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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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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