Markdown and Creative Writing

From the 3rd of July, 2017

There are a lot of tools people use to write. Some things are very popular and commonplace like Microsoft Office and others are more specialized like Scrivener. Large text based applications like these have plenty features but also have plenty of limitations. One of the biggest problems is the gargantuan amount of resources required to run these expensive software word processors.

It’s not uncommon for Microsoft Word to suddenly cave under the pressure of a 500-page book. In fact a good portion of the documentation Community won’t even touch Microsoft Word but lean more towards Applications like LibreOffice or Latex. LibreOffice is huge and Latex has a steep learning curve.

Enter Markdown

# This is a title

This is some text.

- This is a list.
- This is also a list.

Markdown is **fun** and easy.

Yeah. It’s that easy.

Markdown was originally an HTML preprocessor designed to make the code both human readable and computer readable. Simple enough that the basics can be mastered in mere minutes but complex enough that it can be used for both documentation and for writing large creative works like novels. Because it’s plain text means that you are not limited to any word processor or platform. Text can be edited almost anywhere. However compiling your text into a format of choice requires some free and open source software.

Pandoc to the rescue

Pandoc is the Swiss army knife of documents. It can open everything from a Microsoft Office document to an HTML file without breaking a sweat. It’s an excellent tool for converting the overwhelming world of doc formats. The granddaddy of all text formats, Markdown is your ambassador to this world. With Pandoc and markdown you can create any document you need. Docx? Got it. Open document format? Damn right! EPUB? That’s right even EPUB. From text files right to the book reader!

Revisioning in Markdown?

Git is a revision a software originally designed for source code. The source code is just text. Is totally feasible to use get as a revision software for your next novel and our blog post. It’s fairly easy to work with and is sometimes baked into even fancy codebtors like Atom. Adam is an excellent text editor for writing also.

So don’t let the lack of applications stop you from making your next creative endeavor. Head onto the markdown website to learn the syntax and pick the text editor of choice and get cracking. Text editors available on almost every platform. Android, iOS, Mac OS, windows, and even Linux.