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stellar
March 21st, 2012, 12:38 AM
Hi! So I have tried many ways and formats to get myself writing when my work seemed disorganized and unruly. I have done my writing on plain text documents and more commonly Microsoft Word documents, but I could never get all my work to feel manageable. I considered printing everything out so I could see it all, and then literally cutting and pasting the printouts together. Ugh what a mess!

There was one point where I looked for writing programs. My favorite is Y5writer from Spacejock. It really helped me organize and reorganize my writing, especially when I had so many bits and pieces flying about all over my computer desktop. But while it is very intuitive and there is so much space and customization and space for typing notes next to every piece, it just was too much of a mess to translate into other formats and all those extra features of the program ended up clouding up the work and sometimes I would lose pieces because they were lost in a note sequence I left somewhere else.

Well I went back to plain Microsoft Word documents and thanks to practicing publishing through e reader platforms I learned about using Microsoft's Navigation feature!
Okay maybe I was blind to not see that there was this option for word documents.

What the Navigation feature entails is its ability to create a sort of table of contents for your word documents.
All that is really necessary is to hi-light certain titles in your work as "headings", which is a style choice for your text.

You can even go back and paste fully updated "table of contents" paste-ins right into your document if you want.

Then I can even click on the navigation pane and easily move about my word document. This is incredibly helpful when my documents get up over 20 pages.

Thought I would share my experience with that. I'm still having trouble organizing huge masses of text. Do you have any methods to help tame large works?

VickiLee
March 23rd, 2012, 05:41 AM
Navigate in Microsoft Word? Really? Is that in the 07 version only, or is it also in the 03 version? I've been using Microsoft for years, and never knew about the navigation feature. I will have to check this out. Thanks!
Since everyone has their own style of producing documents.. how to organize them is also pretty individualized. I would absolutely agree that using another foreign software program effectively (like Y5writer), takes a whle different skillset-- and mindset. For me, it just adds another layer to deal with. I tend to rely more on the File Manager in Windows.. not very high tech, but it works for me.

Potty
March 23rd, 2012, 05:50 AM
I'm a hardcore ywriter fan personally. I used to just have seperate files for each chapter and when I reached 40k words I was pulling my hair out. Thats when I found ywriter. I just ignore all the extra gumpf and stick to the main text box for each scene and add a little description so I know what each scene is supposed to be doing. all the other features I don't bother with at all.

ppsage
March 23rd, 2012, 06:18 PM
In MSWord 03, I think the navigation is just called a Table of Contents still. <insert> <reference> <index & tables> You can make it work on styles or outline levels, you can put the table in where ever you want although top seems logical. Updates from the quick menu. Linking to the section is an option. I use it for journalish stuff mostly, for long documents I find the outline view works better. I haven't authorized the full version of Word that comes with Windows 7 on my new computer, but from the free version, it looks like it will have a navigation for multiple files maybe. The free version of this doesn't support TOC but if you import a Word3 template with a TOC in it, it will update, so the functionality is there to use.

Viktor
April 15th, 2012, 04:29 PM
I tried OpenOffice, but the only thing I liked about was the large choice of fonts. It slowed down a lot my PC, so I returned to Word's old school. The only my published novel was written on Works 4.5 or 5.5 - I don't remember exatly.

Different Writing programs may cause different feelings and probably they affects some authors during writing. I overgrew (hoping to not offend anybody) the layout and I focus on the story. Anyway, the layout issue may help in case of 1) beginners 2) impossibility to continue the story 3) no ideas. I also tried it a lot of years ago (OpenOffice) :) Have a nice rainy day, use it for writing!

Clayburn
April 16th, 2012, 06:32 PM
I like Springpad for notes and such. I can record notes on my phone, but usually I just type stuff out. I also have the app for my Kindle Fire. And can access it on the PC, anywhere online.

But writing, I either use Word in order to export as a PDF. Or I write directly into WordPress if I plan on blogging it.

Sam
April 16th, 2012, 06:52 PM
Microsoft Word. Simple, user-friendly, and packed with some brilliant features. I've written every novel I've ever wrote using it.

robtotten
April 17th, 2012, 03:30 AM
I use Open Office (PC edition) and I prefer it to word, but I'm on page 106 of a document now and it gets to be a pain in the ass. I've downloaded a copy of Scrivener, but haven't used it yet. Has anyone tried Scrivener?

Viktor
April 17th, 2012, 06:35 AM
I like Springpad for notes and such. I can record notes on my phone, but usually I just type stuff out. I also have the app for my Kindle Fire. .

It's interesting, I know about a lot of authors taking notes. I never did it, I store them all in my head :)

The Backward OX
April 17th, 2012, 10:16 AM
I like Springpad for notes and such. I can record notes on my phone, but usually I just type stuff out.


It's interesting, I know about a lot of authors taking notes. I never did it, I store them all in my head :)

In a context such as a writing site, the word "notes" is ambiguous.

Viktor
April 20th, 2012, 07:53 AM
In a context such as a writing site, the word "notes" is ambiguous.

