  kind of former Empire official who insisted on meeting face to face to exchange information, and to present the Mandalorian with his down payment for the job.  This sets the Mandalorian off on his adventure to retrieve a very special target. 

All in all, I really enjoyed sitting down with my son to watch this. We both loved it. I’ve seen it twice already in the last 48 hours.

4/5 Bounty pucks!

If you’ve been starving for some fresh Star Wars content that doesn’t feel like a rinse and repeat of the traditional formula, but still retains the charm and appeal of Han Solo and what would have been his world, then you’ll probably enjoy this. The twist/reveal at the end had us bouncing around the living room. If you’re a fan, go check it out!  

 

Scythe Review

Scythe Review

I’d give Scythe 4 gleanings out of 5.

This is a fun book filled with well-rounded characters, an engaging plot, and a very interesting world draped in religious overtones with hints of sci-fi. For me, this amounted to a curious mix of environment and feeling that the author, Neal Shusterman, pulls off well.

Scythe is set in a distant future but feels like its set in the near future in some ways. Countries are organized and named a bit differently, but they still feel familiar. America is called midmerica, for example, and you’d recognize many of the same things we do today, like pool parties. But there are bigger things that are quite a bit different from our world today. Civilization is more, well, “civilized.” There is no real crime, and, ironically, everyone has agreed to let the Scythes, modern-day grim reapers, stalk the world and “glean” people in order to keep the population totals under control. The book explores how people hold the honorable Scythes on a pedestal and the various human traits that surface in an environment with those dynamics. Very interesting stuff.

Technology has also evolved. The cloud *(Internet and data accessible from anywhere) has become the Thunderhead, a benevolent overseeing Skynet type that is in the background of the story until… it’s not.

Nanites have been made available to everyone to help them heal, or deal with the pain that would have been experienced in the “age of man.” Society can even leverage the nanites to shape or reshape their bodies to their liking.

This makes the whole notion of killing almost moot. If someone dies, they are “deadish,” and can be revived at a healing center. Only when someone is gleaned (or burned) are they truly gone, and beyond help.

In short, the plot revolves around two children that are selected to become Scythe apprentices, both under one single honorable Scythe—an unprecedented move. Their worlds are turned upside down as they come together only to get torn apart by warring factions and belief systems within the Scythe conclave.

What results is a fantastic adventure that easily held my attention, and drug me along for the wonderful ride.

 

 

The Crimes of Grindelwald Movie Review

The Crimes of Grindelwald Movie Review

 

I’d give Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald 3 wands out of 5

(It should probably be 2.5 wands, but out of respect for Ollivander and not wanting to break a wand in half…)

My son and I went to see Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald this weekend, and for the second time seeing a movie in The Fantastic Beasts series, I walked away feeling bewildered, and disappointed. Not just at the confusing plot lines, mind you, but at how a movie with such a great cast, and such a wonderfully rich world like Harry Potter’s can continue to execute on movies in this way.

Alas, I’m probably sounding too critical.

The cast was very good. Johnny Depp was fantastic, but not to overshadow the great performances by everyone else, really. The acting was great across the board, in my opinion, no issues there.

The material has a ton of potential. It’s the Harry Potter universe, after all. The back story on the world, and some of these characters has left fans wanting more for years. Grindelwald… the American version of Hogwarts and the Ministry of Magic over here… young Dumbledore…Lot’s to work with. Perhaps that was the issue.

The problem was the movie was just okay, and for me, that was largely due to the plot. You have a story of Grindelwald, his escape, and his attempt to win over the magical world with his seductive charm. That seemed to be the main theme they tried to convey. That’s all well and good, I suppose, but the other plot lines were more interesting to me. They should have been explored more thoroughly, and explained better. I won’t go into them because they lead to spoilers, and this is a spoiler free review. Instead, we get a fake love triangle, a hint at Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s past relationship, and other, either meaningless, or under developed storylines that just muddy the plot that’s brought to the forefront.

All in all, I feel like the movie tried to do too much with the wrong stories, and didn’t dive deeply enough into the ones I wanted to know more about.  This resulted in my disappointment on two fronts. First, the plot feeling all over the place, and slightly confusing, and second, the plot being relative to something I didn’t care much about. Furthermore, all the twists in the movie were apparent to me, except the last one, which is a big one, and that one even fell flat because of how it was delivered. 

