Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Great Formatting Fix of 2009

Okay, maybe the title is a bit over-dramatic, but it seemed like a major project to me. See, I first wrote my novel Zion Rising eleven years ago in Wordperfect, and converted it to a Word file somewhere along the way. I also set it aside and forgot about it for ten years. Last summer when I recovered the novel (perhaps the subject of another post) and started to revise it, I noticed that while I could get it to look okay, whenever I tried to do anything like add a header, change the font, or copy and paste a couple of chapters into a new document, there seemed to be some major hidden formatting problems. Last week, I decided that it was finally time to bite the bullet and do somthing about it. But what to do? I saved the document as plain text, so I could see where there were extra spaces, line breaks, and other things that looked like they didn't belong. Then I went through the entire novel, and took all those out. I deleted all spaces between paragraphs and put in just a line break. This took my proabably four or five hours over the course of five days, but it was worth it. I copied the cleaned up plain text and pasted it into a new document, changed the font, margins, paragraph indents, spacing, etc. into standard format, and it worked! I was very happy. When I created the header, and it added it correctly for every page of the novel, I wanted to kiss the monitor. I didn't, though. The monitor is covered with grimy handprints and who knows what disgusting germs. Then it was just a matter of centering the chapter headings and section breaks, and adding the underlining back in. Actually, I just made it italics, since that seems to be the standard nowdays. I thought that might take a while, but I didn't overdo the italics, so it didn't take long. There was just one more problem. I recently learned that standard formatting calls for only one space after sentences instead of two as I've always done. Who knew? I was worried about how to fix that, until good ol' Suzette told me I could use the find and replace feature to do it for me. It took only about a minute to fix it. Now I just have to get used to typing only one space after sentences. This clearly falls into the "teaching an old dog a new trick" category, but I'll get used to it eventually. So, now I have a clean, properly formatted copy of Zion Rising to send to publishers. All I need now is a publisher who wants to read it.

9 comments:

Nisa said...

Wow! A lot of work, but definitely well worth it! Good luck finding a publisher. I'm sure you will! I like what I've been able to read so far!

Linz said...

That was a lot of work! Good for you!

And I always do two spaces after each sentence too! Better get used to that!

Danyelle said...

*stabs reformatting*

I feel your pain. :$

Cynde L. Hammond said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cynde L. Hammond said...

Hi, Angie!

Congratulations and best blessings on your search for the perfect publisher!

By the way...I have officially "welcomed" you to my blog, Cynde's Got The Write Stuff. Take a peek, here.

Sincerely,
Cynde
Cynde's Got The Write Stuff

Larry and CIndy said...

Angie you are too cool.I love you. Your Daddy, PaPa Larry

Larry and CIndy said...

Way to go!!! You are soon to have a novel published, I just know it!!! It is so ironic MS. Know nothing about writing etc. has cut down to one space after periods since I joined the computer world and did not even know it....That is how it works for me!!! Love Ya A&F, MOM

Lynnette Labelle said...

Sheesh! That's a lot of work. Glad you figured out how to fix it.

I can't get used to the "one space thingy" either. Ugh!

Lynnette Labelle

http://lynnettelabelle.blogspot.com

Suzette Saxton said...

Glad the trick worked!