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Need to know info on saving your manuscript Editor's Notes 110
November 15, 2011
Hello,

It always strikes me
how almost unbelievably bad
are the early versions of my novels.

--Nicholas Mosley


In this issue:

1. How and why to save your manuscript
2. Tickled my funnybone
3. Interesting Web site

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1. How and why to save your manuscript

First, the obvious: Save your manuscript often as you type, and keep a back up copy. This becomes easier with technology. One reason I love my MacBook Pro is that with a second drive attached, it is backing up my work every hour, so even if my hard drive crashes, I have hourly versions of my work. This is automated, so I don't even have to think about it.

I do, however, recommend saving your work at least each time you start a new page and each time you make a revision. This is a case of do as I say, and not as I sometimes do. I've lost good ideas a few times when the little dialogue box pops up telling me that Word has shut down for some reason. Sometimes I get my new work back. Often I don't. And sometimes my great idea, freshly committed to the brain of my computer, completely eludes me forever once the digital version is gone.

So, nag, nag, nag, save often and back up to some system external to your computer.

That's the old bit. Here are things your word processor can do for you that you may not know or use.
  1. Use Track Changes. I'll let you google how to use Track Changes if you don't already know how. Here, I'll tell you why to use it. Track Changes is like your crossed-out and written-over long-hand copy. You can look back and see what you've altered. It can be hard to read if you get really vicious with your revisions. That's OK because you can decide how to view your copy, hiding the changes and leaving only your final version visible. Note that you should start by turning on Track Changes or you won't be able to see what your old versions looked like.

  2. Use Save As. When you use Save As instead of simply Save, you create a whole new document while leaving the original intact. My original manuscript for Editor's Notes #110 stays even when I create a new one simply by using Save As and giving the issue a new name: Editor's Notes #110-1. Use Save As whenever your changes are substantial or whenever you want to see two versions of the same material. Some writers create a new version using Save As at the end of each day, putting the date as part of the new title. Doing this will eat up space on your hard drive, but if you need to compare versions, it's worthwhile.

  3. Print out a clean copy. Especially when you want to evaluate the effect of cuts you've made to your manuscript, it's important to print out a clean copy. You can do this by copying and pasting your text to a new document. There is a time to notice, using Track Changes, what you've changed. There comes a time when you do not want to be thinking about what used to be on the page, a time for the new material to stand or fall on its own. At the right time, a clean copy is one of the most powerful aids to revision. Print out clean copies as often as necessary to get the polished version your readers deserve.
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2.Tickled my funnybone
 Inoculatte : To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

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3. Interesting Web site
An inspiration to write for only ten minutes. For some,that's all it takes to break through writer's block.

http://writeforten.com/

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