February 14, 2020

Writing + Git

Git has always interested me from the point of view of a writer. It is a back-up solution perfect for plain text. It was created around code, but the principles seem as if they could be a good fit for other kinds of writing.

I wrote about writing fiction with atom before, and using it these last few weeks has reignited my interests in git.

Imagine the process of writing a book. Compiling scattered ideas, writing a draft, rewriting, rewriting again, editing, reediting, reediting again… There is so much that happens until the final story is finished. What if we could go back to some of literary classics first drafts? Wouldn’t it be fascinating to see JRR Tolkien’s first attempt at writing LOTR?

Sure some writers don’t rewrite. I love that! But even then, wouldn’t it be awesome to see how long it took for each line to be written in all its final glory?

Have you ever seen a painter’s time-lapse? It is fascinating. To see how an artist goes from rough pencil sketch to final artwork. There are many twitch streams dedicated to this art form. We never have been able to see something like that before. Technology made this possible.

We need a git for writers. So we can save every version of a draft, save every line. Save every keystroke for that matter! Could you imagine replaying your favorite book from the very first letter?

Not to mention the visualization possibilities are endless. As the collaboration possibilities are. Could you imagine incorporating readers feedback by accepting pull requests on your WIP, or fixing typos after publishing?

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February 14, 2020


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