Building A Series Wiki

When a series you are writing gets to ten books, you start to run into the limits of the human brain. You forget details of plots, names of minor characters, crucial details of their appearance, the names of some of the places. Actually, you hit those limits long before that, but human laziness tends to […]

Old Computers Made New

I am not sure why but Linux developed into something of an obsession over the past couple of weeks. I could not just stop with installing it on one machine. I decided to stick Linux on my Lenovo 100S. A quick search of the internet will reveal that this is a problematic little laptop to […]

Further Adventures in Linux

Quite unexpectedly I find myself caught up in using Linux again. It all started when I installed Mint on my broken Acer Travelmate last week. I was so impressed by the way things worked that, at the weekend, I dug out an Asus K42 I bought in Singapore about seven years ago and repeated the […]

Google Docs for Novel Writing

For the past ten years or so, I have mostly used Scrivener to write my books. It’s a powerful piece of software that gives you a great deal of control over the structure of any work in progress. It makes backups a breeze and it tracks your daily word count as you write. It can […]

Track What You Write with Writeometer

What gets measured gets done is a truism in management consultancy. I find it to be the case for writing as well. Quantifying when and where as well as how much I have written is something I’ve tried to do ever since I read Rachel Aaron’s 2K to 10K. I datamine this information to see when and where I am most productive and if there is anything I can do to make myself more so. Writeometer is an app for Android phones that I’ve found useful for this. It keeps track of how many words you write per day.

Dragon For Mac 6 Review

I have tried every incarnation of Mac speech to text software, starting with iListen before it was acquired by Nuance and working my way through DragonDictate and the renamed Dragon Professional Individual for Mac. Every version has ultimately disappointed. When Nuance took over the basic speech recognition engine became the same superb one as used on Dragon Naturally Speaking for Windows. Unfortunately, the interface built around it was usually terrible— ugly, buggy and extremely prone to crashing.

First Impressions: Blogo

I am testing a new blogging application called, appropriately enough, Blogo today. It’s a very nice looking piece of Mac software that comes very highly recommended (by Apple no less). I was intrigued enough to take it for a test drive on my MacBook and what you’re reading is the result. Blogo is as easy […]

Improving Writing Workflows

I changed my workflow a lot this year. The most important alteration was that I started using markdown as much as possible. I’ve talked about the advantages before so I won’t go into them again here. I’ll just say that I love the way I can work anywhere on anything when I am using it. […]

Starting A Mailing List

Every writer should have a mailing list. That’s one of those of those bits of advice that you will get sooner or later if you hang around writers’ boards on the internet long enough. It also happens to be true although it took me a long time to realise it. I started my mailing list […]

Invisible Software

For the past couple of weeks I have been living in a strange alternative universe where proprietary formatting for applications never happened. I have been storing my to do list on my phone and editing it in my word-processor on both Windows and OSX. My phone happens to run Android but I could just as […]

Read Stealer of Flesh Free Online

You can read the first book in the Kormak Saga free online here. This is a result of my project to archive all of my books in markdown format for easy future reference. To create it, I found the original production copy of Stealer of Flesh, converted it to markdown then to HTML and uploaded […]

The Advantages of Markdown

I was going to review the writing app Ulysses 3.1 today but David Hewson saved me the bother. If you’re interested I suggest you take a look at David’s thorough and fair review. I’ll just add that, as an owner of Ulysses 3 and its previous versions, I agree with everything that David says. For […]

White Screen of Death

My apologies to those of you who glanced at the blog yesterday and found only a blank white screen. You were encountering a fairly well known WordPress flaw colloquially known as the White Screen of Death. I was looking at it myself  in a lot more panicked way since my entire website seemed to have […]

How to Format Your Novel For Kindle, Nook, the iBookstore, Smashwords and CreateSpace in One Afternoon

Way back in the summer on Kindleboards and in other places I kept reading about people laying out their print books for CreateSpace using Scrivener. Long term readers of this blog will know that I can’t praise Scrivener enough. It is the single best program for long form writing I know. Now it seemed Scrivener’s utility had expanded […]

Procrastination Cascades

If you’re anything like me you can always find an excuse not to sit down and write. And even when you start, you can probably find ways of stopping yourself. This has become particularly evident to me over the past few days.  I normally use a program called Freedom 2 to cut myself off from the […]