I've got a new project in the works. I had a dream a couple of years ago about Harry Potter, and it was so interesting that I decided I absolutely had to turn it into a proper fic. As of this post, I've got something like 11 chapters written, (7 in sequence, the rest fleshing out key events) and enough notes that I'm having trouble keeping them usable. Further posts about Elysiad itself will be at the Elysiad tag on my Dreamwidth. Here, however, is where I'll discuss the nuts and bolts of my writing process overall.

One of the first things I've discovered is that Linux is a less-than-ideal environment for writing fiction. Yes there are tools, but they're all kind of... clunky. I started writing this in Windows, using the fantastic Typora, until I started needing to keep track of metadata. Now, most people would suggest Scrivener here, and I can see where they're coming from, but to me it's overkill. And cluttered. I found Quoll Writer, though, and it's become my gold standard. Seriously, if you're a writer on Windows, give it a look.

Sadly, Quoll Writer is Windows-only, which, when I got fed up with Windows finally, meant that I was back to square one (or Emacs in this case). I searched high, low, and even a couple of n-dimensional directions, but nothing similar (enough) was forthcoming. (Scrivener has a beta version for Linux, but it's more headache than it's worth for me.) So as things stand now, I'm keeping my notes in Emacs org-mode and writing chapters in Markdown on Ghostwriter. (I've seriously considered just writing my own app for this, but every time I start I realize I'd rather just write the story instead. Plotline is pretty close to what I envision, though, and once it's viable I hope to switch wholeheartedly. Zettlr looks promising too.)

Given that I'm no longer using a centralized novel-writing app, the writing environment I've cobbled together looks like this:

I've got Ghostwriter in the middle, taking up lots of space so focus is on the thing I'm actively writing. On either side, I have an Emacs frame holding two org-mode buffers. The timeline is top-left, character profiles are top-right, notes for things that are in-use are bottom-right, and the idea slush-pile is bottom-left. It does keep things relatively accessible, but it's a pain to lay out every time (although with goomwwm on my desktop it's simple enough). The biggest flaw I've found is cross-referencing, especially for which characters belong to which factions. Mise-en-scene management is non-existant, too. These are both things that a centralized app can do fairly trivially, but this particular set-up? Not so much.

As this is going to bug the hell out of me, expect this set up to change.

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