Last October I took a look at the new version of the Galaxy Note 10.1 Android tablet. I’d written about the first version of this thing a year before. Given that second article remains one of the best-read on the site there are clearly a lot of people looking for a digital revision solution.
The current Galaxy Note 10.1 ought to be it. The Note has a high resolution screen. It has a Wacom digitiser pen (which Samsung call the S Pen). It’s expensive and very plasticky, which I could forgive if it did the job. But it doesn’t and the reason baffles me.
Samsung have spent a fair bit of time developing pen-based software for this thing. But they — and no one else I can find — have yet to come up with some basic, business-quality pdf markup software. I spent a day with the new Note 10.1 trying the apps it came with, and the many Android pdf apps I’ve bought over the years. Then the thing went back to John Lewis for a refund. Nothing I could uncover anywhere worked properly with the Wacom stylus. The obvious routine — swipe down with a finger, scribble with a pen that understands undo and an eraser — wasn’t there.
There’s only one place you can find those features at the moment: Windows 8.1. So let’s start to take a look at the solutions. And to repeat my warning from yesterday… these will only work properly if you have a Windows laptop or tablet with an active stylus such as a Wacom. An ordinary stubby one won’t do.
As I’m sure has become clear around here over the years my working methods duck and weave with every new book. I’m currently trying the outlining-as-movie-script technique I wrote about recently.
I like it but it needs a bit refining. Having faffed around and thought a bit the process should, I feel, work in this order (for me, of course, none of this may work for you at all).
- Treatment — in other words a simple text description of what happens in each scene. Really this is a basic outline setting down place, time and an event or thread. It’s not as long as a movie treatment. It contains no detail, quite deliberately because the creative part of developing character, drama and narrative happens in…
- The script outline. Again — read here to understand what I mean by this.
- The novel draft, written out of the script outline.
- If I hope this is a working script draft, a revise of that set against the new, fuller details of the story contained in the novel draft.
Clear? Continue reading
A comment yesterday reminded me what a software junkie I used to be. Had I tried TextExpander instead of setting up auto-correct in Word? Of course. And Typinator. And probably lots else besides.
I started using computers in the Eighties, when most of them were as inadequate as they were expensive. True they could do things that nothing else was capable of. But there were always holes, glitches, things you needed that weren’t there out of the box.
There’s a revision job going on around here at the moment. Something I love. It’s a chance to put the last polish on a book.
I’ve revised in lots of different ways over the years. Since 2013 is the year I intend to see if I can work in Office 2013 (Windows) alone here is what it looks like now.
This is a revision based on an editor’s notes. This is not the same as self-revision, editing from my own notes. For more on that look here.
External notes come in an email of course so I sent the email to OneNote into the correspondence folder for the project. Then I opened the OneNote page in a right-hand sidebar. You see it here. Important parts are highlighted or in different colours. I add in my responses to points as I go along.
The manuscript itself is in Word in the main part of the screen. I’m using Simple Markup here so a red line denotes where something has changed. If I hover my mouse over the line I can see the change and when I made it.
Simple Markup is new in Office 2013. It’s a fantastic addition. When you’re revising a manuscript you can see how far you’ve got immediately. If you make comments or changes they are time-stamped so you can see at what stage of the process they were made.
You could do a lot more with a setup like this, such as linking parts of the OneNote document to sections of the Word manuscript. But this is a relatively straightforward edit so I don’t think I need that. And I don’t believe in making work for the sake of it.
This is a very simple, easily understood way to do the job. I like it.