Monday, May 24, 2010

Make Your Writing Easier!


That’s right there’s an exclamation mark in my blog title, so get excited because I’m going to introduce you to the Word Document Map. I should also apologise in advance for the quality of the screen shots, they just don't want to play nice in blogger.

I came across this a few days ago thanks to the award winning Desire goddess who is Paula Roe but I only reconfigured my WIP last night and wow to the insight it gives you. Basically the document map provides you with a list of headings (see screen shot below) that you can skip between with the click of a button. That’s right no more scrolling and searching!



What I’ve done is given headings to both the chapters but also all the important scenes and conflicts so I can now get a whole summary of my plot with a flick of my eyes. The doc map can also give you an insight into POV ratios, just add a note of whose POV each scene is in and you can monitor the balance between your characters, which is especially great for lines that are specific about hero/heroine POV ratios.

Here’s a close up which may not make a whole lot of sense since I’ve added in notes along with chapter but you’ll get the idea:




This really is a great tool for anyone who has trouble keeping their plots straight and since life’s a little crazy and I’m having trouble remembering my own name I definitely fall under that category. Just by setting up the doc map I’ve identified two more essential scenes.

Now I have Windows 7 because I blew up my computer so any instructions I give you below relate to that version, but if you’re on an earlier version head over to Paula’s site here and while you’re there check out her other articles for writers here.

Before I begin a step by step guide I should point out that although I chose to include chapters in my document map it isn’t necessary. Paula lists only the scenes which makes for a cleaner map. If you wish to do this too ignore step 4 and in step 2 you will be adjusting the heading to suit your scene headings which may be different to your chapter headings (that last sentence probably doesn’t make sense now but it will).





Under the home tab right click "Heading 1" and select modify.

This will bring up a box that will allow you to adjust the font, font size, alignment etc of the text of your chapter headngs (or scene headings if you wish only to use those as discussed above).



Highlight each chapter heading and click on "Heading 1" to apply new settings.






Under the home tab right click on "Heading 2" and select modify.

This will bring up a box that will allow you to adjust the font, font size, alignment etc of the text of your chapter headngs (or scene headings if you wish only to use those as discussed above).






Either select a scene heading and click on “Heading 2” in the home tab to apply settings or on a new line before typing the scene heading select “Heading 2” to apply settings.







Select the View tab and check the document map box.


All done!

On an unrelated note, there is a fabulous Shirley Jump article over at the Seven Sassy Sister’s blog get your cutie patooties over there if you’ve ever find yourself procrastinating instead of writing despite how much you enjoy it. It's one of those articles you print off and stick beside the computer so don't miss it!

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Hitting a Wall


I share with you a nugget of wisdom…

If you go too fast on crutches, you could die.

I fell into a wall on Tuesday. I know what you’re thinking: “A wall? Really? Kind of hard to miss a wall…” and you’re right.

This one was big and white brick so it was far from invisible, but I had a great momentum going, if I do say so myself, and when I caught myself on a window ledge the crutches just kept on going without me.

Anyway casty is gone now but here’s a pic:

On a writing front my current WIP is still wringing each word out of me and I have to say that isn’t great for one’s motivation to finish it. Progress is still slow. Very slow. Drunk snail slow.
I’m hoping to get the draft done finished in the next week.

Ha!

What is everyone else up to?

Technically this one is the second cast, the first was bright red and all I needed was a bit of lace and I would have been good to go in a cabaret routine. It was painful though so I was pretty thrilled to see the back of it a couple of days after surgery. There might be a couple of pictures of it around too. I should point out that the fur child is sure that the pillows are for her.


Oh and yes, I did go out in public with my toenails painted like that. Surprisingly people like it. Which just goes to show age is no boundary when it comes to fluro nail polish.

I should also mention that we have walking now, it’s a limping kind of walk and it only took 44 days to achieve but who’s counting?

I have been a bad blogger lately, but I have a cold, a disease, a nasty little parasite (or I’m dying, it feels the same to me) and I’m using that as my excuse. Actually I’m pretty sure I got this particular cold from the delightful woman behind me at the hospital who sneezed all over me and let’s face it when you’re getting around on crutches it takes you a while to move. I did it politely too, no murderous glares, no lunging and strangling. If I’d known…
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