I’m sure I’ll buy the movie when it comes out because it’s a Harry Potter movie, and because I want to give it another chance. Of course, that’s what I said about the last one…sigh.

The Shadow’s Servant Podcast Appearance and Audiobook Update

The Shadow’s Servant Podcast Appearance and Audiobook Update

I hope your Thanksgiving was great, and that you got to spend time with your families. I’ve been pretty focused on launching The Shadow’s Servant in the last few months, and most recently, working with the narrator on the audiobook. So, I just wanted to get a couple of fun updates out there for you, especially since it’s been a while since I’ve posted one.


Podcast:
I recently joined the Reading with your Kids podcast to promote The Shadow Magic Series and to talk about writing in general, writing for kids, and a whole bunch of other things (we even got into horror and stuff like that). I was a bit nervous, but it was a good time and a great experience. You can give it a listen here. Tell me what you thought of the interview.

The Shadow’s Servant Audio Update:
The Shadow’s Servant audiobook production is finished! I’m actually done reviewing the narration, too, and the narrator, Steve Barnes, has the edits and is working on all the little nits I sent over for him to review. If all goes well, The Shadow’s Servant will be released on audio in the next week or two! I’m always so impressed with Steve’s narration, and this time was no exception. The audiobooks continue to be my favorite version of my work. 

The Shadow’s Servant Pre-order is Live

The Shadow’s Servant Pre-order is Live

This author’s favorite day is finally here! (I mean, this is the closest I’m getting to childbirth, right?) After a ton of work, and all kinds of snafus and the like, I’m delighted to announce that The Shadow’s Servant ebook is up for pre-order worldwide, and we have an official launch date of Sept 7th across all platforms!

Not only that, but I just sent the manuscript to the great Steve Barnes, the same narrator who did such an amazing job with The Magic Shop audiobook. He’s signed on to do The Shadow’s Servant as well, and I couldn’t be happier. He’s trying to get a little reading in before he starts production in September, as well.

Here are a couple quotes from two of The Shadow’s Servant’s Alpha Readers.

1) “It was super fun seeing Marcus survive so many challenges and try to uncover the truth that his family continued to hide over and over again. I found myself constantly trying to figure things out and being deceived by other character’s double-intentions.” —Wattpad Reader

2) “I haven’t read an actual book in a while and it reminded me of my love for reading. They really need to make a movie of this, as I read I could picture everything vividly.” —Amazon Reader

If you enjoyed The Magic Shop, I think The Shadow’s Servant will really blow you away.

If you know anyone that likes this kind of book, please spread the word. I need all of you fair readers to help this book see the kind of launch it deserves.

Happy reading!
Justin

Solo: A Star Wars Story Movie Review

Solo: A Star Wars Story Movie Review

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Directed by Ron Howard

I’d give Solo 3.5 parsecs out of 5 in this Kessel Run

Summary Summary

Perhaps I had high expectations of this movie. After all, I had really enjoyed the most recent run of Star Wars films: Rouge One, The Force Awakens, and The Last Jedi, even though that last one got seriously mixed reactions from fans (I still really enjoyed it – minus the Leia force moment).

So, I was excited to see Solo. As characters go, Han Solo has always been a fan. I was anxious to get more of his backstory, just like everyone else. At its core, Solo is a young love story, but it quickly turns into a story about friendship and the consequences of your decisions.

The movie starts off introducing us to a world where children are captured and used to plunder and steal for a local gang, of sorts. As long as the children do what they’re told, they have food and shelter, and they have somewhere they belong.

As one of these youth, Han is trying to find a way out. He wants to get away, and become a pilot. If he can steal for the gang, and skim enough off the top, he can save up to buy a ship, and get him and his girlfriend out of their situation, and off the planet for a fresh start at a new life.

Without spoiling the show–things go right until they go wrong. Han and his girlfriend get separated, and the rest of the movie is about him trying to find her again. They run into each other again, but under very different circumstances. They still love each other like they did in the past, but they have both changed, and done things that complicate the prospects in the present.

Overall, Solo is a good movie, and safe to take your kids to. You’ll enjoy it, I think, but it’s not the best of the most recent Star Wars movies.

