October 31

John Marco’s The Last Challenge – free :)

In a universe where there’s no such thing as a free lunch, surprise! John Marco is offering his short story The Last Challenge for free over on his blog. I have to admit, I don’t read a lot of fantasy short fiction – an ironic statement since I’m in middle of reviewing an anthology of fantasy short fiction – but this short by John was well worth it. If nothing else, it gives you a good idea of what his longer works are like. So go, ask for a copy, see what you think.

And yeah, that’s my name on the page, but I really didn’t do anything more than abuse Calibre for a few minutes. You should read it anyway. Happy friday/Halloween!

 

Happy Nerd – The Last Challenge – Free!

October 30

A distraction for your viewing pleasure

I’m over here mulling over outlines. Nothing stinks of NanoWriMo pre-feverish regrets like thinking at the last moment that maybe you should can the whole story you have and start with something fresh. That and the inability to draw a satisfactory outline out of the mess you have so far. So, to distract you from that (and me), I offer you a happy porcupine. Little bugger really does squeal with delight.

October 30

More tools to consider as you prep for NanoWriMo

#136969633 / gettyimages.com

Yesterday I mentioned (for the umpteenth time) Scrivener – today, some alternatives. A lot of people put these lists together this time of the year, but stick around, you might find something new :)

Storyist (commercial) – The Literature and Latte folks do an amazing job at nurturing their community, which is part of the fervor folks feel around Scrivener. But lurking on the sidelines are the folks that bring you Storyist. With its latest release, Storyist is very similar to Scrivener in both price and features. How individual documents are handled is different, but other than that the two products are largely similar. Why mention it? Because Storyist does win in one aspect – it has an iOS app. If being able to seemlessly work on the iPad and desktop is important to you, then this is the way to go. The iOS app is missing only the ability to do split screen views between documents – everything else is the same. If you want to spend the money and need that bridge, this is the way to go.

Focuswriter (Free/Donation) – I always mention Focuswriter because I love it that much. Focuswriter can edit both vanilla text and ODF documents, has a robust wordcount management (great for NanoWriMo), a rich theming environment, and my favorite – optional typewriter noises as you type. Living somewhere between a text editor and a writing suite, Focuswriter is a favorite.

yWriter (Free/Donation) – If I were a windows user, I’d probably  be using yWriter. Another suite that tries to be more than just a simple document editor, Hayes has put some amazing effort and features into this software over the years. In particular, the metadata that helps shape your story – character indexes, location and item tracking, dynamic storyboards – are easily tracked and kept up to date, freeing you to write.

Plume Creator (Open Source) – As robust a product as Scrivener or Storyist, Plume brings a fresh combination of the commercial software with features I like in yWriter. It’s a little clunky, but that’s just eye candy. Beneath the surface you’ll find Plume to be a very capable alternative to the commercial writing suites.

And so, these are a few of my favorite things. Not your usual list of Evernote and Notepad, but software I think you’ll find works as a true alternative. When the day is done and you have to write, though, it doesn’t matter what software you use, or if you end up doing it all with pen and paper. The only thing that matters is that you have fun and get some words down. How you do it? Bah.