Fine tuning the last revision of a book

A month from now I’ll be back in Venice working on the final revision of a new book before delivery. I’ve been doing this with everything I’ve written for more than a decade. I enjoy the seclusion and the focus Venice brings, and maybe it’s a superstitious thing too. Nothing beats hitting that send button from Dorsoduro somehow.

Since people are always curious about the mechanics of writing — and my methods for the final revision process have changed over the years — let me set down how I handle this essential job these days. Oh and answer a few questions too… Continue reading “Fine tuning the last revision of a book”

Ulysses 2.7 is out with some useful new features

An update to my favourite (as in I wrote every word of Romeo and Juliet: A Novel in it) writing app Ulysses just landed. There are some nice new touches, including the ability to have your sheets open as tabs on Sierra, above. And if you’ve got one of the fancy new MacBooks with a touchbar that’s supported below, too.

The full list of changes is below. Just a reminder… I have a cheap little ebook for anyone starting with Ulysses who wants to write a novel.

TOUCH BAR SUPPORT

The Touch Bar is the new touch display situated above the keyboard of Apple’s latest MacBook Pro. Replacing the function keys, Touch Bar can adapt to what a user is currently doing, and display app-specific, contextual functions. Ulysses 2.7 allows owners of the latest MacBook Pro to assign markup tags directly via Touch Bar while they write.

SIERRA TABS

Users know tabs from their web browser; with macOS Sierra they are now available as a system feature, and they also made it into Ulysses 2.7. Tabs are a natural fit for Ulysses, as the ability to quickly switch between multiple open texts within the same window makes for an even more powerful writing tool.

IMAGES IN EXTERNAL FOLDERS, EVERNOTE IMPORT, READING TIME GOALS

Ulysses’ new version now offers full support for the TextBundle format (http://textbundle.org) outside its iCloud library. TextBundle combines Markdown text files and referenced images in a single file, and users have long wanted Ulysses to properly support the new format. This addition allows them to use images when working from Dropbox or other storage providers.

Also, it is now easier than ever to switch from Evernote to Ulysses. Ulysses 2.7 allows to import ENEX files, Evernote’s proprietary export format. Users can even import ENEX files containing multiple notes — Ulysses will then create a separate sheet for each imported note.

Writing goals allow Ulysses users to determine the length to achieve when writing a text: a number of characters, words, or pages. With Ulysses 2.7 the feature was extended: users can now even set a reading time goal.

Mac and iOS tip: a quick way to type accents

They say you learn something new every day. I’m not sure about that but last night I discovered something through Twitter that I never knew about: a quick way to generate foreign accents on the Mac and on iOS.

Foreign accents on Windows were always a nightmare for me. On the Mac not so much — you just have to remember the option key combination to get ‘château’ for example. But why bother with option keys? Instead just hold down the letter you want to add an accent to…

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 09.42.04

Hit the number for the accent you want and… bingo, it’s there.

Perhaps this has been around for years and I never knew. Whatever, I’ll be using it from now on.