Cirque Du Freak A Living Nightmare Book Review

Cirque Du Freak A Living Nightmare Book Review

Darren Shan is a regular boy—besides his love for spiders—with regular friends, and regular problems. But everything normal in his life turns upside down when he discovers a mysterious flyer informing him of a forthcoming circus. Excited, he shows the flyer to his friends, and they begin plotting a way to attend.

Audiobook Sample:  CLICK HERE

Darren and his friends learn about the circus little by little, until they are so intrigued with going that they amass the means, and manufacture the truth they need to tell to attend. But what they find is no normal circus—its full of freaks—and the danger they pose is all too real…especially the Vampire!

The book touches on the meaning of friendship, and loyalty, and explores the meaning of love, and sacrificing one’s self for the greater good.

I listened to the audiobook version of the story, narrated by Ralph Lister. He did a phenomenal job with the storytelling, and the voice acting.

I give this book 4 deflated soccer balls out of 5. Recommended!

 

Scrivener Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac

Scrivener Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac

If you use Scrivener, it’s likely that you’re interested in maximizing your writing productivity. Scrivener is a powerful writing tool that gives you flexibility and control over almost every aspect of your writing. One of the best ways to speed up your writing workflow is to become a power user through the use of keyboard shortcuts. Below I’ve included a comprehensive list of Scrivener’s keyboard shortcuts for the Mac version of Scrivener.  

Scrivener Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac

  • ⌘ = Command Key (Apple Key)
  • ⌥ = Option Key (Alt Key)
  • ⇧ = Shift Key
  • ⌃ = Control Key
  • ↑ = Up Arrow Key
  • ↓ = Down Arrow Key
  • → = Right Arrow Key
  • ← = Left Arrow Key
  • ↩ = Return Key
  • ⎋ = ESC Key (or ESC)
  • ⇥ = Tab Key
  • ⌫ = Delete Key

Shortcut List

SCRIVENER

  • Preferences ⌘,
  • Hide Scrivener ⌘H
  • Hide Others ⌥⌘H
  • Quit Scrivener ⌘Q

FILE

  • New Project ⇧⌘N
  • Open… ⌘O
  • Close Project ⇧⌘W
  • Close Project and Clear Interface Settings ⌥⇧⌘W
  • Close Window ⌘W
  • Save ⌘S
  • Save and Rebuild Search Indexes ⌥⌘S
  • Save As… ⇧⌘S
  • Import > Files… ⇧⌘I
  • Import > Web Page… ⌥⌘W
  • Export > Files… ⇧⌘E
  • Page Setup… ⇧⌘P
  • Print Current Document… ⌘P
  • Compile Draft… ⌥⌘E

EDIT

  • Undo ⌘Z
  • Redo ⇧⌘Z
  • Cut ⌘X
  • Copy ⌘C
  • Copy Special > Copy without Comments and Footnotes ⌥⇧⌘C
  • Paste ⌘V
  • Paste and Match Style ⌥⇧⌘V
  • Select All ⌘A
  • Select Current Text ⌥⌘A
  • Complete ⌥⎋
  • Complete Document Title ⌃⎋
  • Insert > Line Break ⌥⌘↩
  • Insert > Bookmark Annotation ⇧⌘B
  • Insert > Current Date & Time ⌥⇧⌘D
  • Scrivener Link > New Link… ⌘L
  • Find > Find… ⌘F
  • Find > Find Next ⌘G
  • Find > Find Previous ⇧⌘G
  • Find > Use Selection for Find ⌘E
  • Find > Jump to Selection ⌘J
  • Find > Project Search ⌃⌥F
  • Find > Find by Formatting… ⌃⌥⌘F
  • Find > Find Next Formatting ⌥⇧⌘G
  • Find > Find Previous Formatting ⌃⌥⌘G
  • Spelling and Grammar > Show Spelling and Grammar ⌘:
  • Spelling and Grammar > Check Document Now ⌘;
  • Spelling and Grammar > Check Spelling While Typing ⌘\
  • Special Characters ⌥⌘T

