Sometimes You Write, Sometimes You Give Back


I’ve been doing two writing related things this week since returning from my summer vacation. Finishing my first draft of Starveyors and helping to redefine how I will write my next novel. Sometimes you write and sometimes you help others write. Either you help them learn the craft, or you help create a new tool that will help them write more efficiently.

I mentioned a while back that I found a new writing tool for Linux. Plume Creator is an Open Source project that is available on all three operating systems – Linux, Mac and Windows. I’ve recently moved to Linux and so I’ve been looking for something similar to Scrivener to write my novels in. Plume Creator is not a Scrivener clone, but it does work in a similar manner.

I’ve been working with the developer – Cyril Jacquet, to test and improve Plume Creator to make it the best free writing tool on any operating system. It’s a slow process. Cyril is trying new things and sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t, but his willingness to keep working at it is really impressive to me. All I’m doing is trying to spot errors so he can squish the bugs and make the program better in the process. There are others helping too, because we all want a better program. This is the essence of Open Source programming, people volunteering their time and effort to make something that we all can use and benefit from.

This weekend I had so much fun watching Cyril change the program and make it better that I neglected to work on my novel. I’ll have to double down to finish up the novel. However, the time spent helping Cyril improve Plume Creator, will help other writers down the line. My next novel, which I will begin in a matter of days, will be completely written in Plume Creator. Programmers call this eating their own dog food.

Cyril has released a new beta version of Plume Creator. If you would like to take it for a test spin and let him know what you think, he’d really appreciate it. Since this program is in heavy development, some parts are not working yet. The program runs on Linux, Mac and Windows.

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