Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

22

Am I allowed to beat the drum for Scrivener again? :) Scrivener is a tremendously flexible writing program which allows you to rearrange your items easily, by dragging around icons, by putting up virtual cards on a corkboard, or setting things up in outline format (the Outline view is right in the top bar). Each item of your outline is a document, which ...


16

My advice? Skip the world building. Focus instead on your characters. Tell the story as it happens to them. Invent the world around them as you need to in order to tell their story. If you introduce inconsistencies, clean them up in a later draft. Focusing on the axial tilt of the planet your characters live on rather than who your characters are and ...


14

Some tool such as this could be useful, but I believe you are asking the wrong questions. In my answer to the question you linked and another answer in that question by Fox Cutter, the questions we posed weren't life detail questions. They were motivation questions. There's a key difference. I might create this shell man who gets up at 6:45 on the dot ...


13

Scrivener can compile to various formats including EPUB and Kindle formats, and gives you lots of control over formatting. Here is a video tutorial showing how it's done. It is available for both the Mac and Windows, with a Beta version for Linux.


12

I'm a visual person. I have a large whiteboard which I used to draw graphs, flowcharts, etc... If you're limited on room, like I am, take a picture of your drawing before you erase it and keep it as a digital file. You could also try the technique displayed in a lot of police investigation shows: note cards and/or pictures taped to a wall with colored ...


12

The great piece of software that makes exactly this possible is called Scrivener. Unfortunately though, it is only available on Mac and now a beta-version for Windows PC. I still mention it in case anyone on any of those platforms interested in the question ends up here, as the title doesn't mention the Linux-specificity. I wrote more about Scrivener in my ...


12

I would recommend to just go with what you find most productive for yourself, but since you wanted a list: Paper: Pros: Can be used almost anywhere Cheap, simple, reliable Easy to arrange how you want it No sudden data loss (unless actually lost) Lets you draw a little sketch on the side Won't die on you if it gets a bit wet Probably wont get stolen ...


11

I have been using Calibre to format my e-books, and I have been very happy with it. However, as PseudoCubic noted, it will not accept a Word document as input. Ideally, you should convert your file to html first and then format it with Calibre. If you convert your Word document to html, make sure you choose the Web Page, Filtered option. Otherwise, Microsoft ...


11

For me, I like to interview them. I have a series of loose questions that I like to have them answer. It helps me not only round out there backstory but get an idea how they will react to situations. Some of the questions I use: Something that embarrassed them when they where growing up? How did they get along with your parents? Have they ever been so ...


10

Well, even without studying some dubious horoscopic sciences as feng shui, everybody at least feels that having your own work place for each kind of work you're doing is a significant efficiency boost. I think undisturbable place to write is not an option — it is a precondition. Once you have it, you can begin to write and at least be sure that you'll finish ...


10

The aesthetics of writing in cursive are really a personal thing: some people appreciate the feel of a fine pen gliding over the paper, the line variation from an italic nib, and the shading of a nice ink, and some just don't. On the practical side: cursive writing came about because it is faster and easier to write at length than printing. While that's ...


10

Before Lauren shows up, let me provide an answer from a non-evangelist ;) ... it looks to me like a cross between an outliner, a note organizer, and a word processor. Yes, more or less. Scrivener is an all purpose writer tool. It tries to replace all other tools an author would need to write a book, or better: to finish the first draft. All other ...


10

Scrivener does have a Comment or Sticky-Note function. You can also use a Highlight to mark big swathes of text, change the color of inserted copy, and Strike-Through to cross things out. As John Smithers wisely points out, Scrivener isn't just for writing the draft. It also allows you to gather notes, keep audio and video with your story, create outlines, ...


10

You still need backups. Version control and backups are orthogonal concepts and should be used together, one is not a replacement for another. Yes, version control will persist the change history in the repository, but the repository itself is not protected just as any computer file is not protected. If the drive where the repository is stored dies the ...


9

I usually don't answer my own questions, but... wow. I just discovered Emacs org-mode, and I am stunned. The tools for catching bits as I think of them, then organizing them on the fly are both powerful and customizable. Like all of emacs, it is keyboard-driven (no extensive dragging and dropping to irritate my RSI when using the laptop), and looks great ...


