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Monthly Archives: August 2015

How I Write

A question on a forum reminded me that I had promised someone (sorry!) a long while ago that I’d post about my writing process and the tech I use.

So, with no further ado and apologies for being nearly a year late, here it is:

Stories arrive as the first two lines, a mental image, or initial plot section. From there, it’s ‘just write’ and see where it takes me. 🙂 At the end, I will have a piece of work that I cunningly refer to as a ‘chunk’. It may be a whole story. It may not.

Larger pieces come together in chunks, then I write other chunks to link the original chunks, then I go back to the earliest chunks and revise them for the clever stuff I thought up in the later chunks.

For the larger works I invariably end up with a notes/leftovers file as well as the main document.

When the chunks accumulate sufficiently to be a book:

  1. Starting with a 10- or 20-pass continuity/sanity/review checking before letting the proof readers at it.
  2. Proofing & editing is two or three passes (depending on how big a kicking I get from my proofers and editors) over a two-month period.
  3. There’s usually a prevarication/denial phase between proof reviews coming back and me fixing things.
  4. Post proofing is a 5- to 10- pass process before final review.
  5. Another prevarication phase, duration dependant on the number of chapter/story bookmarks and hyperlinks I need to add to the ebook. I hate ebook formatting.
  6. Ebook creation – which is only going right if I spot a single word that needs fixing/replacing – and submission of ebook.
  7. When that has gone through to publication, there’s a final review of the master before submission for printing.
  8. Then a review or two of the print proof before pressing the green button to let them make books for me.
  9. Euphoria phase. I made a book!
  10. Dread phase. I’m sure I missed something.

I have an Excel spreadsheet for published story titles, as I have over 500 of the little buggers now and duplication is not acceptable.

Word 2003
for all text work.
CutePDF for text conversion to PDF.
Proofs are created as watermarked Word files from the master documents, then run off via CutePDF and ALZIPped for sending to my proofreaders and editors.
ArcSoft PhotoStudio for cover creation, starting with original art for front or wrap cover and working through to finished, fully lettered cover. Everything for covers saved as JPEG, with incremental stages calved off to allow rollback.
Total Image Converter to turn JPEG to PDF for printing.

I run a 3-2-1 backup strategy, which is 3 backups on 2 different types of media with 1 offsite.

Incremental backups occur daily or whenever-I’m-away-from-the-laptop if I’m mid process.

All non-secured backups are encrypted.

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2015 in Daybook

 
 
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