VIEW

  • Document/Scrivenings ⌘1
  • Corkboard ⌘2
  • Outline ⌘3
  • Zoom > Zoom In ⇧⌘>
  • Zoom > Zoom Out ⇧⌘<
  • Go To > Previous Document ⌥⌘↑
  • Go To > Next Document ⌥⌘↓
  • Go To > Enclosing Group ⌃⌘R
  • Go To > Editor Selection ⌘4
  • Layout > Show/Hide Binder ⌥⌘B
  • Layout > Show/Hide Inspector ⌥⌘I
  • Layout > No Split ⌘’
  • Layout > Split Horizontally ⌥⌘=
  • Layout > Split Vertically ⌘”
  • Layout > Show Layouts ⇧⌘)
  • Editor > Lock in Place ⌥⌘L
  • Editor > Forward in Document History ⌘]
  • Editor > Backward in Document History ⌘[
  • Editor > Other Editor > Forward in History ⌥⌘]
  • Editor > Other Editor > Backward in History ⌥⌘[
  • Editor > Other Editor > Scroll Up ⌃⌥⌘↑
  • Editor > Other Editor > Scroll Down ⌃⌥⌘↓
  • Media > Play Media FIle ⌘↩
  • Media > Fast Forward ⌥⌘}
  • Media > Rewind ⌥⌘{
  • Page View > Show/Hide Page View ⌥⇧⌘P
  • Corkboard > Show Pins ⌃⌘P
  • Corkboard > Show Stamps ⌃⌘S
  • Corkboard > Show Keyword Colors ⌃⌘K
  • Move Focus To > (Next Pane) ⌃⇥This menu item cycles left to right through Binder, Left/Top Editor, Right/Bottom Editor, changing to the next target.
  • Move Focus To > Binder ⌃⌥⌘B
  • Move Focus To > (Left/Bottom) Editor ⌃⌥⌘E
  • Move Focus To > Right/Top/Supporting Editor ⌃⌥⌘R
  • Inspect > Synopsis ⌃⌥⌘I
  • Inspect > Notes ⌃⌥⌘H
  • Inspect > References ⌃⌥⌘N
  • Inspect > Keywords ⌃⌥⌘J
  • Inspect > Custom Meta-Data ⌃⌥⌘M
  • Inspect > Snapshots ⌃⌥⌘M
  • Inspect > Comments and Footnotes ⌃⌥⌘K
  • Outline > Expand All ⌘9
  • Outline > Collapse All ⌘0
  • Outline > Previous Container ⌃⌥↑
  • Outline > Next Container ⌃⌥↓
  • Reveal in Binder ⌥⌘R
  • Enter/Exit Full Screen [OS 10.7 (Lion)+ Only] ⌃⌘F
  • Enter/Exit Composition Mode ⌥⌘FYou can also use ⎋ to exit composition mode if this option is selected in Scrivener > Preferences:Compose.

PROJECT

  • New Text ⌘N
  • New Folder ⌥⌘N
  • New From Template > (First Template Document) ⌥⇧⌘NIf you set a Template Folder, this shortcut is applied to the top document in the folder
  • Show/Hide Project Targets ⇧⌘T
  • Text Statistics ⌃⌥⌘S
  • Project Statistics ⌥⇧⌘S
  • Project Notes ⌥⌘P
  • Show/Hide Project Keywords ⌥⇧⌘H
  • Meta-Data Settings… ⌥⌘,

DOCUMENTS

  • Open > in (Left/Bottom) Editor ⌥⌘O
  • Open > in Right/Top/Other Editor ⇧⌘O
  • Open > With All Subdocuments > On Editor Corkboard ⌥⇧⌘O
  • Open > in External Editor ⌃⌘O
  • Snapshots > Take Snapshot ⌘5
  • Snapshots > Take Snapshot With Title ⇧⌘%
  • Snapshots > Show Changes > Next Change ⌃⌘]
  • Snapshots > Show Changes > Previous Change ⌃⌘[
  • Duplicate > with Subdocuments and Unique Title ⌘D
  • Duplicate > without Subdocuments ⇧⌘D
  • Set Selection as Title ⌥⇧⌘T
  • Move to Trash ⌘⌫
  • Split > at Selection ⌘K
  • Split > with Selection as Title ⌥⌘K
  • Merge ⇧⌘M
  • Group ⌥⌘G
  • Ungroup ⌥⌘U
  • Move > Left ⌃⌘←
  • Move > Right ⌃⌘→
  • Move > Up ⌃⌘↑
  • Move > Down ⌃⌘↓

