Originally posted by Irked
But you're describing problems - version control, joint editing access across multiple physically-distant users, etc. - that are known issues in a lot of disciplines; mine's one of them. And for a lot of these disciplines, free solutions exist! Even something like LaTeX-plus-version-control will handle most of the issues you're describing; it'll track pagerefs across multiple files, accounting for image placement and multiple citations, and so on. If for-reals not-free software like InDesign doesn't - which again, I stress that I don't have personal experience with, and I've heard people say conflicting things on this subject - that just moves my bafflement from "Why on earth isn't this part of their process?" to "Why on earth isn't this part of design software?"
Like, this is a piece of the behind-the-curtain I'm really interested in, if you're willing to expound. The October draft had weirdly many words split by spaces at syllable breaks; what does that? What's the design process that produces that?
*lucy falls on the ground rending her garments*
(Humanities academic in my real life, LaTex as the solution to all woes is a common occurence no matter the software you're having problems with or why)
LaTex is great, don't get me wrong. But it is a fairly non-intuitive piece of software to use and was not designed for writing long books with lots of art. Lots of equations and diagrams and scientific notation. Not full spread art, multiple kinds of backgrounds, and really really high quality enormous sized art files. And also requires a significant training lead in time (particularly if you're hacking it together to make it do something it wasn't truly designed to do).
(the amount of time I've seen very well meaning people lead poor newbies up a path with 'write your thesis in LaTex it's great' I'd have used far fewer boxes of tissues with researchers battling software. Endnote is bad enough.)
(not to mention, we're writers, not designers or art people or whatever, so it makes no sense for us to draft in the same software the art designer uses because it's either not going to have what we need, or not what they need, and we all have different creative processes as well)
And add 'rando mid-word breaks' to the bafflement. Software does weird random shit to things, particularly copying and pasting through multiple different word processors. Particularly when you start working in really really big documents with really really intricate spacing and positioning issues. Currently there isn't a bit of software that's meant to take words on a page and turn them into the lush illustrated type of thing the corebook is, simply because no single person is meant to do that. The market for it would be tiny because the amount of texts that need that kind of attention and would be served by having a single person handling it is miniscule.
Like, I've worked with picture book authors/illustrators before and that can take an age because of the artistic elements, and those are only 500 words long. And even so one of my fave authors has a story about the publishers working from the wrong draft and commissioning art, and so she's had to live with this enormously awkward rhyme in one of her most beloved books, because the art had already been done so the rhyme had to stay.
As much as the 'Too many Daiklaves' is a lovely idea, it's not something in place for any other properties I don't think? So it'd be kind of awkward if suddenly everyone is required to account for their time, not to mention that yeah, arguments and fallout about it all is something that's just super super draining to deal with.
But, I mean, as for sneak peeks at stuff we've done, I know Vance updates twitter with some of his stuff, John as well, and when I visited earlier in the year we went old school and did relationship maps using sticky notes all over a table at Starbucks to try and visualise the political ramifications of certain things that are spread across multiple chapters and writers (they did most of the visualising, I was kind of a shitty secretary who interjects with stuff and has terrible handwriting). John made me try a green tea frappucino thingy, it was nice.