Discover more from Fragmentary
Broad notes on the tools I use
It goes roughly:
write idea down on whatever material is convenient - can be napkin, notebook, phone
if phone: Apple Notes or Drafts, both of which sync seamlessly with all devices in my cluster; Drafts notes tend to be page length sections of work - trial runs.
assess idea; if good, proceed to first stage writing
WHITEBOARD and camera/notebooks/Notability (also syncs). The whiteboard is fun because I can stand in front of it and shout at things I write that are stupid.
Actual writing I: Ulysses. This is a sandbox for me. I write fast in it and I don’t worry too much. I can draft a book in a month if it’s simple in form.
Actual writing II: port the whole thing to Scrivener. This is a slightly artificial step - I export the whole thing as a single file, then break it up to put it into Scrivener, which forces me to rethink and reconsider, to look at structure and beats. I do a couple of passes here, or have done in the past. Very occasionally I have also looped back to this point when I’m not happy with the end point of III… But the Scrivener window is, for reasons I don’t fully understand, shrinking a bit. Maybe I’m getting more comfortable with the Ulysses/Mellel combo. Also Scrivener still behaves weirdly on sync and it freaks the shit out of me.
Actual writing III: Mellel. A rock solid WP app designed for thesis writing. I do final polish here, look at the thing as a single graduated piece of work rather than a series of incidents and make the stitches disappear. Again, seamless syncing, and unlike Word I don’t hate it with the fiery passion of an author who has seen manuscripts evaporate in front of him because there’s a Flugelhorn Error in Quadratic 11 and you need to reset your Live Account or else they’ll send a paperclip that pretends to be your friend but obviously wants to kill you in your sleep with a lathe.
Then I get the edit notes back from my publisher with comments in TC and it says really sternly that I HAVE to use Word for the final pass because otherwise they’ll be able to tell, so I do. It never feels right and I still hate it, but in the end it doesn’t cost me very much and they seem to care.
Technical things you have no reason to care about - and it’s free!