In praise of another Ethan Hawke film…

Okay, a little while ago I raved about Gattaca, one of my all-time favourite sci-fi films. But there are, of course, two Ethan Hawke films that blow even that out of the water (and no, I’m not talking about Dead Poets’ Society)… Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. You can call me an old romantic (although I’d rather you left out the “old”), but these two films are just superb. I just re-watched Before Sunrise, which, when I saw it in my early twenties, quickly became one of my favourite films… And it still stands up as a great romantic film about two people who meet and like each other, who spend a night wandering around in the way you do with someone you like when you’re young, and who then part. It captures that feeling of spending a sleepless night just talking to someone you like beautifully. When I heard they were making a sequel to a film I liked so much, the sort of film that doesn’t exactly cry out for a sequel, I thought Richard Linklater must be insane. But how wrong I was. Before Sunset is even better. It’s one of the most poignant films I’ve ever seen, taking up the lives of two characters you cared about in a realistic way. They have separate lives, partners and (for one of them) children

Scrivener – alive and kicking

I’ve been receiving an increasing number of e-mails asking me if Scrivener is still in active development, which seems to be a result of people checking this blog and noting that my last post here was some time ago… So, yet again, I thought I’d best post a quick update to say that Scrivener is indeed alive, well, and in active development. (I’ve always said that the forums are a better indicator of the state of development, because I post on the forums nearly every day, but I do understand that some users, or potential users, don’t really like forums much and therefore don’t check them.) Of course, as I say on the About page of the main site, Scrivener isn’t really about whizz-bang new features. I have always maintained that you should take it for what it is, and that my only real commitment is to bug-fixes and making it the best writing software for my needs. And indeed, I stand by that.

However, such caveats notwithstanding, the next version of Scrivener is a bit of a biggie – Scrivener 1.5. It has leapt internally from the current version (1.11) to 1.12 to 1.2 all the way to 1.5 as the changes, fixes and feature list has grown. In many ways, it’s a 2.0 release, but I want to reserve the right to charge upgrade fees on major point releases, and I’m nowhere near the point at which I want to ask existing customers to pay for an upgrade, so 1.5 it is (in other words, it will be a free update to registered users). In many ways, it’s a refinement release. There are some new features, true (such as a page layout view, which is important for screenwriters who judge time by a minute-per-page, although Scrivener remains steadfastly not a page layout program, so there will never be columns, widows and orphans control, real footnotes or suchlike). But mostly it has been a chance for me to go back over areas that I have never quite been happy with and which I thought could be done better. For instance, the Compile Draft pane is very cluttered and not entirely intuitive, so it’s been replaced with one that is more contextual and which has more options, but which keep out of your way if you don’t need them. The preferences pane is also very cluttered, and I’ll be overhauling that in the next few weeks. There are various other areas that have undergone, or are undergoing, refinement, too (such as the corkboard), but over all it will still be the same Scrivener.

So, development is far from dead. I am still here, staring at my screen and scratching my head, pecking at the keyboard and waiting for builds to complete. But after 1.5, I really am going to write The Bloody Novel.

I suppose at this point, I should provide an in-development screenshot of 1.5 (note the project that you can see open is the one I use for my development notes; not very interesting).

I’ll have more news about the next update, and other developments at Literature & Latte, in the next month or so…