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MS Word for Novels

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

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Art

Whilst writing a novel in Word which is the best line of attack in handling the formatting ie keeping the chapters separate and being able to shift them around freely in MS Word.

Should I use the Outline feature...or is there a website with more precise information.

Art
 
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Go to insert>break>page and that'll take you to a new page for you to start a new chapter. I'm sorry I can't be more precise but I'm not on my own computer at the moment.

There's definitely a page break function, though. MS Word does everything.
 

Jack_Roberts

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Yes! I agree with her. For my MS, I discovered the proper format after I wrote it. Then I went back and changed it. With my current WIP I write it in the proper format already.

Does that help you? Probably not. Just my thoughts.
 

Julie Worth

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Set up your styles properly, and save it as a template. Use normal for your text, and use heading 1 for chapter headings. You can set it to start a new page. You can also set it to start a third of a page down and to center.
 

jpserra

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Early beginnings

I have used a number of word processors and software to write with. I began writing on, of course, a typewriter, but the emergence of the computer brought me new options; being able to save and edit.

* The Commodore 64, using PaperClip.
* The IBM PCjr, using MS Write (I still have many of those files around)
* The IBM PC, using Word 2.0. This was where word began to present as a possilble option for heavy detail and novel writing. It did have problems in pagination and handling the formatting of larger documents. I kept Chapter files.

I also used several writing packages, but they were expensive and clumsey to learn. I wanted to write, not learn new software. WordPerfect for Windows was a breath of fresh air, but they have not done as well as Word has.

I use Word for my writing, and use a template of the chapter beginnings to quickly go to work on new chapters. I like the master document feature, but also use the index feature to jump between chapters. I still use a separate index with light description of each chapter to negotiate my editing.

I have a few sites I use in editing, such as www.autocrit.com
I think this is a nice additional component in doing editions.

JPS
 

icerose

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Go simple, Ctrl + enter = page break. Then start the chapter a third to half way down the next page, depending on formatting requirements by the publisher you wish to submit to.
 

cattywampus

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Another thing: If you write something in Word, and send it to someone who happens to be using WordPerfect or some other program, your formatting may be lost in transit. I applied for a great job, took the test in Word and shot it to them. They wrote back angrily that my formatting was awful and they weren't giving me the job. Turned out they were trying to read it on WordPerfrect. So MS protects their precious product. It took me a long time to get over my distaste for Word. I wish everyone would use WP.
 

icerose

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cattywampus said:
Another thing: If you write something in Word, and send it to someone who happens to be using WordPerfect or some other program, your formatting may be lost in transit. I applied for a great job, took the test in Word and shot it to them. They wrote back angrily that my formatting was awful and they weren't giving me the job. Turned out they were trying to read it on WordPerfrect. So MS protects their precious product. It took me a long time to get over my distaste for Word. I wish everyone would use WP.

Which is exactly why I send everything in either PDF or RTF. Every computer in the world has the capabilities of opening those two files. If they don't have a PDF reader, adobe is a free quick download. Problem solved.
 

Julie Worth

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icerose said:
Go simple, Ctrl + enter = page break. Then start the chapter a third to half way down the next page, depending on formatting requirements by the publisher you wish to submit to.

This is where "going simple" can create work. If you let Word work for you by using a heading style for chapter headings, then you can tailor your MS for specific recipients by changing the heading style alone, and each instance of it changes automatically. If you don't do this, if you insert breaks manually and somebody doesn't like the way you've set up your chapters, then you'll have to change each chapter heading individually, and that's a lot of work if you have 50 chapters.
 

Art

Witblits

Still waiting for the definitive anwswer otherwise this witblits is going to kill me...this work has to be properly formatted by tomorrow...so you see I am in quite a quandary.

Art
 

icerose

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Julie Worth said:
This is where "going simple" can create work. If you let Word work for you by using a heading style for chapter headings, then you can tailor your MS for specific recipients by changing the heading style alone, and each instance of it changes automatically. If you don't do this, if you insert breaks manually and somebody doesn't like the way you've set up your chapters, then you'll have to change each chapter heading individually, and that's a lot of work if you have 50 chapters.

I don't use chapter headings and I don't use Word so I don't have either of those problems.

Art:

What part of formatting don't you understand? Be specific and you'll get a specific answer.

12 point courier 1 inch margins all around, double spaced, 25 lines per page, chapter beings half way down on a new page, headers have your name, name of book, and page number.

Lastname/bookname >left align< >right align< Page #

That's basic formatting.

And what are witblits???

Also on the larger question. I keep my entire book in one piece, chapters fall right after each other, if I need to find something, I do the find function, if I need to rearrange something I do copy and paste. If you are submitting it they will want it in one file rather than broken up into several files. If you are printing it out then it doesn't really matter other than it will screw up your page numbering of course.

Title page - Title half way down, double return, by double return, your name.

Contact information on the lower left.
 
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aghast

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book marks - you can easily jump around and they move with the text too
 

aghast

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RedMolly said:
Use the Master Document feature (which, for my money, is far less annoying to work with in OpenOffice Writer, the best open-source software EvAr). You can create links to chapters, rearrange the chapters, do a word count on your whole book, etc.

