Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Time Saver Tip

I'm absolutely certain that this is old information to a lot of people, but I decided to try something last night as I was writing that has made it easier to write, and will make it easier to do revisions.

I had been writing my book, Incanto: A Fairy Tale, as one giant Word document. Almost 200 pages so far, and it was getting to be a bear to navigate, especially if I decided I needed to add a quip back in Chapter 7 so that Chapter 20 would make since, or something like that.

Then it dawned on me. I should just save each chapter as an individual document! I know, genius, right? So I created a subfolder called "Chapters" and proceeded to make 23 files, for all 23 of my currently finished chapters.

Besides the time saver thing, this has afforded me a few other advantages:
  • I can see which chapters are much shorter/less detailed than others. This makes revision easy.
  • I can reorder my chapters much easier.
  • I can copy and paste events between chapters.
  • I can fact check my names/titles/language usage better.
I am stoked about this. Of course, now I'll find out that everyone else has probably already been doing this since the days of Dickens, what version of Office was that, 98?

Oh well, I'll revel in my own discovery. Now on to find this place called "America." I'm sure it's out there, somewhere.

2 comments:

David said...

Isaiah, I started doing this midway through my first book. I like working on isolated chapters and then pasting the new version in place of the old in the full manuscript. It's a little cumbersome working in your master document. Also, it's interesting there's no way to contact you directly through your blog--no e-mail link. I read your comment on N. Bransford's blog about the cloud search you ran on your book which picked up words used multiple times. How did you set that up? I run searches on individual words if I sense I'm overusing them, but I'd love to see what words I'm using the most. Thank you.

IsaiahC said...

I used wordle.net for my word cloud. There might be some other sites, but that's the one I used.