Patrick E. McLean : Just what it says on the tin.

Visualizing the Writing of the Merchant Adventurer

So, when I wrote The Merchant Adventurer I tried some interesting things. I left Scrivener behind and wrote it in Markdown, using Sublime Text 2 as the editor. And I put the whole thing into git. Why? Well, for one text editors are just better at… wait for it… editing text.

But the other reason is I wanted to see if I could visualize the process and learn something about it. I succeeded on both counts. Primarily what I learned is it is messy. This film is greatly shortened, but if you’ve the patience to watch it closely, you can see the point where I chucked absolutely everything I’d written into a directory called “Old Draft” and started over. I did an editing and transfer pass very quickly because I’d gotten to the point where I’d figured it out and could begin in earnest. It’s also an interesting and granular way to track your progress. See?

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 3.07.58 PM

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 3.08.10 PM

Git is a tremendous tool and there’s a lot more I can do with scripting visualizations (if I’m bored, or go nuts or just want to gaze at my navel) But still, it’s an interesting artifact of the process and I thought I’d share.

If you are at all geeky and are interested in playing around with this, the original repo is here and the visualization tool I used is gource, available here.

Subscribe: email | twitter