How to Write a Novel With Ulysses, Part  I: Organization and the Writing Process

Cover of Matt Gemmel’s novel TOLL

A Guest Post by Matt Gemmell

Matt Gemmell is a thriller writer from the city of Edinburgh in Scotland. He wrote his recent book, TOLL — which is out this week — using Ulysses. We invited him to share a few details of his writing process and how he uses several of the app’s features to help him. In this post, he covers his project structure, the manuscript’s organization, and the writing process; plus he explains how he is making use of keywords and word count goals. In a second post, Matt will talk about how he is going about reference and research related to his novel, and treat the subjects of editing and export.

TOLL is the result of two years of work, and is the second book in my KESTREL series. It’s around 100,000 words long, and required a great deal of planning, research, and organisation. I used various tools for the planning stages, but ultimately I moved almost everything into Ulysses, to keep all my book-related material in one place and easy to access.

Here’s how I went about it. Read …

Novelist Jeanine Krock: “Writing Is a Lonely Job, so You Need to Be Comfortable in Your Own Company”

Jeanine Krock
Jeanine Krock

Sometimes, life takes unexpected turns. It was a severe riding accident that forced Jeanine Krock to change careers. That was fifteen years ago; today, Jeanine makes her livelihood as a novelist. She has published numerous books with various publishing houses and acts as a coach to aspiring writers of all ages.

A German version of this interview is available on the website Die Wortfinderinnen.

Please tell us something about you and what you are working on.

My name is Jeanine Krock. I’m a novelist. Most of what I write I publish under my name, but there are times when I’m using a pen name. Right now, for example, I’m writing as Kiri Johansson, and have just completed the first draft of a novel called Islandsommer (“A Summer in Iceland”), to be published by Heyne in May next year. It’s now with the editors, which, for me, is always a bit of an emotional roller coaster.

I trained as a costume designer, but have also worked as a scout and booker at a model agency, as a relocation consultant, waitress, cook, and in a call centre. At one point, I even ironed shirts for a living. Oh, and I’m a committed European.

Read …

Writer’s Fall Collection

Only for a Short Time: Ulysses T-Shirts!

Forget about long sleeve tops and hoodies; T-shirts are the new hot! Hiplength, short-sleeved, made from cotton or cotton blend, and garnished with a chest print created by designer Philip Ackermann, the new Ulysses shirts are must-haves for fashionable writers of all sexes.

Both T-shirts Ulysses Glyph and DNA are now available for pre-order with Cotton Bureau.

We were lucky to catch busy Philip at his desk, and asked him a couple of questions. Read …

“When I Started the Book Project, Ulysses Became My Lifesaver”

As a consultant and trainer, Barbara Hoisl helps tech companies to turn innovations for the Internet of Things into successful products. The challenge for these companies isn’t merely technical; they also need to embrace the mindset, strategies and business models from the software world that greatly differ from their own industry. Barbara’s book “Produkte digital-first denken” (“Inventing products digital-first”) is based on her work with decision-makers on this subject. Writing it did not turn out to be as easy as she had hoped.

Please tell us something about you and what you are working on.

Barbara Hoisl
Barbara Hoisl

I’m a computer scientist by training and have been working in the software industry since the early nineties.

In 2010, I started my own consulting business, focused on strategy and business planning for software and Internet companies.

Since 2014, I’ve been doing more and more consulting in the Internet of Things (IoT) space. For example, I’m working with vendors of high-tech industrial products who are developing smart, connected products for the Internet of Things. I help them leverage the mindset, strategies and business models from the software and Internet industry to turn their innovations into successful products. Read …

Speed Up Your Ulysses Workflows With Apple’s Shortcuts App

Are you eager to reduce the time you lose with routine tasks? Then you should have a look at Apple’s Shortcuts app for iOS. You can use it to combine actions from many different apps into a single shortcut, accessible via a home screen icon, the shortcuts widget or a Siri voice command.

Let’s assume you keep a journal in Ulysses; every day you answer a number of predetermined questions. Your journal is represented by a Ulysses group, and every day you create a new sheet in that group. At the top of each entry, you’d like to include the current date and location. In our brand-new tutorial, we introduce the Shortcuts app and walk you through the creation of a sample shortcut that does all of the above for you!

Forget About Copy-Paste, Make Use of the Share Extension!

You read about a subject and collect information about its essential aspects — that’s how many writing tasks begin. If the research is taking place on the web, the share extension is a helpful little tool to make it easier. It has been part of Ulysses for iPad and iPhone for some time; with Ulysses 14 we integrated it in the Mac app as well.

You can use the share extension to send text, links, and images from Safari and many different apps directly to Ulysses. It is easy as pie: Select the content you want to share, execute the Share command (via a toolbar button or a context menu), then choose Ulysses from the list of apps. This will open a share sheet where you can add notes or a description, or edit the text directly. Moreover, you can select the Ulysses group to which the content should be sent. Finally, click Send, and the content will be added to Ulysses as a new sheet. For a closer look at how to use the share extension precisely on your different devices, check out our new tutorial.

Ulysses for iPhone XS Max

Artwork with Ulysses logo and iPhone XS Max

We’re excited to announce that Ulysses is now optimized for both iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR! Ulysses 14 on the super large super retina display of iPhone XS Max and XR – it’s a super-combo for your writing needs on the go.

The update is now available on the App Store – install it on your shiny new device and have fun!

Ulysses 14 on iOS: Let Siri Do Some Work for You

iOS 12 has arrived, and, on schedule, a new Ulysses version for iPad and iPhone! Ulysses now supports Siri shortcuts. Here is what you can do with it.

Do you keep a notebook or a diary in Ulysses, where you jot down ideas and reflections on a regular basis? Or is there a book project you keep coming back to? If you find yourself doing the same thing over and again in Ulysses, Siri shortcuts are for you. In Ulysses for iPad and iPhone, you can now add voice commands to selected recurring actions. Read …

Architect and Book Author Geoffrey Makstutis: “There Is a Sense of Release as the Words Come out on the Screen”

Geoffrey Makstutis is an architect and works in one of the world’s largest education companies. He also writes books; the latest, Design Process in Architecture, will shortly be released with Laurence King Publishing. From having an idea for a book to its actual release, it can be a long journey. Geoffrey describes how his ideas take shape in Ulysses, how he’s handling images (his book contains a lot of them), and how copyright clearances, reviews and translations contribute to the complexity of the whole process.

Please tell us something about you and what you are working on.

Geoffrey Makstutis

Originally from the United States, for the past 28 years I have lived and worked in London. I am an architect, educator and author. I studied architecture in the United States and the United Kingdom; with most of my professional practice being within different firms in the UK. I’ve worked on projects; ranging from small residential schemes to large cultural institutions, in the UK, US and Far East. In 2004, I became a full-time academic; running the architecture program for a UK university. Since 2016, I have been working for one of the largest education companies in the world, developing vocational qualifications related to construction, art & design and creative media production.

What is writing for you — a profession, a hobby, or a calling?

Writing plays multiple roles in my life. My professional work involves a great deal of writing; ranging from producing reports to developing qualifications to creating training materials. When my day-to-day work was purely academic, I did a good deal of research; so I was involved in writing research proposals and research reports. In addition, I was often reviewing and writing academic policy information.

Read …