Why?

Kyle R
April 28th, 2012, 02:52 AM
I just downloaded YWriter5. On first glance it seems very useful. I'm going to plug in my current Work In Progress and see how I like the format.

It looks a lot more intuitive than the other free program, StoryBook.. though I'm going to give them both a go to see which I prefer.

SeverinR
May 3rd, 2012, 02:48 PM
With this thread, I just thought of making my writing into one big book for easy reference.

Use the TOC, I believe the toc allows for chapters and subchapters to be referenced.
So I make each books chapters subchapters, and each book a chapter, I'd have my whole world easily accessable. Currently I have over twenty documents to support the four books I am working on.
Anyone that is familiar with MS2007 (I have 2010 at home), will this work?

BTW did you know the TOC in 07 & 10 is interactive. You ctrl click on the chapter you want and it takes you there.

Just a note, if your company uses MS, they might have an incentive program, Mine does and I got MS2007 for $19.95, and then bought MS2010 for $19.95 when I got a new laptop(ex got custody of the other laptop)

It took some work to get the Headings to do what I wanted but it looks like I could do it. How to create numbered headings or outline numbering in Word 2007 and Word 2010 | ShaunaKelly.com (http://www.shaunakelly.com/word/numbering/numbering20072010.html)
You have to create heading 2,3, 4, (up to9) Each one is indented from the previous heading style. (hint; don't forget to "apply" the style)

Book1
chapter 1
chapter 2
Book2
chapter 1

So with 9 heading classifications, you could make basically an encyclopedia. heading 1 tells which volume, heading 2 book grouping,heading 3 which book, heading 4 which chapter of the book. I am hopeful, all my work organized with a table of contents to find the item.

JimJanuary
May 5th, 2012, 01:15 PM
I use notepad. It's a habit I picked up from working in a call center as it was used to quickly take notes during calls before writing up reports. But I use notepad so I can write as fast as possible without spelling error distractions or the freezing, glitchy nature of MS Word

garza
May 5th, 2012, 01:41 PM
I've recently switched from using Notepad exclusively to using Dark Room for initial composition. I especially like it on my netbook in libraries and at the Archives. Dark Room gives you a blank black screen with no clutter at all - not even the minimal clutter of Notepad. The files are plain text, so they can be opened in Notepad, or opened in Word for formatting. If I need several pages open at once - notes, outline, current text, and such - I can open the files in Notepad and continue as usual. That's the only disadvantage - Dark Room does not allow for multiple files to be opened and displayed as Notepad does. But for initial writing, I like Dark Room even more than Note Pad, and that's something I never thought I'd say about any programme.

Elowan
May 5th, 2012, 09:22 PM
In MSWord 03, I think the navigation is just called a Table of Contents still. <insert> <reference> <index & tables> You can make it work on styles or outline levels, you can put the table in where ever you want although top seems logical. Updates from the quick menu. Linking to the section is an option. I use it for journalish stuff mostly, for long documents I find the outline view works better. I haven't authorized the full version of Word that comes with Windows 7 on my new computer, but from the free version, it looks like it will have a navigation for multiple files maybe. The free version of this doesn't support TOC but if you import a Word3 template with a TOC in it, it will update, so the functionality is there to use.

Hmm. What about MSWord 2002?

VioletS16
May 6th, 2012, 07:26 PM
People make different documents for each chapter? That seems too confusing. My entire book is on one single Microsoft Word document. It's big but it's neat and everything is organized. That's the way I've always done it, I guess.

Elowan
May 6th, 2012, 07:56 PM
People make different documents for each chapter? That seems too confusing. My entire book is on one single Microsoft Word document. It's big but it's neat and everything is organized. That's the way I've always done it, I guess.

To each his/her own except that one document can be huge and a PITA to find/edit/add to/etc different sections

movieman
May 7th, 2012, 04:40 PM
To each his/her own except that one document can be huge and a PITA to find/edit/add to/etc different sections

That's one of the reasons why I use Scrivener; the scenes are separate files in the same document so they're easy to find. And it's usually discounted 50% for anyone who 'wins' NaNoWriMo so you can get it for about $20.

Kyle R
May 7th, 2012, 08:19 PM
How does Scrivener compare to YWriter5?

movieman
May 7th, 2012, 11:50 PM
How does Scrivener compare to YWriter5?

Haven't used that, I'm afraid.

ppsage
May 8th, 2012, 03:28 AM
Hmm. What about MSWord 2002?

According to the help button, that's what I meant, Word 2002. Does both TOC entries and Outline levels based on Styles. Plus it runs fast on my antiquated machines. I'd still break out chapter sized chunks individually to work on them though. pp

shadowwalker
May 8th, 2012, 04:57 AM
I have never liked programs that take as long to learn as it does to write the book. I use Atlantis Nova (free edition). I set the spacing between paragraphs, the font - and then type. Each chapter has a separate file (as do the notes for it) until it's finished, then it goes into the main file.