Writing Software in NY Times

A piece by Rachel Donadio, “Get With the Program,” in today’s NY Times describes how several established writers have used (gasp) software to write popular books. All are Windows programs and here’s the breakdown:

Richard Powers: Mindjet MindManager and Microsoft OneNote.
Vikram Chandra: Microsoft Project and he recommends reading Franco Moretti, Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models for a Literary History (2005).
Marisha Pessi: Excel
Debra Galant: Dramatica Pro

Each of the writers had a previous life in programming or finance, which made them comfortable with using software in creative projects.

Story is at nytimes.com/2007/06/10/books … ref=slogin

No mention of Scrivener or the Mac, but what do they know?

The Times is generally Mac-friendly. I’m surprised there was no mention of the Mac or Mac-based writing tools. Of course that may be a function of the interviewees as well.

I find it difficult to believe that someone would torture themselves by writing an entire book in excel. I can barely stand to use it for data management at work.

Scrivener borders on genius really (don’t let it go to your head, Phil :wink: ).

Once it gains full applescript support there won’t be much that can touch it, on either platform.

In time, I think it will go down as one of those pioneering/revolutionary applications in the tech/geek history books.

Thanks for the interesting link.

Who hell Phil?

Phil must be Kieth’s bodyguard?

Philip I of Castille, known as Philip (or Phil to his friends) the Handsome, great
grandson of Philip the Good. In between these two were Philip the OK and Philip the Nebish.
Phil I was the first Habsburg ruler of Spain and also the original author of Scrivener.


Phil is the developer of Journler, whose site I was planning on visiting next.

I meant Keith, of course.

I preferred Tim’s explanation. :slight_smile:

By analyzing raw data and slicing it in different ways — temporally, geographically — you “discover unexpected things,â€

Yeah, me too.


That explains Keith’s breaks. When he say’s he’ll not be available is because he intends to cross the English Channel on his way to check in the Spanish archives for yet another of the many musings Phil I left on Scrivener–though his contemporaries though he was writing about an automaton that would write poetry on demand.