Marking Down

· 1 min read

Super short little post here, today to tell you about Markdown. Since I’m attempting to abandon Scrivener I figured I’d keep posting bits and pieces about alternatives. Markdown is actually one that I’ve been using for some time, in particular I use it to write everything that you see before you, it’s the way I write posts for Mechaquill and how I write the short stories that go up over on The Traverse.

Markdown is written out with styling added to it as you go, but not as a complex select and modify arrangement like word or many of the other what-you-see-is-what-you-hope-comes-out-at-the-other-end word processors, instead you add the syntax to your text as you go and then the system displaying it will interpret those syntax marks and display it, for example as italics (using asterisk’s around the word) or bold (two asterisk’s). And best of all, it can be written in any plain text editor (yes, Hank, that means you can’t use not having your word processor installed as an excuse to not write), alternatively you can turn to a higher-functioning text editor that actively displays what you’ve written with the syntax interpreted and displayed in the document using something like Typora (in Typora’s case it will display the marks around the word when you place your cursor near it so that you can still edit it later).

There’s more good reasons to use markdown (Jonathan Schofield covers some of them in this post), and it won’t serve every use case, but it is extremely good at what it does and the syntax is relatively straightforward to pickup - besides, writing is about words, not deciding if it should be in Calibri or Verdana.