HMS Victory photo by Karen Roe https://secure.flickr.com/photos/karen_roe/8040198099/

Scrivener to Word

This shouldn’t be so hard.

I’ve reached the point where it’s time to compile my manuscript from Scrivener into Word format, in preparation for The Great Editing. Now the Compile part is easy. (Well, I say “easy” in that it’s pretty complicated, but in a Scrivener way, and after you’ve been using Scrivener for a while, well, you eventually become something akin to a taxi driver in London; you eventually learn where those dead-ends and obscure addresses are.)

Dealing with the Word document output is another matter. This is because, while Scrivener has the ability to define and use all kinds of nifty Styles for your formatting (e.g., regular paragraph vs. blockquote vs. chapter title), it strips all of those Styles out in the export. What you’re left with is a document where the entire thing is defined as “Normal” Style, with a plethora of individual formatting overrides creating everything you see.

But we all know that we all need to use Styles in our manuscripts, right? Because from Word they can convert to html elements in your ebooks, and they carry straight through into InDesign styles for print layout. (And if you’re submitting to an editor or publisher, they will get very annoyed with you if you don’t give them a clean document, defined entirely by Styles and not by a zillion one-off format settings paragraph by paragraph.

Through trial and error, I figured out how to run searches on particular, peculiar formats and replace them with Styles. It’s an Advance Search & Replace function in Word. (Someday Word may approach the power and simplicity of WordPerfect 4.1, but that day has not arrived yet.) It was a kludgey process, but one by one I found my various document components visually, picked out a peculiar formatting characteristic about it (e.g., uses Courier, font-size 14pt), and was able to run a global replace to tag all of those instances instead with a Style.

I worked my way through:

  • Section titles
  • Chapter titles
  • Blockquotes (I have a few variations, representing text from various sources)
  • Direct thoughts (a character Style, to preserve the italics I’m using for these)
  • Normal

Note that if you are using italics for things like direct thoughts, or for emphasis or whatever, you want to find and define those first before you do the process on your Normal text style, or bye-bye italics!

As I said, for a semi-professional longform document app, Scrivener‘s export to Word should not be this hard. I hope they address this in upcoming releases, because it’s one thing to do this every couple of months in preparation of publication, and even that’s a pain, but clearly this will not scale. And right now it’s the suckiest step in the entire workflow getting text from brain to print and digital.

PS—If you’re curious about the manuscript itself, I’ll be talking about that first and more informally in my newsletter.

[Photo: Karen Roe (Creative Commons)]

In which words flow, but not where I need them

The place: The Facebook website thingie.

The time: A moment of weakness (escaping from my manuscript).

The assignment: “Exercise!!! 250-500-100 words (some kind of narrative). No “to be” verbs!”

The inspiration: This great photo….

Sneakers

My jotted whatnot:

Without Sole

Has anyone seen my sneakers? They walked off with my soul, and now I wander the earth, barefoot and in mourning, experiencing a life bereft of meaning.

Who knew shoes could take so much merely through their absence? Those soul-stealing soles completed me. Betrayers!

Tomorrow I have a date with a pair of sandals. In my younger days, I feared them. I thought they would tie me down. Those doubts plague me still.

Enough! No more whining! I shall pick myself up by my bootstraps—

Now where did THEY run off to?

—LLS, June 2014

Placed here for posterity. Now back to real stuff.

Entering creative space (Morning Check-Up for Artists)

Laura Lis Scott:

Time to close the browser.

Originally posted on chrismcmullen:

Writing

Imagination On. Check.

Motivation On. Check.

Quiet On. Check.

Distractions Off. Check.

Comfort Zone On. Check.

Eyes Ready. Check.

Mind Open. Check.

It’s a go.

Take a deep breath.

Creativity blasting off in 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0.

Let those creative juices flow.

Copyright © 2014 Chris McMullen

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P

P is for Priorities

I haven’t been blogging the A to Z Challenge these past few days because they were blocking me from getting the necessary things done—namely writing my novel, editing Kate‘s novels, and preparing books for publishing (and other life obligations).

PI’ve been blogging for well over a decade, and love it. I’m not stopping blogging altogether. It’s just that, given the day job, trying to wedge in the A to Z Challenge as well was turning out to be a burden. I have to focus on priorities.

So no more A to Z, unless serendipitous Muse comes for a visit. Thank you, everyone who stopped by and commented. I hope to see you again.

K

K is for Keyboard

Regular keyboards give me a pain — a pain in the wrist, specifically. It makes a huge difference when you’re typing a lot for emails, blog posts, proposals, articles … and novels.

I tried a number of keyboards.

Kinesis keyboard photo

The Kinesis Advantage is one of the most radical ergonomic keyboards out there. With scooped-out keyboard forms, it’s designed to conform to typical finger paths, not conventional keyboard grids. However, there’s a very steep learning curve. I didn’t care for it, though, because of the rather long keystrokes. With some hacks, such as swapping key switches and adding rubber rings underneath each key to try to limit they keystroke distance, but this already is a very expensive keyboard (several hundred dollars) so I regretfully had to return it.

 

Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic photo

The Microsoft Sculpt keyboard is a lightweight and modern offering from the company that had the most popular ergonomic keyboard in the 1990s. It wasn’t bad, but the Option and Command keys are swapped in position, which would require new less-optimal keystroke habits. In the end, I sent it back primarily for this reason.

 

Goldtouch Go!2 keyboard photo

The Goldtouch Go!2 keyboard does not have curves, but it does have a universal joint in the middle that allows you to angle they left and right halves of the keyboard, and even peak it in the middle, so you can find your own comfort position to avoid things like wrist pronation that can contribute to RSI. I like the quick-action scissor-switch keys, which are most like the keys on Apple keyboards, and don’t require a ton of motion in order to register a keystroke—very important when you don’t want to feel like you’re typing through mud. The keyboard has a switch for Mac and PC layouts. And it folds up, making it portable. Some people may dislike that it’s a USB keyboard, but I don’t mind—one less battery-driven device to worry about.

How I am happy.

J is for Jot

JIf you have nothing to say, jot it down. If you have something to say, jot it down. Just jot it down, and sort it out later.

The Scream, by Edvard Munch (oil on canvas, 1893)

I is for Iambic Pentameter

ITo what domain should I devote my pen?
To verse where I betray my ignorance?
For I to put these words on blogging, sense
Is strained by hackneyed turns of phrase — what then?
Oh Muse! Betray me not! This dalliance
Is but a metered post occasioned when
The A to Z endeavor strikes again
A block on all my words. And so I hence
State:
I am giving up writing iambic pentameter.
Trochee troubles set up by dactyl frustrations.
And lines get tangled up in dull calculations
So my all my metrical feet can all, in the end, fit inside there.

D is for Dry

DSometimes the cupboard is bare.
Sometimes the tissue is gone.
Sometimes the tank has no gas.
Sometimes the milk is done.

How does one take the end of supply?
Does despair find respite in a good cry?
When the dry well just mocks us
as it breaches our trust,
can we let go of attachments
to wishes
and musts?

No more posts.