There are a great number of technical tools and apps for writers available – but which of them will actually help you get your work done? In this post we inspect ProWritingAid, a tool that helps you edit.
Writing needs editing. There is a reason that the “ugly first draft” has become so proverbial. Your first draft is written with the brain in creative mode, and it’s often better to not get caught up in specific word selection and sentence construction. Writers who think they can skip editing are almost certainly wrong. You can almost always come up with stronger words to express your ideas, and clearer ways to get your point across. And since most of your everyday texts don’t justify the expense of a professional editor, the way to go is self-editing. This is where ProWritingAid excels. Read …
Prize Draw: Win a Hand-Signed Hardback of David’s Latest Mystery Novel
David Hewson’s latest novel set in Amsterdam, ”Little Sister”, appeared in the UK on May 5 and will be published in the Netherlands in September. It was written entirely in Ulysses. Here are David’s top ten tips to follow if you’re planning a Ulysses novel too.
1. Don’t wander. It’s tempting to try to use other pieces of software — outliners, notes apps — to monitor your novel as it progresses. With other apps maybe you need that. With Ulysses you don’t. Simplify, simplify, simplify by putting everything into Ulysses and nowhere else.
2. To do that you’re going to need organise things. Have a main group for your novel project, a subsidiary group for your manuscript and a second for management. Use the latter for all the subterranean detail your novel requires — location, research, characters, a book diary.
3. Monitor your progress. At the end of every week I make a note of how many words I’ve written over the past five days and how I’m feeling about the project. When you’re wondering if it’s going anywhere you can go back to these entries and hopefully convince yourself you’re still on track.
4. Always, always, jot down brief scene synopses at the beginning of each sheet so you can see in brief what’s going to happen. Try to end the day by creating a new sheet synopsis. It will help drag you forward when you come back to the work.
5. Take your work with you. Now Ulysses is on the iPad and iPhone too you can keep an eye on your project anywhere. Remember: writing isn’t just about setting down words. It’s about editing and having ideas too. I can’t write seriously on an iPhone. But I can set down chunks of dialogue and possible narrative events very easily — and do. Read …
It may be worth trying alternatives to your current writing font in Ulysses. Sarah explains why and introduces three of the team’s favorites.
When tasked with selecting a font for writing, most people tend to fall back on traditional choices such as Times New Roman, Courier or Garamond. These fonts are popular, since they come pre-installed on all of today’s computer systems, and they are good fonts, no doubt. So they get used a lot, and they have been around for quite a while. However, there is a broad variety of interesting fonts available today — fonts that can easily compare in terms of quality, or that are even better suited for the task.
Eline, originally from The Netherlands, is currently doing an English Language and Linguistics Master and is a member of The Soulmen’s support team. In her new column, she will respond to some of the most frequently asked questions and share support answers that could be of interest to all Ulysses users out there.
… and Have the Chance to Win a Three-Month-Membership
ScreenCastsOnline has been helping Apple users with comprehensible, high-quality software tutorials since 2005, to make the most of their Macs and now also their iPads, iPhones and Apple Watches. We’re delighted about the latest addition to the portfolio: a two-piece video tutorial about Ulysses! Read …
Ulysses’ keywords are versatile and can help you organize your writing. The 2.5 update has improved their handling on iOS, so now it is time for a close examination. Here is all you need to know to get the most of keywords on your iPhone or iPad.
A Brief Introduction to Ulysses X-Callback-Support
Do you often find yourself doing the same things on your iPad or iPhone over and over again? Automation apps let you run such routines automatically, with the help of so-called x-callback-urls. Ulysses now also supports x-callback, allowing you to speed up your iOS workflows.
An x-callback-url triggers a particular action within an app and follows a certain app specific scheme. Here is a simple example for a Ulysses x-callback-url:
Silvio Gulizia is an Italian journalist and communication consultant. He has published the books “iProduttivo”, a guide to productivity apps and methods for iPad and iPhone, and “Sognare per Vivere”, an ebook about finding the courage to startup a personal project. Silvio also owns a blog about intentional living on vivereintenzionalmente.com.
Please tell us a little bit about your work: How do you combine your professions?
I am completely focused on telling great stories. As a journalist, you are required to observe the world, to look for stories other people can’t view and to work on them to develop a product worth your readers’ time and money. It’s not a matter of coming up with the news anymore. Well, you need the news, but once it is published, you need a story to spread it. Today, every company is able to reach its own audience and tell its stories without going through the press. I bring to companies, in particular those in the startup and innovation field, my passion for telling stories. I help them to dig out stories from their own world and serve them directly to interested readers.
Yes, we’ve spent some time celebrating and enjoying the positive feedback we got after having released Ulysses 2.5 some weeks ago. But this did not keep us from doing our jobs: Ulysses 2.5.1 brings a lot of fixes and improvements, and we can proudly claim that this is the most polished version we have published so far. For details, you can check the release notes for Ulysses for Mac and Ulysses for iOS.
Apart from fixing bugs and crashes, this version brings major improvements to x-callback support in Ulysses for iOS. X-callback is available since Ulysses 2.5 and can be used to allow third-party apps to trigger certain actions with Ulysses. That way, busy writers can create automated workflows to increase their productivity. If that still sounds a bit enigmatic, keep your spirits up: Before long we will have a x-callback introduction for beginners on the blog and present some great ready-made workflows created by other Ulysses users.
Ulysses 2.5.1 is of course a free update for existing users and should already be available on the stores:
Side note: Any update we publish on the App Stores naturally hides the ratings and reviews for the current version. So please take a minute to update your rating or review, or leave one, in case you haven’t yet. Thank you so much!