Monday, 21 September 2009

Etherpads

As there is no monthly challenge I thought I'd post a little about a delightful website I came across.

They are called Etherpads and they work like a cross between a word document and a chat room. I find at times my writing reaches a point where I can't quite get the words to flow, or I'm not sure how a specific section sounds. Sometimes I get to the point where I have a piece written and just can't find a way to improve it enough to write the next bit successfully. Now I know a lot of writers would either move on to another scene or leave it for a few days and come back to it but I can get rather frustrated with all that especially if I'm in the mood to write and really want to finish a scene or chapter. It is at this point, I use an etherpad.

This neat little web programme allows you to create an online, editable word document where you can type up the bit that's bothering you and invite your friends to come look at it. Rather than simply emailing it to them for their opinion, etherpad allows them to actively participate by actually editing your work in real time. For example, I was struggling with the opening of chapter 3 of THaN and loaded it into an Etherpad where Race was able to point out things such as run-on sentences and sections which needed fleshed out. She was then able to edit it right there an then to show me what she though needed done. As her edits appeared in a different colour to my text, they were easy to spot. This meant I could then change my proper copy to suit and also re-edit the work on the pad to better reflect my voice rather than Race's.

While some of you may guard your WIP's with your life, some of you may find etherpads a great help, particularly when trying to edit and just not managing to work out what a section sucks so badly.

You can crate an etherpad account or set up a free pad just for that occasion. To invite people you simply send them the link to the pad. Couldn't be simpler. Etherpads can be found here.

1 comment:

  1. *considers putting VT in etherpad*

    It could be waaaaay helpful right about now.

    *clicks linky*

    ReplyDelete