FORMAT

  • Font > Show Fonts ⌘T
  • Font > Bold ⌘B
  • Font > Italic ⌘I
  • Font > Underline > Single ⌘U
  • Font > Strikethrough ⇧⌘_
  • Font > Bigger ⌘+
  • Font > Smaller ⌘-
  • Font > Show Colors ⇧⌘C
  • Font > Copy Font ⌥⌘C
  • Font > Paste Font ⌥⌘V
  • Text > Align Left ⌘{
  • Text > Center ⌘|
  • Text > Justify ⌥⌘|
  • Text > Align Right ⌘}
  • Text > Copy Ruler ⌃⌘C
  • Text > Paste Ruler ⌃⌘V
  • Lists > Next List Style ⌥⌘→
  • Lists > Previous List Style ⌥⌘←
  • Formatting > Copy Formatting ⌃⌥⌘C
  • Formatting > Paste Formatting ⌃⌥⌘P
  • Scriptwriting > Script Mode ⌘8
  • Scriptwriting > Show Script Elements Menu ⇧⌘Y
  • Show/Hide Ruler ⌘R
  • Show/Hide Format Bar ⇧⌘R
  • Highlight > Highlight ⇧⌘H
  • Comment ⇧⌘*
  • Footnote ⌃⌘8
  • Inline Annotation ⇧⌘A
  • Inline Footnote ⇧⌘F
  • Options > Typewriter Scrolling ⌃⌘T
  • Bibliography/Citations… ⌘Y

WINDOW

  • Minimize ⌘M
  • Minimize All ⌥⌘M
  • Zoom ⌃⌘-
  • Zoom All ⌃⌥⌘-
  • Zoom to Fit Screen ⌃⌘=
  • Layouts > Manage Layouts ⇧⌘)
  • Float QuickReference Panels ⌃⌘Q

Miscellaneous

  • Help ⇧⌘?
  • Open/Close Scratch Pad ⇧⌘↩The Scratch Pad hot key can be set in Scrivener > Preferences:General.

Inspector

  • Document/Project Notes ⌘6
  • Document/Project References ⌘6

Scrivener Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows

Scrivener Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows

If you use Scrivener, it’s likely that you’re interested in maximizing your writing productivity. Scrivener is a powerful writing tool that gives you flexibility and control over almost every aspect of your writing. One of the best ways to speed up your writing workflow is to become a power user through the use of keyboard shortcuts. Below I’ve included a comprehensive list of Scrivener’s keyboard shortcuts for the Windows version of Scrivener.

 

Scrivener Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows Documents

  • Move Item Up: Ctrl+Up
  • Remove Item Shift+Del
  • Move Item Down: Ctrl+Down
  • Move Item Left: Ctrl+Left
  • Move Item Right: Ctrl+Right
  • Split At Selection: Ctrl+K
  • Split With Selection as name: Ctrl+Shift+K
  • Set Selection as name: F2
  • Duplicate Item With SubDocuments: Ctrl+D
  • Duplicate Item Without SubDocuments: Ctrl+Shift+D
  • Take Snapshot: Ctrl+5
  • Take Snapshot With name: Ctrl+Shift+5
  • Open in Editor: Ctrl+Shift+Return
  • Open in Other Editor: Ctrl+Alt+Return
  • Open In External Editor: Ctrl+F5
  • Group Selection: Ctrl+G
  • UnGroup Selection: Ctrl+Shift+U
  • Merge Documents: Ctrl+M

Scrivener Keyboard Shortcuts for Editing

  • Add Current To Completions: Ctrl+Alt+=
  • Show Spelling: Ctrl+8, B
  • Insert Image: Ctrl+Shift+H
  • Insert Current Date and Time: Ctrl+F6
  • Project Search: Ctrl+Shift+G
  • Undo: Ctrl+Z
  • Redo: Ctrl+Y
  • Cut: Ctrl+X
  • Copy: Ctrl+C
  • Paste: Ctrl+V
  • Select All: Ctrl+A
  • Find Dialog: Ctrl+F
  • Find Next: F3
  • Find Previous: Shift+F3
  • Replace And Find Next: Ctrl+H
  • Paste And Match Style: Ctrl+Shift+V
  • Find By Format Dialog: Ctrl+F3
  • Find Next By Format: Ctrl+Shift+F3
  • Find Previous By Format: Ctrl+Alt+F3
  • Complete Current Word: Alt+=
  • Complete Current name: Ctrl+Alt+4

