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Elinor

Typing A Book Manuscript

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The book manuscript template in MS Word says, ".  Keep in mind while writing your manuscript that you should follow each sentence with two spaces." Is that true? If so I've got a lot of correcting to do! 

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No, no, no! Don't listen to that! ;) I don't know why it's saying that. Is it an old version? It's only one space.

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Thanks, Lynn. I'm relieved. :P It was one I downloaded today from my Office 365, so SHOULD be recent?

Thanks also to zx1ninja. I will look that up.

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Find and Replace is your friend. You type it however you're more comfortable and then do a F&R at the end to change every instance of two spaces into one. 

Furthermore, I recommend setting up the Paragraph Styles to give you the initial indentation and the gap between paragraphs and all that good stuff, although, again, you can do all that at the end with one Global change.

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Yes, Suspensewriter is right. The book manuscript template already has those things.

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11 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

That's what our editor's do, Phy!


I'm my own first editor. As are you. ;)

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I try, but have a perspective that makes it a little easier on my head.  I did a few years as a Statistical Quality Assurance technician that helped me look at author self-editing (which I suck at) in a way that didn't make me wear dark glasses in public and mutter "Get off of my lawn" to people I passed on the street.

 

The cardinal rule of all Quality Assurance is that, "Whosoever makes the product is never allowed to test the product, because they are intrinsically biased."  Which, as Immanuel Kant said, should be "...intuitively obvious to the discerning student."  Yes, as my editor said, would be less obvious to a writer.  Much less obvious to a writer, he added.

 

A psychiatrist friend of mine (who is an ardent Bigfoot investigator) said when a writer is editing his or her work, their mind frequently corrects the mistakes as they read them, thus limiting the writer's ability to see their own mistakes.  

 

In my experience as a lab analyst, those analysts attempting to judge the quality of their own work bias the data without even noticing it.  Which is why at one lab where I worked, they ran roughly 60,000- 80,000 pounds of dishwasher detergent which turned to a variant form of detergent concrete which was suitable for building material.  The development chemist personally supervised the run, analyzed the result and pronounced it wonderful.  His internal bias mechanism had kicked in.

 

My brain does the same thing to me.  I don't care how many times I go through my manuscript, I can't see those errors easily.  Someone else's manuscript it totally different.  Those errors are easy to see, since I don't have the same stakeholders position as I do for my own work.

 

I do think that aside from the internal bias that the sheer number of words in a manuscript is a factor.  The statistics of writing are fairly easy to tally if we consider the writer as a manufacturing process with a measurable daily output, except that writers by and large refuse to break their writing into daily chunks (I mean date and hour identifiable chunks).  If the did, we could do a run/sum process control analysis on the number of errors, establish plus or minus three sigma and match this data to other cogent life data such as time of day when the material was written, how tired the writer was, how fast the material was created, etc. and thereby learn a whole bunch of stuff we already know- writers are bad self editors, we shouldn't write while holding a breath and humming the national anthem, we shouldn't spill honey on the keyboard and most important, we shouldn't type while driving along mountain roads.

 

After thinking about all these things, I give it to my editor and just don't tell him that I self-edit first!

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Heh. I'm referring less to content and more to foundational things like having a rudimentary understanding of Styles, how to set the style to use double spaced lines, when not to use two spaces at the end of a sentence, or preferring the use of Oxford Commas for clarity.

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Just now, zx1ninja said:

I'm in trouble. 

 

How so? Maybe we can help?

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Just now, lynnmosher said:

Yay, Phy! A brother who likes the Oxford comma! Woo-hoo! {blurted the Comma Momma!} LOL xD

 

Heh. It's an occupational hazard. As a Technical Writer, we err on the side of clarity and the Oxford Comma makes lists explicit. I know there are some holdouts but we're on the right side of history on this issue and pragmatism is winning the day. ;)

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18 minutes ago, Phy said:

 

How so? Maybe we can help?

Tried to set up a style, even had Friedlander's (sorry if I spell it wrong) site open doing it. Got lost and frustrated so I gave up. I'll pay an internal designer to fix it after I pay the editor to fix the story and punctuation. 

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What kind of Style and what version of Word? Perhaps we can help.

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42 minutes ago, Phy said:

What kind of Style and what version of Word? Perhaps we can help.

2013 No specific style other than trying to set up my own. 

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This is what I did - hopefully this will give you an idea of how easy it is to create / modify a Word Style:

  1. From the Styles dropdown, click the arrow to show More Style options.01.png
  2. Click Create a Style.
    02.png
  3. Type the name of your new style. Before you go anywhere, click the Modify button for more options.03.png
  4. From here, you can change a bunch of things, including Font name, Font size, and so forth. Click Format in the bottom-left corner.

    04.png
  5. Click Paragraph. If you want to have each paragraph to be indented, set the First Line to be something - the default is .5", I prefer .25" but you can make it whatever you want and you can change this at any time later if you so desire. Set your Spacing Before and After (I prefer 6 pt) and set your Line Spacing if desired. Many companies prefer doublespaced. When done, click OK.

    05.png
  6. The paragraph displays your settings.
     

06.png

Edited by Phy

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4 hours ago, Phy said:

Heh. I'm referring less to content and more to foundational things like having a rudimentary understanding of Styles, how to set the style to use double spaced lines, when not to use two spaces at the end of a sentence, or preferring the use of Oxford Commas for clarity.

 

I'm thinking I should think more before I write...o_O

  • Haha 1

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1 hour ago, Phy said:

This is what I did

Yea, that's the point I got confused. Wasn't sure how to change everything and thought I was only changing one thing. This helped a lot.

  • Like 1

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Guys, I'm gobsmacked. Is this what you talk about while I'm not around? 

10 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

If the did, we could do a run/sum process control analysis on the number of errors, establish plus or minus three sigma and match this data to other cogent life data such as time of day when the material was written, how tired the writer was, how fast the material was created, etc. and thereby learn a whole bunch of stuff we already know- writers are bad self editors,

I am not worthy to join in. I am affectionate with the Oxford comma. May I sit at your feet and listen in? 

Phy, all the screen shots were from scrivener? 

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LOL Elinor, that's the way it goes sometimes. Always fun (and informative) to see where a thread goes. :D

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