Master Docs in MS Word
Master Docs in OpenOffice Writer


funny you should suggest those links because they say 'dont use master docs' since it will corrupt your documents
 

HConn

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The easiest way to deal with it is to create two new styles: "Fiction" and "Chapter Headings"

When you create the latter, you should be able to put a check mark into "page break before" which will always start a Chapter Heading on a new page.

Once you click around and explore styles a little bit, it's pretty easy.

Good luck.
 

Rabe

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Jack_Roberts said:
Yes! I agree with her. For my MS, I discovered the proper format after I wrote it. Then I went back and changed it. With my current WIP I write it in the proper format already.

Does that help you? Probably not. Just my thoughts.

Years ago I found and downloaded a book template that automatically formats for chapters, puts everything in Courier 12pt font and even has fields for automatic word count and the like. It's formatted for MS Word and after it's placed in the proper folder, you can pull it up under the 'templates' function of MS Word.

I find it very invaluable but forget who it is that coded the macros that makes it possible. It even puts in automatic bookmarks from where you left off so that as you open the file it puts you back where you were at. So when editing you don't have to to try to remember page numbers or anything...you're already there.

I normally write my novels in my own format and then copy and paste over to the book template. Mainly because I like writing with a solid black background and 25% gray stylized font.

If anyone wants a copy of the template, PM me and I'll send it. Like I said, I don't have the original creator's information but am not presenting this as my work.

Rabe...
 

Del

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jpserra said:
* The Commodore 64, using PaperClip.

I loved my C=64. I used The Write Stuff when I graduated to the C=128

It is nice to see I'm not the only antique computer user here.

I almost bought a VIC20 - when it was NEW!

[Youthful voices echoing from the corners; A Vic what?]
 

san_remo_ave

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Here's another option for keeping track of chapters

http://perso.orange.fr/sebastien.berthet/cbc/

It's a little freeware program called Chapter by Chapter and was written because the Master Document feature in MSW is so buggy. Basically the premise is you create each chapter as separate .docs and you can keep track and rearrange thru this little freeware program. When you're done it will compile and dump all of the individual files into a single big one.

Might be worth a looksie to see if it meets your needs.
 

Linda Adams

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RedMolly said:
Use the Master Document feature (which, for my money, is far less annoying to work with in OpenOffice Writer, the best open-source software EvAr). You can create links to chapters, rearrange the chapters, do a word count on your whole book, etc.

Master Docs in MS Word
Master Docs in OpenOffice Writer

Do not use the master document feature in Word. It's extremely buggy, and worse still, very, very likely to corrupt. This is a link from one of the MVPs describing this: http://word.mvps.org/FAQS/General/WhyMasterDocsCorrupt.htm
 

RedMolly

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I've been using master docs in OpenOffice to write multi-chapter nonfiction since 2002 (5 special issues of the same magazine) and fiction since 2003 (2 novels in progress) and never had a problem with corruption. Maybe I'm just not doing anything particularly weird or screwy.
 

badducky

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I've had problems jumping from one year to the next. I wouldn't recommend mixing your versions of Word. '97 and '02 don't get along.

Siblings never do.
 

Amiton

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RedMolly said:
I've been using master docs in OpenOffice to write multi-chapter nonfiction since 2002 (5 special issues of the same magazine) and fiction since 2003 (2 novels in progress) and never had a problem with corruption. Maybe I'm just not doing anything particularly weird or screwy.

I think the discrepancy is coming from two different angles. If I'm reading correctly, all of the arguments against Master Docs are from the MS Word side of the house. You're citing OpenOffice, RedMolly. Perhaps it's another matter of Microsoft not properly adopting a standard?

Amiton.
 

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Art said:
Whilst writing a novel in Word which is the best line of attack in handling the formatting ie keeping the chapters separate and being able to shift them around freely in MS Word.

Should I use the Outline feature...or is there a website with more precise information.

Art

It depends how you write.

I'm hooked on Outline View... http://zornhau.livejournal.com/72037.html

Don't use Ctrl+Return to insert page breaks. Instead define your Chapter style (perhaps Heading 1) with Page Break Before.
 

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Art said:
Still waiting for the definitive anwswer otherwise this witblits is going to kill me...this work has to be properly formatted by tomorrow...so you see I am in quite a quandary.

Art

You're going to be waiting 'till the stars go cold. The closest you're going to get to a definitive answer is to go to the publisher you want to send to, format like they tell you to. Even that's not definitive, because the next publisher in line will possibly have a different set of instructions.
 

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Template

Years ago I found and downloaded a book template that automatically formats for chapters, puts everything in Courier 12pt font and even has fields for automatic word count and the like. It's formatted for MS Word and after it's placed in the proper folder, you can pull it up under the 'templates' function of MS Word.

I find it very invaluable but forget who it is that coded the macros that makes it possible. It even puts in automatic bookmarks from where you left off so that as you open the file it puts you back where you were at. So when editing you don't have to to try to remember page numbers or anything...you're already there.

I normally write my novels in my own format and then copy and paste over to the book template. Mainly because I like writing with a solid black background and 25% gray stylized font.

If anyone wants a copy of the template, PM me and I'll send it. Like I said, I don't have the original creator's information but am not presenting this as my work.

Rabe...[Please forward me the template: [email protected]
 
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