Scrivener Keyboard Shortcuts for Files

  • New Project: Ctrl+Alt+Shift+N
  • Open Project: Ctrl+O
  • Page Setup: Ctrl+Shift+P
  • Print: Ctrl+P
  • Close Project: Ctrl+F4
  • Save: Ctrl+S
  • Save As: Ctrl+Shift+S
  • Compile: Ctrl+Shift+E
  • Import Files: Ctrl+Shift+J
  • Import Web Page: Ctrl+Shift+W
  • Export Files: Ctrl+Shift+X

Scrivener Keyboard Shortcuts for Formatting

  • Toggle Invisibles: Ctrl+Shift+\
  • Toggle Ghost Notes: Ctrl+Shift+7
  • Show Citations: Ctrl+8, C
  • Toggle Ruler: Ctrl+Shift+R
  • Fonts: F4
  • Toggle FormatBar: Alt+Right
  • Toggle Typewriter Scrolling: Meta+Ctrl+T
  • Annotation: Ctrl+Shift+A
  • Footnote: Ctrl+Shift+F
  • Script Writing: Ctrl+4
  • Outlined: Ctrl+;
  • Script Elements Popup: Ctrl+\
  • Strike Through: Ctrl+Shift+-
  • Bold: Ctrl+B
  • Enlarge Font: Ctrl+>
  • Italic: Ctrl+I
  • Shrink Font: Ctrl+<
  • Underlined: Ctrl+U
  • Super Script: Ctrl+Alt+]
  • Sub Script: Ctrl+Alt+[
  • To name Case: Ctrl+6
  • To Smart Quotes: Ctrl+`
  • To Straight Quotes: Ctrl+Shift+`
  • To Single Spaces: Ctrl+Space
  • Align Left: Ctrl+L
  • Copy Style: Ctrl+Shift+C
  • Align Center: Ctrl+E
  • Paste Style: Ctrl+Shift+Y
  • Align Justified: Ctrl+J
  • Copy Ruler: Ctrl+Alt+7
  • Align Right: Ctrl+R
  • Paste Ruler: Ctrl+Alt+8
  • Single Line Spacing: Ctrl+Shift+1
  • Double Line Spacing: Ctrl+Shift+2
  • Single Half Line Spacing: Ctrl+Shift+3

Scrivener Keyboard Shortcuts for the Fullscreen Option

  • Full Screen Keywords: Ctrl+Alt+6
  • Full Screen Go To: Ctrl+Alt+5

Scrivener Keyboard Shortcuts for the Help Option

  • Scrivener Manual: F1

Scrivener Keyboard Shortcuts for Other

  • Increase Left Indent: Ctrl+Q
  • Decrease Left Indent: Ctrl+Shift+Q
  • Increase Text Indent: Ctrl+T
  • Decrease Text Indent: Ctrl+Shift+T

Scrivener Keyboard Shortcuts for the Project Menu

  • Project Statistics: Ctrl+.
  • Text Statistics: Ctrl+/
  • Add New Text: Ctrl+N
  • Project Targets: Ctrl+,
  • Add New Folder: Ctrl+Shift+N
  • Toggle Keywords HUD: Ctrl+Shift+G
  • Edit Meta Data: Ctrl+Shift+M
  • Show Auto Complete List: Ctrl+Shift+4

