Literature map

This is just a quick little post, but for an entertaining and actually quite useful web site.

Literature Map (http://www.literature-map.com/) lets you enter the name of an author, and similar authors will display in an animated cloud, the more similar the closer.

It’s useful to find new authors in a style you enjoy, or as a curiosity to see whether your taste naturally groups similar writers.

Check it out if you need an excuse to take a break.

Why Creative Writing is Better with a Pen (via @guardianbooks)

This is a fun little filler read for a friday. I daresay one shouldn’t take the headline to be some kind of statement of fact, more the personal preference of Lee Rourke, who wrote this for the Guardian:

I find that writing longhand I can enter a zone of comfort I find hard to achieve when sitting in front of a screen – I find typing annoying, if I’m honest, not the mechanics of it, but the sound. The constant tap-tap-tap-tap on the keyboard reminds me of all the offices I’ve worked in. The sound bores into me, it fills me with an anxiety I could do without. I feel like I’m signing off invoices rather than writing my next novel.

It’s a fun article, gilded with a touch of reproach for all the whiz-bang of modernity, and full of quotes that might, if read less charitably, raise the blood pressure of modern writers who don’t share this anxious revulsion of technology:

“A blank computer screen makes me want to throw up,” explains Niven Govinden. “It’s not conducive to good writing. The physicality of longhand pleases me. I can revise as I work in a way that doesn’t happen on a laptop. […] I think harder about one good sentence following another, which for me is all that matters.”

Don’t take it too seriously, but try to absorb some of the cultural and technological nostalgia. It’s fun to read.

Check it out here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/nov/03/creative-writing-better-pen-longhand

Funky little iPhone app with old-school type written charm

I found this on John Gruber’s Daring Fireball site, and it’s such a quaint and nostaligic approach to writing that I thought I’d share it with you.

The engineers at Doormouse Mfg. have at last combined the latest in mobile pneumatic tubes technology with the highest-quality digital micro-swingarms available—and for a fraction of the price of the competition.

Check the app out here: http://typewritten.doormouse.org/