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 […]

Workflow 2013

I’m currently working on The Fall of Macharius and, since I am right in the middle of a new novel, now seems like a good time to talk about the tools I use and my workflow. It’s on my mind and a nice easy subject to write a blog post about and, hey, I’m all about […]

If You Can Push Save On Your Word-Processor You Can Create An Ebook

Some of you may remember me claiming some time ago that pretty soon you would be able to create an ebook by pushing the save button on your word-processor. Little did I know that it was close to possible even as I was writing that. Of course, it depends on what word-processor you use. It […]

For the Age of Wonders Fans Among You

There’s a very nice article about the new Age of Wonders game here. I am so looking forward to this game — a mashup of the old Age of Wonders turn-based grand strategy fantasy gaming and Total War style combat sounds awesome.