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48

IDE-like tools exist for writers. Scrivener is a powerful general-purpose tool (also with questions here). Madcap Flare, aimed at technical writers, has good support for updating links, defining "snippets" (xinclude blocks, essentially), variables, conditionalization, advanced build options, and more. Arbortext Epic is another tool in that vein. There ...


22

This sounds like Google Docs, perhaps combined with Trello (for the Kanban board and calendar view), would do for you. It's got live updating -- I don't think it tracks edits by author exactly, so you could agree on a convention -- like my students on one team devised a rule where each of them owned 2 colors. (4 students, so like light blue and dark blue ...


20

CSS supports media queries since Level 2, Revision 1. That's from way back in 2011, so any modern web browser should support it. If you're able to specify custom CSS, and apply custom CSS classes to your content, then you can define a CSS class such that the pictures and other ancilliary content is shown on screen, but only the actual recipe is printed on ...


18

Custom Meta-Data in Scrivener. You can do some custom fields in Scrivener. See the "Custom Meta-Data" button at the bottom of the inspector (it looks like a little tag). Here's a photo where I added a few fields: You can add fields by clicking the gear button. When you add a metadata field, it becomes available for all documents in the project. You can ...


15

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 ...


15

Typing on a laptop on your lap on a bus is always going to be difficult no matter what you buy. But maybe you don’t need a laptop: I find it really helps if I edit my work in a completely different format to the one I wrote it in. If the work looks completely different I’m less likely to be blinded by the familiarity of my own words. I read somewhere that ...


14

None of them. There is no commercial grammar checker that I know of which even approaches the ability of a halfway-competent native speaker. If you're thinking that grammar-checking software will help you with your typos and grammar mistakes, think again. This is one thing that still requires human intelligence.


13

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, ...


13

Forget your story for a moment and revel in how this loss makes you feel. A loss of treasured words is a pain which every writer eventually encounters. It is agony, but it is also an opportunity. In this moment, while sadness, anger and self-reproach are burning within you, put pen to paper and capture how you feel. Use first person perspective and go ...


12

I suspect people will object to me saying this, but still, wanted to give some food for thought: Why not just keep plain text files, or documents made in whatever word processor you prefer? I'm 32, and I've been writing on a computer since I was 18, so I have about 14 years of character and worldbuilding documents built up, for several different universes. ...


12

I'll borrow an idea Memor-X pointed out to me in my question Are there tools that can aid an author in writing a branching storyline?: yEd It's a free tool that allows you to create flowcharts. I'm currently using it to create part of my D&D campaign. You can easily create for example a box/star/... in different colors and add a text as a description....


11

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 drafts ...


11

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 ...


11

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 ...


11

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 ...


11

TL;DR: Put the important stuff atop. This isn't the technical solution you were looking for, but it's another way to give both types of readers what they want. Readers who want the full story will read your blog post regardless of where you place the actual recipe. So why not place it right atop, maybe prefaced with a "TL;DR" (too long; didn't read)? Busy ...


10

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 I'...


10

Allow me to introduce you to Scrivener. Scrivener is a word processor which allows you to create unlimited documents within a single project, and see all your documents in a nice document tree in a side pane. You can create folders and subfolders, drag items around from here to there, link documents within the project, tag documents for easy searching, and ...


9

Something around the chapters? Front matter is usually all the stuff that comes in a book before the start of the story/main body of the book. Title page, copyright page, acknowledgements, table of contents, etc. Back matter would be citations or index for non-fiction. For fiction, I'd say back matter is fairly optional, but it might include an "about the ...


9

While not a program I would suggest using a flowchart. A flowchart is a type of diagram that represents an algorithm, workflow or process, showing the steps as boxes of various kinds, and their order by connecting them with arrows. Since you mention visual novels in your question 2 good examples I know of are the flowcharts that you can find for the ...


9

Software developers don't ever work in text editors, I'll challenge your premise. I know plenty of highly successful software developers who do not use IDEs, but standard editors; sometimes even only with very limited, basic functionality. Why don't writers use similarly advanced writing environments full of writing assistance tools, text analysis, and ...


8

Scrivener has features that can be used for this, specifically, templates. You can put all your character notes in one file and use that as a template for other characters. Or, if you insist on having them in separate files, you can create a folder for each character, but you might need to manually copy each file for each new character (may be as simple as ...


8

Only tool I can think of would be Google docs. You can have multiple people writing in a document at the same time and see where their cursor is, there is no color coding on who's typing by default. You can enter what's called "suggestion mode" where changes you add are not validated immediately but merely appear highlighted to your color, allowing the ...


8

Procrastination is as much as part of this job as creativity. We all do it. Writing isn't easy most of the time, and most of the time, I'd rather be washing my husband's underpants than writing a difficult scene. But, when I don't write, I feel awful. It's a double-edged sword! TOOLS I use two tools to keep myself on track: SCRIVENER Not only is ...


7

Check out Sigil. It's a multi-platform EPUB ebook editor with the following features: Online Sigil User's Guide, FAQ, and Wiki documentation Free and open source software under GPLv3 Multi-platform: runs on Windows, Linux and Mac Full UTF-8 support Full EPUB 2 spec support Multiple Views: Book View, Code View and Split View WYSIWYG editing in Book View, ...


7

This is an old thread, but maybe this contribution will still be helpful: I've written several books using emacs, and am also the author of the Woodnotes Guide for Emacs for Writers (not Coders) 1 and produced a cheatsheet 2 of commands and settings I find useful. Both are totally free/Creative Commons licensed. If you're curious, on the same site you'll ...


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