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Sunday, 17 July 2011

Lessons Learned

Early last year I started working on a turn-of-the-century novel about the fae, and heroes, and magic and all kinds of things. I got really excited about it, as I always do with new projects, banging out five or six chapters in a week or so. Then, as I always do, I ran out of fuel and put it to one side, knowing that I'd come back to it at some point.

This is the way I always work. I get a few chapters down, a loose idea of where the story is going, and then I let it stew. At some point - maybe a year later, maybe five years later - my short stories will start touching back on the themes and characters in that fragment of a novel, and I know it's time to go back to it. Now is that time with the faerie story.

Unfortunately, this time I've encountered a problem with that. When I was writing those first few chapters I decided to set up some Photoshop templates to format the text exactly as I'd like it to appear in a printed book, with nice typesetting and illuminated lettering at the beginning of chapters and all that jazz. It also turned off the wiggly-line corrections and word count distractions that are part and parcel of writing in word processing software. I thought it would boost my productivity, and it did.

The problem is, when I rendered the pages into PDF files to send to people and print them off for myself, I rasterized all the type. The settings in the PDF files meant that the text couldn't be copied and pasted; that wasn't intentional, I just left the settings at their default status. Unfortunately, what I need to be able to do right now is copy everything I've written already into a Word document.

Guess what I can't do?

Lesson; always keep an editable version of your writing. Always.


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  2. Great story and sad lesson hehe
    For me, as for one of professional writers, thie article wasn't very useful, still I like your style and the author's manner. Great!

    P.S.: remember, kids: PDF can't go alone, ALWAYS leave an editable copy of it in .pages or in .doc/x!

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