Geeky writing techniques I love that someone should simplify

My latest Locus Magazine column, "Extreme Geek," is online: it's a description of three geeky writing tools I use that are a) useful; b) too geeky for most people; c) ripe for being turned into something useful to less geeky people.

I put the call out to the readership at Boing Boing, the blog I co-edit, and Dan McDonald, one of my readers, came through with a fantastic little Perl script called that does exactly this, parsing all my notes into a database that I can search or query visually, by clicking on the cloud.

Now, as I write the novel, this has become an invaluable aid: for one thing, it lends itself to a kind of casual, clicky browsing in which one hashtag leads to another, to a search-query, to another tag, exploring my notes in a way that is both serendipitous and directed.

For another, the format is one that comes naturally to me, because of all the other services I use — such as Twitter — that employ this telegraphic, brief style.

Extreme Geek