Thursday, March 23, 2006

 

Monomania

I've reached the point in the preproduction of the space opera where I become fairly insufferable to be around. My attentions have gotten so narrow in recent days that I can't sit still for more than fifteen minutes without doing work of some kind or another. The only way I'm able to sit down with Allison for a short while in the afternoon in front of the television is by watching documentaries that are tangentially related to my researches (and thank god for BBC's Horizon, which has been a freakin' goldmine of great stuff), but even then I've got my Moleskin on the arm of my chair, furiously making notes. But the last few days I haven't even managed that.

I've done little else the last couple of days but work on a wiki I'm building, collecting all of my notes (handwritten and softcopy alike) in one place. I can hardly remember how I used to work before I got online, but I can't imagine it was terrifically efficient. Now, I'm collecting thousands of words worth of worldbuilding in a hyperlinked wiki database, adding additional detail as I go. The ability to cut and paste text from my online sources directly into the wiki means that, when I start writing the book in May, I won't have to go hunting for my references to that secondary school in Bangalore, or the exact text of the UN Outer Space Treaty, but can just pull up the wiki and find the appropriate page in the index. How cool is that?

It occurs to me that when the book is published, making this wiki publically available online would make for pretty effective "bonus materials."

(Thanks to Tobias Buckell, btw, for recommending TikiWiki. It works a treat!)

Okay, I'm back to work. Hopefully I'll have something interesting to say in the next few days.

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