Charlie Stross Explains Why I Can’t Always Follow His Stories

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Charlie Stross writes today about an organizing/writing tool called Scrivener that he now uses instead of a word processor. Here’s a tiny excerpt:

I’ve used it before on several novels, notably ones where the plot got so gnarly and tangled up that I badly needed a tool for refactoring plot strands….My suspicion is that if this sort of tool spreads, the long-term result may be better structured novels with fewer dangling plot threads and internal inconsistencies.

Wait a second. The author of the novel, the guy who’s spent months immersed in the world he’s created, is sometimes unable to follow his own plot without the help of a monster piece of project coordination software? Seriously? So how are the rest of us, who merely have a long stream of words to cajole us along, supposed to follow it?

But I suppose I should be grateful regardless. I’m reading Anna Karenina right now, and either my edition was put together by an ADHD nine-year-old or else Leo Tolstoy badly needed a Cyrillic version of Scrivener. Either way, I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that I just don’t care much for Tolstoy and I might as well admit it. War and Peace didn’t especially keep me riveted to my seat either. But at least the Kindle editions are free.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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