Scrivener Keyboard Shortcuts for the Tools Menu

  • Toggle Scratch Pad: Ctrl+Alt+Shift+P
  • Preferences: F12

Scrivener Keyboard Shortcuts for View

  • Previous Container: Ctrl+Shift+Up
  • Next Container: Ctrl+Shift+Down
  • Previous Document: Alt+Shift+Left
  • Next Document: Alt+Shift+Right
  • Enclosing Group: Alt+Shift+Up
  • Editor Selection: Alt+Shift+Down
  • Toggle Main ToolBar: Alt+Left
  • Toggle Collections: Ctrl+Shift+9
  • Toggle Editor HeaderBar: Alt+Up
  • Play Pause Action: Ctrl+Return
  • Toggle Editor FooterBar: Alt+Down
  • Fast Forward Action: Ctrl+}
  • Rewind Action: Ctrl+{
  • Current Editor Back: Ctrl+[
  • Current Editor Forward: Ctrl+]
  • Alternate Editor Back:
  • Alternate Editor Forward:
  • Show Binder Tint: F5
  • Show Icon Tint: F6
  • Show Index Card Tint: F7
  • Show Outliner Tint: F8
  • Focus Next Major Element: Ctrl+Tab
  • Reveal In Binder: Ctrl+Shift+8
  • Show Index Card Label: F9
  • Show Index Card Status: F10
  • Show Index Card Keywords: Ctrl+F12
  • Toggle Binder: Ctrl+Shift+B
  • Toggle Inspector: Ctrl+Shift+I
  • Toggle FullScreen: F11
  • No Editor Split: Ctrl+’
  • Horizontal Editor Split: Ctrl++
  • Vertical Editor Split: Ctrl+Shift+’
  • Show Text: Ctrl+1
  • Show Corkboard: Ctrl+2
  • Show Outliner: Ctrl+3
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Brandon Sanderson Writing Class 318R

Brandon Sanderson Writing Class 318R

One of the most prolific fantasy authors of our generation, Brandon Sanderson, has been kind enough to record and share one of this BYU courses on writing. 

Below you’ll find 12 one hour classes that cover things like Plot, Character, Outlining World Building and many other important topics to writers. This is a wonderful free writing resource that he has given us, so take advantage. 

Brandon Sanderson’s Class Overview

Brandon Sanderson outlines the agenda for his twelve class course:

  1. Overview
  2. Cook vs Chef
  3. The Illusionist Writer
  4. World Building
  5. The Box
  6. The Business of Writing
  7. Character
  8. Magic Systems
  9. Brandon Mull Guest Lecture—Mull’s Writing Advice and Process
  10. Plotting
  11. Dialogue and Agents
  12. Q&A

Cook vs. Chef

In the Cook vs Chef class Brandon Sanderson compares writing to preparing food. Do you want to be a cook that just blindly uses the ingredients of story without truly understanding why those ingredients work, do you want to be a chef that understands how to mix and match flavors and foods to create a wonderful dining experience? He goes over various elements of story, and why they are used they way they are. 

The Illusionist Writer

In this episode Brandon compares writing to a stage magician or an illusionist. He goes into various tricks and techniques to suspend the reader’s belief as you are building out elements of your story like the promises you are subtly making to the reader, a sense of story progress and more. 

World Building

Brandon goes into detail about world building. He and the class brainstorm various layers of the writer’s world. Physical vs Cultural, and many other useful elements that will make world building easier, and more thorough. 

The Box

The box is an analogy that Brandon uses for the lens through which you present the world, and your characters. This colors everything, and essentially determines how the reader will experience your story.

The Business of Writing

In this session, Brandon reviews the business of writing, including factors such as:  focus on writing then exploitation (separately),  self-publishing, hybrid and small press, traditional publishing,  best seller lists, book tours,  marketing, publicity, Brandon’s early book tours, and bidding wars. 

Character

In this episode, Brandon discusses the pyramid of abstraction, the concept of show don’t tell, the grand skill, and his acronym PROMS (Past, Relationships, Obligations, Motivations, Sensibilities.)

Magic Systems

In this video, Brandon reviews the origin of Sanderson’s laws, Sanderson’s first law in detail, hard and soft magic systems, Sanderson’s second law in detail, Sanderson’s third law in detail, and Sanderson’s zeroth law.

Brandon Mull Guest Lecture

Brandon Mull, the other Brandon, introduces himself, then covers: characters,  gardeners and architects,  relationships,  trouble, decisions, consequences, YA / teen / middle grade, creative judgment, voice, the outline process, and making cool worlds

Plotting

Brandon (Sanderson) returns! He reviews what Plot is, promises, surprises v promises, making the middle interesting, bracketing,  middles, satisfying endings, and author voice.

Dialogue and Agents

In this episode Brandon reviews: dialogue, Motive, Individuality, Conflict, Realism, Objective, agents, and agent advice. 

Q & A

Brandon reviews the course and takes questions from the class.

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