I am a geek.
This may be self-evident based on the fact that I work in IT and maintain several websites including two blogs, but the implications of that may not be clear.
In software development, of which I have done very, very little, there’s a concept called “version control”. In brief, it’s about keeping track of the latest revision of your written source code, so that you can revert, if necessary, to an older version for part of the code, when something goes wrong. Also, it can be used to see the progression of improvements done to the work, which is useful for a long list of things. Back in 2008, on my other blog, Diary of a Network Geek, I mentioned the revolutionary idea, at least to me, that writers might use version control in their work. Well, apparently, other people have been playing with that idea more than I did and produced something beautiful, at least beautiful to my geek mind; the web app, Draft.
So, here are the main features of Draft.
It lets you share a copy of your document while maintaining a “master copy”. In other words, you can share your document, but roll-back any changes that anyone else may make to it.
It lets you compare your older drafts with your current draft, so you can decide if your brilliant revision is really all that brilliant after all. (And, if it’s not, revert to the older version.)
A nice feature is that it will help you import all those bits and pieces of writing you have scattered around through Evernote and Dropbox and GoogleDrive, so you can gather all those tiny slivers of ideas into one place for easy editing and revision control.
The last feature, which I assume will incur charges, is that Draft offers the “Ask a Professional” button, which will get you access to a staff of reviewers who will suggest edits to your work, whatever it is. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that, but the idea of having essentially proof-readers for a novel does sound just a little interesting to me.
And, as for output, well, you can publish your final revision to WordPress, Tumblr, or Twitter, as well as just save it for your own uses later or elsewhere.
Oh, and yes, this is all free to try. No word on any fees, yet, but after signing up myself, I couldn’t see any. So, give it a whirl!