9

If you want to work within emacs, I would consider org-mode; it's what I'm currently using for writing projects (amongst other things). First and foremost, it's an outliner, with facilities for structuring your document(s) hierarchically. If you want to plan a story out into acts, acts into sequences, sequences into scenes, maybe scenes into ...


9

If you're easy distracted by shiny things (or Twitter, your RSS feed, Facebook page, chat window, weather updates, email, or desktop photo) then having a program which blocks them all out may help keep you focused on your work. So it depends on your workflow and your weaknesses.


9

For a non-spam answer: I highly recommend Celtx. One of my friends and I decided to write short plays last summer and this was the program I used and I loved it. I found it very easy to use and figure out and I had never really written plays before then. http://www.celtx.com/index.html


8

The iPad is pretty good, but I would suggest getting a USB keyboard as well. You can find some nice cases that have the keyboard built in so you can open them up and type. I usually get 10-12 hours on my iPad, though I don't use the blue tooth. As for laptops, I have a netbook myself, and I can get six hours out of that without much trouble if I set the ...


8

I don't have anything scientific on this, but... I doubt it. People have been managing to get books written for centuries, all without the benefit of a large monitor. Barring health issues that require special ergonomics, I think the details of your set-up are more of an excuse than a genuine problem. I write on a laptop, a netbook, or a desktop computer. ...


8

SimEarth might work well for you. As I remember, in addition to the Earth simulation, there was Martian terraforming as well. It is an old DOS game; I wish Maxis had updated it for modern computers. Something that might also be interesting is EdGCM, the only global climate model I know of that will run on a PC. Changing the forcings in model can provide ...


8

Markdown is almost certainly the way to go for simple formatting. To then go from Markdown to a proper ebook format, you can use some automated tools to do the conversion for you. Web Book Boilerplate If you want to run locally with your edits, and view them in various formats, the Web Book Boilerplate GitHub project offers an easy way to do this: With ...


8

I use git for version control, and it's terrific for writing projects. I've used GitHub to share work in progress while collaborating with a friend. We wrote plain text files in markdown format. GitHub also has an Issues tracker that can easily be used to assign, accept, and track individual tasks. My friend and I didn't need that to collaborate, but ...


8

There are a large number of version control systems out there, but I think that Git might be the best choice for you for a number of reasons. The biggest reason is that everything is in a single folder, you don't have to check things out to work on them or rebuild anything. You can just keep a full live copy on a pendrive and it just works. You also don't ...


8

Since we don't have the sample text that was analyzed, it's hard to answer this question in any specific sense. But I'd guess that this overuse of prepositions is actually the overuse of prepositional phrases. You can't eliminate prepositions, since English depends on them so heavily, but you can minimize them. Background Let's back up here: What's a ...


8

I use paper and a pencil. Paper is extremely flexible. You can: cut out sections and re-arrange them in any way you want (even stack them) have an infinite canvas (as large as your living-room floor) see everything you wrote at the same time and therefore better grasp and play with it in your mind than when only a small section of your work is visible on ...


7

This might sound a bit odd, but have you considered using project management software? The problem of managing parallel story lines is a lot like managing task dependencies in a large project, and dependency tracking, timeline shifting and so forth are what PM software is designed for.


7

Notecards or post-its with chapter or scene summaries are a big help. You can lay them out on the floor or pin them up on the wall to get a visual of your various sub-plots. I know others who create more of a flowchart for their plots, and there is plenty of free flowchart software online that can help you with that. I personally prefer to write parallel ...


7

yWriter is a free program that can be helpful in this regard. It runs on Linux. For commercial applications, though, I think Scrivener is probably the only "real" choice. There are others, but I have yet to find one that can beat Scrivener. It also runs on Linux, even natively; you can find help on Scrivener's forums on how to get it working. I know it ...


7

Sensual observations are all well and good, but there is also the landscape of the mind to consider. What associations do you make when you see/hear/feel/taste a scene? What makes that scene come alive in your mind? And above all, what does the scene mean and to whom? Remember that landscapes are like stages: they are inert until an actor strides out upon ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible