“To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the inner music the words make.”

—– Truman Capote

“A writer and nothing else: a man alone in a room with the English language, trying to get human feelings right.”

—– John K. Hutchens

“Writing, I think, is not apart from living. Writing is a kind of double living. The writer experiences everything twice. Once in reality and once in that mirror which waits always before or behind.”

—– Catherine Drinker Bowen

Excerpt from chapter 20 of Things Grak Hates:

Grak looks around at the gathered crowd. It’s a measly showing. And fairly discouraging as well. Though he does take heart that two tribe members just arrived.

Perhaps more will come. Perhaps.

But reality doesn’t bode well for Grak. Around half of those present are soldiers, and it’s unclear whether they’re here to protect him or the tribe. The rest are mostly strangers, clearly here out of curiosity alone.

“Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.”

—– Hannah Arendt

One of the most important undertakings of any startup is finding the best tools to support the company in its mission. Thus, your writing startup needs the best tool for creating your novel. To that end, there are a number of elements to take into account. Some will matter more to one person than they do to another, but I encourage you to consider them all and weigh your options carefully. Don’t make the mistake I made.

In writing Things Grak Hates, I had the wrong idea of what I needed in a writing tool. My initial thinking was that since I move around often and work on multiple computers, having a single web source for my book would be the most important element. I assumed that this would ensure a quick startup and ease of use when on the go. In hindsight, I was horribly mistaken. These are important details, of course, but not the most important features. Also, I could have created a Word document and just shared it across my computers through Dropbox. But my assumption was poor, and it led to a poor decision.

So, after a brief search, I chose Google Drive, thinking it had everything I needed in a writing tool. As it turns out, this is only true if you take a rushed and superficial glance at it as I did. In retrospect, Drive is an atrocious tool for novel writing–on a level only marginally better than Notepad. My complaints about it are numerous, but the top ones are:

  1. I once lost a considerable amount of work when I edited a file offline and tried to sync it with Drive’s version.
  2. It’s incredibly slow, especially if you’re working on a longer document.
  3. Their spelling and grammar checks are heinous.

For the final leg of my editing process, I opted to export my novel into a .doc and edit it in MS Word. It felt like weights had been removed, and the work flew.

So in summary, Google Drive is bad. Really bad. If you want something quick and dirty online, then fine, use it. But if you’re hoping to do anything of importance, I would avoid it until serious changes are made.

That is all.

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

—– Anton Chekhov

It’s settled, then. Things Grak Hates will release on November 18th, 2014. Just to keep you salivating until then, here’s an excerpt from the epilogue:

Grak scratches his chin with the stylus. “Maybe if I write it as though in the present. And from someone else’s perspective. Would look more prestigious that way. Like someone else is recording my history for me. The reader might even assume I’ve never seen it.”

Olive taps her lips thoughtfully. “So how would that sound?”

Grak shrugs. “Well, it would just say, ‘Grak hates olives.’”

She nods. “I see. Interesting. Has a nice ring to it. Though maybe it needs something more.”

Grak ponders it for a moment. “‘Truly.’ I kind of like that. ‘Grak hates olives. Truly.’ Makes it more definite. Makes it clear where I stood on the issue.”