Friday, January 8, 2010

Introducing . . . The Master Document!

No, it isn't the crappest ever Doctor Who villain.

It is the latest step on my writing journey.


My novel exists in about twenty different files on my laptop (also backed up on my netbook and a disk key, before anyone worries). And at the inaugural meeting of the writers' group I'm in, I did a momentous thing. I opened a single document, entitled Rosie_ALL_FirstDraft1. One of my two timelines is now all in a single document. I'm doing a rough line-edit as I try to figure out if my chapter divisions are in the right place, and where I should fade back into the present day timeline. As it's heavier on reading than writing, it's good for my injured wrist.

As we are still talking about a first draft here, it isn't very final. All of the material in aforesaid file will have to go through all kinds of rewrites and drafts and restructures and tears and weeping and gnashing of teeth.

But it's starting to look like it might be a book, once I chip away all the parts that aren't book.


  1. Oh wow! How exciting to share the doc with your group. I am so excited for you and yes, you will hack away and weep and gnash your teeth, but it will all be worth it.

    Very cool, Ellen.

  2. Hi just popping over from Nicola's party.

    Sounds like you are getting organised.
    I am very organised in my normal life and pretty disorganised in my writing life - there's a new years resolution in there somewhere.

    One thing I do which might help you, is to keep an excel spreadsheet with column headings of
    Chapter/section title no of words, no of pages and a one liner of what happens.
    Then if you need to move chapters/sections around you can keep track of them. If I decide to ditch a chapter I just rename it 'old chaptert title' and keep it just in case! I also keep a document for scraps which are pieces of good writing that I have trouble editing out. Keeping them for later makes it easier to dump them from the book.
    Hope that helps.
    Feel free to pop over to see me at

  3. Thanks for that tip, Jo, that sounds like a great idea :)

  4. Good luck with your manuscript.

    I'm paranoid I'll lose my virtual manuscript when I write, so I keep one draft, but each day, I e-mail the document to myself. Periodically, I also download it to an external hard drive. This keeps me from cluttering up my Word files with a million different versions or parts.

  5. Theresa, you may want to check out, it's a remote storage solution.

    Idon't use it myself but people keep recommending it to me - although it sounds like you're well covered.

    Good luck with your writing too :)


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