Good Design: So you want to write a master piece?

 The purpose of the product:

The purpose of the product I want to introduce today is to compose a creative writing.  By creative writing, I mean the kind of writing for which there is no determined content yet.  For example, the daily business reports with given format is not a creative writing, while an academic paper or literature like novel or poem is.  One characteristic of such writing is that the emphasis is usually on the content not the format.  And it requires substantial human focus, for it is very easy to distract.  One way of explaining this distraction is that one’s brain is lazy, so it does not want to work or in this case ‘think’.  So it tries to escape creative writing requiring thinking whenever possible.

 The two product of comparison:

I would like to compare two great software for the writing, whose purpose is slightly different.  The two product of comparison is the Microsoft Word program and Writer program by Information Architect, Inc.  In the functional aspect, Word is a lot more powerful than Writer.  However does this functionality can be additive to the productivity of creative writing?  I don’t think so.  By offering so many possibilities in any given situation, Word program adds more distraction.  On the contrary the Writer program offers two modes to assist the creative writing.  One is full screen mode.  It hides everything except the neatly organized text.   And the other is focus mode.  This mode slightly fades every  text other than a paragraph cursor is located.

I will choose iA writer for creative writing.  As Antoine de Saint-Exupery said, “Perfection (in design) is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but rather when there is nothing more to take away.”  By reducing the unnecessary distraction it enables more focused environment.  It is interesting that in the recent version of Microsoft Word, there is new function called “Full Screen”, and its function is similar to the Writer.




3 thoughts on “Good Design: So you want to write a master piece?

  1. You categorize academic paper into creative writing, I think it’s kind of half and half. For one thing, academic paper requires a lot of creativity and focus. For another, it also has strict formats. For example, you have to cite a lot of previous literature especially in the literature review section. I tried to use om writer or the full screen mode of MS word before, but then I couldn’t use the citation manage tool plug-in, which I use to insert citations to the paper. The plug-in is disabled in the full-screen mode, so I had to go back when ever I wanted to cite something, so I gave up using the full screen mode eventually. I wish there could be zenware for academic writing that can enable citation management tools like EndNote and Zotero.

    • Yes, it will be great. How about sketching a few screenshot of zenware for academic writing with citation management function.

      I personally use tex as academic writer formatting. And during the creative writing with iAwriter, I will leave a just simple comment like “(Put here some reference about this) or (Cite John’s paper here)”. Because looking up the reference interrupts flow of the thinking, I can just keep writing while the thinking flows. And when it stops,then I will do the formatting using Tex.

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