So I've been working on shorter pieces lately, and using the simplest of tools: text files. And there are some advantages to that, especially when your process involves lots of rewrites, as mine currently does.
That is to say, right now I'm doing a lot of my editing by starting a new file and retyping the whole piece over again, making changes along the way.
And with plain text files, I can:
- Write on any machine. Everybody has a text editor. And since I use DropBox, my files are available anywhere too.
- I can use my pal Emacs.
- I can grep for things. I'll
- I can use a diff tool to compare two files...even more easily that when I'm using XML.
So I'm implementing some comments from some friends, and I find that several comments reveal that I dropped a detail or two in a later version, something that made a later thing make sense. I've got drafts with suffixes like _v01.txt, _v02.txt. So, I can grep for a string and find every version that contained it...and get some context around the string, too.
Thus I can not only see when I stopped having the main character consider hanging up the phone, but also HOW I phrased that in each version. I can do that across twelve versions and without opening any of the files.
Sure, for some markets I'll have to drop the thing into an RTF file and format it. But I'm completely sidestepping formatting during the writing phase, and that's a good thing.