I'll of course be over-obsessively researching these topics elsewhere--it's what I do--but I figure some of you smart folks might have some first-hand input for me.
I'm so close to finishing the rough draft of my latest long story that I'm finally starting to feel the wind in my hair on that last downhill slide. Don't get me wrong--it'll probably be a month or so before I can write "THE END." What's left is bound to be something of a slow slog, and I'm an exceptionally slow slogger, especially in the summer. Still, for once I pretty much know what's going to happen, overall. I just have to get it all down and fill in the details.
I really want to edit this one to completion. Which brings me to the two topics of the day.
1. Novel editing software
I've never used any. I've also never completely finished editing one of my novels. Inevitably, I end up frustrated with the word processor, because as soon as I start shuffling scenes around, I lose them and have to scroll and scroll and scroll and scroll looking for where I left that one paragraph. I also waste all kinds of time trying to remember details like what time of year it was when X had a birthday or A and B first met, or what color eyes I gave to Minor Character D. Is there such a thing as software that will let you parcel a story out into scenes, keep track of a time line, and with a section for character sketches? Those are the main things I think would be most useful to me. Like I said, I'll do the research (and how), but I'd appreciate any input. I'm a PC user, if that makes a difference.
2. Them there new-fangled netbook thingies
One of the things I've learned over the past six months is that I'm far more productive if I get out of the house. I'm sure a part of that has been lack of internet access (I've been writing strictly by hand), but I think a good portion of it is just being in a different environment. I work better if I detatch from the rest of my life for an hour or so.
With that in mind, I've been wondering how I could continue with the morning coffee house run, but do transcribing and some in-depth editing instead of writing, and I've been pondering picking up one of these little guys. They appeal to me because:
b)they're very portable (I could stick one in my purse, even
and c)the newer ones get five hours or more of battery life, so I wouldn't have to carry any kind of power supply.
I went to Best Buy the other day to just see what they looked like in person. The 8.9" models were a little too toy-like, in my opinion. I could see using them for surfing, but not real extended use. But the 10.1" were surprisingly usable. I didn't have any trouble with the keyboards on most. My favorite, surprisingly to me, was the ASUS model with the chiclet keyboard. I expected the keys to feel like calculator buttons, but they were...just fine. I have big hands, but skinny fingers, and I could type without any real loss of accuracy. The screen is small, but I think would be fine for my purposes. And the specs are actually better than my primary home PC. Go figure. Has anyone used one of these extensively and have any input on the various brands / downsides that might not be obvious at first glance? Thoughts, suggestions, snarky remarks?
They seem like the perfected version of the Toshiba Libretto, which I lusted after mightily back in the day....