Story Lathe Functions
Story lathe has a very basic editor because for writing, you only need basic functionality. It has only the bare-bones editing functions.
The lack of 'bells & whistles' is great. You are not distracted by things being constantly underlined by spelling or grammar checkers.
To me, that draws you a distracting editing cycle when you should be focusing on brain-dump writing.
Eventually, you will need to edit, but it should be at a time when you are ready and it is a conscience choice. To assist with the editing process,
I developed some tools to go through the text and look for writing elements that may be wrong or could be written with better words.
I don't use a standard spell checker. I initially wrote the one I do use as a quick fix because I couldn't get the code for the traditional approach working.
Mine lists all the words that don't appear in the standard and story dictionary then you correct manually.
I have the option to add it to the story dictionary if it's a word that I made up on the fly, or double clicking the word, and opening up google as a search.
Using google search for a word look up is great as it generally has links to a various on-line dictionaries, thesaurus and other references that have proved quite useful.
Each story has its own dictionary and as I make up words or terms for elements in the story, they are automatically added to the dictionary.
The amount of times I've made up a word in the lore and then misspelled it later is astonishing.
Using this manual method, I've found that my spelling has improved a great deal.
I can set a maximum and minimum sentence length to check for and the sort order. I can view low to high word counts or as they appear in the scene.
This is useful when reviewing a scene as the length of the sentence can show areas of pacing that may need to be improved.
I can ignore those that fit into the middle ground when I want to fucus on those that are too long or too short.
These can be altered in admin settings but found that listing those under 5 and those above 32 seems to work for my writing style.
It may change for different genera, but I can experiment as I go. Sort order can be helpful when you are reviewing your scene.
If it's an action scene, you would expect to see a lot more short sentences, world building description or introspection tend to be longer.
Run on Sentences
Run on sentences are simply those that contain too may conjunction words.
And, But, For, Nor, Or, So, Yet.
If the sentence contains more than 1 of these
words, then it is listed and the words highlighted in a different colour. Both dialogue and prose are checked. I tend to be lenient with dialogue as the way
a character talks, rarely adheres to any strict grammar conventions.
ie: Kel's father speaking in the opening scene of the story
 Your mother And I only want what’s best For you, And at this age, you have to make decisions that affect the rest of your life
Poor Word Use
I have a list of words that I've collected from other author and writing sites, where they claim that many of these words should be avoided in your work.
At first, I accepted this advice and tried to remove or at least minimize the words or terms from my work. I'm still defining this list and the classifications
that these words belong to. Many words belong to more than one classification and that's
You can find the list of words here.
I like to listen to music when I write. Many writers do. Often, it set's a mood I'm trying to convey or to drown out the background sounds that distract.
I can import a reference to all of my stored music into the application then I can categorise it in into
some arbitrary types I've set up such as Action, Fighting, Jungle, Forest, Thunderstorms, Romance or the common fallback, General writing.
I've recently stumbled on a Linux application called Blanket
which provides ambient
background sounds and it is pretty amazing. Listening to the sounds of a train journey with wind and rain can make the mundane world distant and allow you to focus on
your story world.
Text to Speech
I use ESpeak
to convert text to speech. Although it is rather robotic and mechanical, it's
possibly the function I use the most. Your ears can detect spelling and grammar errors that your eyes miss. Also, when such a robotic voice relating an action scene
still evokes excitement, you know that you've got it right. I can read out an entire chapter, a scene or selected text.
I've set the ESpeak function to reduce the current playing music by a set amount or to mute and once the reader finishes, the music is restored to its
original volume. This can be set in the admin settings.
I can export the story in a few different formats. An open office document, a standard text file and HTML that can then be imported into an EBook editor such as
. I can export a few other elements
such as my full bibliography and lists of word types.
I have some simple functions which are reasonably self descriptive. I have a cliche checker that scans through the required text to test against a list of 3,813 common cliche phrases.
Generate a list of word use frequency from highest to lowest to ensure you are not overusing a specific word. Common words like 'and, the, I, a,' etc are excluded and can be added to as required.
Highlight key-words that are identified as specific to a plot point.
When I'm doing a first pass edit, if I find something that is going to take time to research or re-think,
I can highlight the text and add it to a Needs Editing list with an appropriate comment. I can then review the list and organise the research I need to do.
I have some ideas on future work based on discovered problems with my work. This ,may be particular to me but then again, so is Story Lathe and that is not likely to change.
- A list of words used more than once that are N from each other.
- An export feature that is almost an EPub format.
- A much better time line management function.
- Change my (poor) word list classifications to make it a many-to-one relationship.
- I'll add more things here as they become apparent.