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Posted by JohnK
May 18, 2011 at 10:55 PM

 

The only big mistake I made in this area was trusting single Word files to hold large chunks of text (tens of thousands of words). The scars still remain. Don’t do it.

Using a different Word file for each chapter can make sense, particularly if you use a nice organisational tool such as Chapter by Chapter (http://sites.google.com/site/sebberthet/chapter-by-chapter).

I think Scrivener is a more elegant solution. I’ve played with the Windows beta, and it’s promising. You can export finished work to Word docs for sending to editors etc. I’m also starting to use Noteliner for some things (http://www.noteliner.org/i/Main.html).

For shorter pieces of writing, I tend to use WriteMonkey (http://writemonkey.com/). Like Steve, I’m also a fan of Notetab.

And also like Steve, I’m also old enough to remember a very different way of working—while at college, I was given permission to use the college’s pre-PC “computer facilities” to write a paper. It was a dumb terminal, attached to a mainframe the size of a small house. All formatting was entered in code (as would become familiar in later years using DOS word processors). It was agony…

 


Posted by Steve
May 19, 2011 at 09:53 AM

 

Atlantis Word Processor is very good for writing, exporting to EPUB, and has a built in projects module.  http://www.atlantiswordprocessor.com/en/

 


Posted by MadaboutDana
May 19, 2011 at 10:24 AM

 

Looks pretty cool, I must say.

 


Posted by Cassius
May 19, 2011 at 01:04 PM

 

JohnK wrote:
>The only big mistake I made in this area was trusting single Word files to hold large
>chunks of text (tens of thousands of words). The scars still remain. Don’t do
>it.
> >Using a different Word file for each chapter can make sense, particularly if you
>use a nice organisational tool such as Chapter by Chapter
>(http://sites.google.com/site/sebberthet/chapter-by-chapter).
——————————————————————————
I absolutely agree with JohnK on NOT creating long Word documents.  Too great a chance that a corruption in one part of the document will corrupt the entire document.  This actually happened once when I was at the FAA.  An editor who was compiling different sections of a document written in Word by different contributors suddenly found that the entire document was corrupted because corruption in one section had spread to the entire, combined document.  She ended up retyping the entire thing.

Another danger is emailing a Word document as an attachment.  I once emailed a Word document to an editor two floors up.  Usually, she made no changes, but this time she emailed it back with numerous changes.  I asked her why and she said she hadn’t made any changes.  The email did!!!  I had to reread the entire document and fix all of the changes (corruptions) as there was no pattern to them.  Thereafter, I hand-carried each chapter to her on a floppy.

Even when I completed a large technical report, I never put it in one file.  I printed each chapter separately.  (This was before our print shop had the capability to print directly from an electronic file.)  I ALWAYS kept one or more “pristine” backups of each chapter, just in case of a disaster.

-cassius

 


Posted by Hugh
May 19, 2011 at 03:44 PM

 

I’m sure there’s a simple division here between fiction and non-fiction writers. Fiction writers may be able to get away without using MS Word (although round-tripping documents with an editor without “Track Changes”  may be difficult). Non-fiction writers are much more likely to need all the bells and whistles that Word can provide (or may even need to go as far as a desktop publisher such as InDesign). Self-pubbing may also make demands for formatting and layout that only Word or something like it has available.

By the way, for Mac users there’s an upgraded Word replacement just launched:http://www.nisus.com/pro/. Nisus has a long and respectable Mac history, and as far as I know has never been accused of corrupting lengthy documents. On the basis of a quick skim, its latest version appears to have all the features for final formatting and polishing that an author might need, including “Comments” and “Track Changes”.

 


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