All-Purpose Writing Thread!


#1021

I love that title, Dave. There is only one book with that title and it’s a math book (as it should be). I’m not sure exactly what it means, but it sounds very playful. I bet it’s got sex in it. Dave, am I right? Am I right?


#1022

So much sex! Also, minusing.


#1023

Congratulations, Dave! I have no real mathematical grounding but sometimes like to flip through PDFs of subjects that are over my head (once skimmed a monograph on cockroaches for some reason), so I’m going to bookmark it for when I get that itch next. Cover looks great.


#1024

Thanks! And the cover art is by Rafael Aruajo, whose work can be seen here:

He allowed me to use his image at no charge!


#1025

My silly little story Strange Stars is published today in Third Flatiron’s “Cat’s Breakfast” Vonnegut-tribute anthology.


#1026

Congrats! Love Vonnegut.


#1027

Has anyone else tried the app Ulysses for writing? I’ve used Scrivener for about 4 years and Ulysses recently became my writing app of choice. It’s similar to Evernote but it presents writers with a pure writing environment. There are no word processor controls to deal with because it’s uses mark-up language. Want a line italicized? Type a * before text. ** does bolding. It sounds weird but I’ve really fallen in love with this program over the last few weeks. This program is Mac only, sorry PC users.

Another feature I like is having the ability to set keywords on projects chapters (called sheets). My current book has 3 alternating POVs. I set a keyword with the character’s name and it organizes the chapters by title. It also organizes them by keyword so I can see all of my “James” chapters in order. I’ve found this really useful for proofing.


#1028

I love it. It is my go-to app for writing.


#1029

I wish Ulysses had a daily word count counter. I do like how it handles word counts and the way you can set them on individual sheets, but I try to make a certain word count every day, and have to track it on paper now. That’s the one feature from Scrivener I miss.


#1030

Question:

Two math students and I are doing some summer research on a technique called “word embedding”. This is a way of attempting to quantify various features of a text (or set of texts). The more texts the better, but I think we have refined the technique to the point where it can say meaningful things about a single novel,

I sent @Mr_Zero a private message just now (this is what I want to ask you about, Mr Zero!) because he wrote a fantastic fantasy novel, The Chosen One, which I’d like to use as a text. Maybe he will agree and maybe he will not. If you’re around, Mr Zero, I can be more specific!

Meanwhile, I was wondering if anyone knows of a large quantity of writing by a single author that is not under copyright, or which you imagine we can get permission to use. Something as long as A Song of Fire and Ice or Harry Potter.


#1031

Stuff out of copyright will be stuff before 1921 or 22, something like that. If you want voluminous, you could look at Dickens or Trollope. I think Edgar Rice Burroughs has a lot of stuff out of copyright. I think most of the Wizard of Oz series of books by L. Frank Baum is out of copyright. There’s lots of stuff.


#1032

Thanks, Mark. We want to study modern fiction, so although those ideas are great, that olde timey stuff doesn’t hold any appeal. :(


#1033

Maybe some of the higher-quality fanfiction out there? Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality comes to mind.


#1034

I’m going to talk to our copyright librarian tomorrow, and I’ll ask about fan fiction!


#1035

Worm is an interesting serialized web fiction. The author is. . . ambivalent about fan-made PDFs and similar repackaging, and might be interested in being used in an academic context.


#1036

Check out the Baen Free Library, a bunch of free (sci-fi /fantasy) ebooks by publisher Baen.
http://www.baen.com/categories/free-library.html

There are probably a couple of series available, but notably the Lois McMaster Bujold Vorkosigan saga, which is a pretty large corpus. I can’t find a link anymore, but they were definitely free in the past, and you could probably dig them up with little effort.

Edit: looks like they were free / DRM free on a CD from one of the later books, you can still download the CD from Baen. I think 14 full length novels are available.


#1037

Fun fact: a good friend of mine from college did the Worm audiobook project. My wife did some voice work for it.


#1038

Thanks so much, peeps!


#1039

My story Thirteen Bullets is up on PodCastle today! A great podcast narration, or you can read it for yourself. http://podcastle.org/2017/08/15/podcastle-481-thirteen-bullets/


#1040

I liked Thirteen Bullets quite a lot! I shan’t say more, as I’d spoil.