What an interesting idea…
So, as many of my long-time readers know, I tend to straddle two worlds. By day, I’m a highly proficient, one-man, network-ninja death squad, but, by night, I’m a frustrated, hopeful writer who’s always looking for high-tech reasons to procrastinate. I think I may have found a project that bridges these two worlds in an article titled Subversion for Writers.
Subversion is a version control system which is primarily used by software developers to, well, track the version of their programming code. But, code is just specially formated text with very specific syntax and a really boring plot, so there’s no reason at all to not use it to track versions of a story or novel. And, in fact, that’s just what the author, Rachel Greenham, is proposing. I think it would be especially useful for novelists, since you could keep track of all the possible plot deviations and revert back to an earlier branch if things started to “go wrong”. In any case, it’s worth a look, even if you don’t use Linux or OS X, which is what she uses. (In fact, if you’d like to use Windows to do this, LifeHacker, who linked to her article, has a post with links to Windows clients for Subversion.)
Well, anyway, if you write a lot and are a geek like me and have some time to waste, it’s worth looking into, at the very least.