1. Ironwil
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    Ironwil Member

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    Writing editors and templates

    Discussion in 'Software' started by Ironwil, Feb 25, 2011.

    I'm currently writing my novel in Word on a Mac. This works, and since I've read that the average novel has approximately 250 words per page, I can quickly calculate how many pages I've written at any time by using that estimate. However, I'm wondering if anyone has a good editor for writing books and would share the name of it. Often there are tools in any trade that are optimized for that particular task.

    Barring that, I'd like to find a good book template for Word. It would be convenient to have the pages set up in the dimensions of a book so I'll know instantly how many pages there are, and it also makes for easier review (to me). I can create a template myself, but if there's already one that's handy, I don't want to waste the time.
     
  2. Porcupine
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    Porcupine Contributing Member

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    There's a thread in this section of the forum (as of writing this, it's at the bottom of the page) called 'Microsoft Bookshelf'. The discussion in there will give you some idea of the options available, but the short story is - if you're using Word and are comfortable with that, stick with it.

    If I were you, I wouldn't bother with a book template until you know what book format you actually want to use, and perhaps not even then.

    Do you want to self-publish or publish the serious route?
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the best editor for writing anything is your own brain... better learn how to do it well, if you want to succeed as a writer...

    as for a template, all you need do is set up your blank document page per the format guide you'll find here: http://www.shunn.net/format/novel.html

    then save that formatted page to your desktop and use it every time you start a new piece of work... saving the new document with its own name will leave the blank one on the desktop ready for the next new project...

    and don't count pages... rounded off total word count is all agents/publishers want...
     
  4. Ironwil
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    Ironwil Member

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    Thanks. The page count is more for my benefit than anything else, and it's less of a count than a better feel for how the book will be in print. I looked at the link you provided, and the download for the template was in pdf form. I'm not sure if there's a way to extract a Word template from a pdf document, so if there is let me know. If the template was just a general guideline, that's alright. I'll just make my own.
     
  5. Chronopunk
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    Chronopunk Member

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    I think what you're looking for is the standard manuscript format. That's what gives you the 250 words/page. (Different publishers may have slightly different requirements which you'll want to check, but the standard format is pretty, well, standard.) Word, of course, also gives you a page count.

    Basically, the standard format is 1" margins all around, double-spaced, 12 point Courier. Underline to indicate italics. You can find all the details here but that will get you started. It's easy to set up a blank document with that format and save it as a template. (Really; just do a 'save as.')

    There are a ton of word processors for the Mac, and I've tried most of them. I recently finished writing a novel in Word and I won't do it again. I've taken a few notes on each word processor I try, for my own reference. Here's what I have on Word (somewhat sanitized):

    MS Word 2008:
    Big fat ugly pig. Weird screen artifacts when scrolling rapidly through a document (shows some lines repeatedly on the screen, doesn't refresh properly). "Fscking MS Fscking Word just fscking crashed on me fscking twice trying to edit a fscking header."

    You might check out Scrivener (a full-blown writing environment) and Writeroom ('no distractions' writing).
     
  6. 4trevor
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    4trevor New Member

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    I've been using a program called Liquid Story Binder for a while now..mainly I use the word processing function and the notes and outline function, but it also has character dossiers, storyboards, mind mapping, loads of useful stuff. I got it for about $45 a couple of years ago..worth a look with their 30 day trial.
     

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