How do you save your manuscript?

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LiadanTD

Do you save it all to one document? By chapter? Do you create a table of contents or something else to help you easily move from one section to the next? I'm looking for ideas...
 

Devil Ledbetter

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Hi Lia,

I recently switched from saving separate chapters to using one big document. I find it much easier to work with, and find my story flowing better because I can better see chapter transitions, balance, structure and such.

I put Chapter# at the beginning of each chapter, then just do a "find Chapter #" in the search to get where I'm going. If I don't know the chapter number I'm looking for, I use a different key word. It's actually easier than when I kept chapters separate.

My WIP is at 295 pages and I have no trouble getting around in it.
 

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I keep the whole book as one document, and use the search function to locate stuff.

I also keep a copy in a different file and update it from the original at the end of each day's writing. This has saved my work many, many times over the years. I don't always get along well with tech stuff and have been doing this since I lost 50 pages by hitting the wrong button.

My ultimate backup is hard copy. To save paper I use double columns, narrow margins, and very small font, single-spaced, printed on both sides. It looks like a magazine page. If the unthinkable happens and I lose both 'puter copies I have this as a fail-safe.

It's also very good for proofing. There's just so much you can spot on paper that is invisible on screen.

Naturally it's always marked up and gets out of date as I make changes, but better than losing everything.
 

ErylRavenwell

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I break it into three manageable parts of about 150 pages each. I use the "Find" function to jump to a section I want to revise. Usually each chapter has a few unique words that occur no where else.

Backup on USB.
 
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Sean D. Schaffer

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I usually write my work hardcopy on a beat-up old Royal typewriter. However, when I do write on the computer, I usually save one chapter at a time, and then as I have finished the work, I copy-and-paste all the chapters together into one large file.

Of course, my first 'computer' was in fact an old Brother word processor that didn't have enough memory to open a file more than, I think it was 25 pages in length. So needless to say, I had no choice in those days but to save each chapter as a separate document.

I guess I just don't think to explore new ideas all that often.


:Shrug:
 
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jmindigo

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My whole story goes in one document. When I come to a chapter break I just write 'Chapter #' and keep going, which is easier on both me and my computer to keep up the flow of a writing session. When I need to find something I just use the Find function and also if there is a scene I know I'll need to come back too I'll make note of it in my notes file for that story.
 

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One document, with a table of contents on page one.
Next to each chapter title in that table, I keep the page number of the chapter updated.
 

Raphee

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I am experimenting with yWriter nowadays. It allows me to keep track of chapters. But i do lose the whole novel structure that I prefer.

The good thing is that once my first draft is finished I can export my work from yWriter to word as one document.
 

Jamesaritchie

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Save

I save as separate chapters, and as a single file. I save as separate chapters because my publishers always seem to want a copy of the novel on a CD or DVD, and they always ask for it to be saved as chapter by chapter files.

I save as a single file because this makes searching a bit easier, though you can search separate files globally, as well.
 

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One document, using Document Map in Word to make it easy to jump from chapter to chapter. I copy from my desktop to a flash drive and then put a copy of it on my laptop. When it's done, I print it out and put it in a three-ring binder for editing.

About once a month, I copy all documents to a CD, too, just in case. So there's typically 5 copies of everything; 2 hard-drive, 1 flash drive, a CD and a hard copy.

Paranoid? Eh.
 

Jamesaritchie

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One document, using Document Map in Word to make it easy to jump from chapter to chapter. I copy from my desktop to a flash drive and then put a copy of it on my laptop. When it's done, I print it out and put it in a three-ring binder for editing.

About once a month, I copy all documents to a CD, too, just in case. So there's typically 5 copies of everything; 2 hard-drive, 1 flash drive, a CD and a hard copy.

Paranoid? Eh.

I'm paranoid. I keep all my writing in a single file folder, and I copy that file folder to CD (Well, now to DVD), at the end of each writing day. I also copy it to an online storage site, and to an external hard drive.
 

scribbler1382

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I have a Shaman come in every few hours and memorize what I've done, then I fly him to his tribal home, where he and his clan make cave paintings out of it.
 

CaroGirl

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I keep all the chapters in one file and use Word's document map to navigate chapters, the search function to find words and phrases, and the replace function to make a global change. I also know at a glance how many words and pages are in my document.

I email the whole file to my hotmail account about twice a week, and, of course, I save my work every day.
 

Spiny Norman

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I usually save my manuscript by swinging in on a chandelier, fighting a cadre of guards, and then kissing it before taking it in my arms and dropping out of a low window onto my trusty horse Concord and riding into the sunset.

That or ctrl + s.
 

LiadanTD

I usually save my manuscript by swinging in on a chandelier, fighting a cadre of guards, and then kissing it before taking it in my arms and dropping out of a low window onto my trusty horse Concord and riding into the sunset.

That or ctrl + s.


Who says chivalry is dead? ;)
 

Tirjasdyn

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I use ywriter which saves chapters in separate files in the same folder. They are all open when I work in the program. I work off a USB drive, the contents are backed up on dvd and online.

but really the best way to save your manuscript is to delete the first chapter. Works every time.
 

Claudia Gray

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My initial document is a brainstorming one, where I just drop in random ideas, thoughts, etc., from the very start of the process up until the end.

Second comes my outline. This evolves over a period of months and may be edited as I go, although I always have the "bones" of the story together before I consider this done.

Third come individual chapter documents. In the early writing stages, especially, I find this helps me to focus and to have the gumption to go in and make edits or rewrite as needed; there's a mental barrier against changing too much in a 300-page document, but not against making changes to a 10-page document. It also comes in handy in revisions sometimes.

After I have written all the chapters, I create the first complete draft. I put all the chapters into one doc so that I get a good sense of how it reads through.

I then go through and edit from the complete document. If I discover that one particular chapter is really, really not working, I go back to the original chapter document, do a complete overhaul there, and then cut-and-paste that into the overall document. I also resave with different names at different times (I am working on one now called "EvernightRevThru411"), so that if, for whatever reason, I decide, "You know, that description worked better a week ago," I can go to the complete draft as it stood a week ago, pull those words out and restore them to the current version.

I also make sure that, at least once a week (usually twice), I back up my work in three places: laptop, desktop and flash drive. Every couple of weeks, I send myself a copy to my gmail account, so I have a version that exists independent of my hardware. You can't be too careful!
 

Aprylwriter

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I usually save it as an entire document, because it's easier that way. I just started rewriting my novel, and I'm putting the new draft in a new document. I also save the same novel on more than one disk, just in case.

Apryl
 

shadowrose45

saving the entire document makes it a lot easier to find things you want to change with regard to edits.
 
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