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23 September 2012 @ 03:57 pm
Open Office  

I thought I was being very impressive, trying to learn Scrivener and all. But now one of my publishers is asking that we begin using Word stylesheets for our manuscripts. Had I not started learning these a few months ago I would, frankly, be Freaking Out, because they do not seem intuitive to me. They’re not actually hard, as it happens, but if I hadn’t had a good basic primer (thank you, LJ Cohen, for your e-book formatting primer. Again. :)), yeah, flipping out.

Instead it’s actually already become pretty clear to me that it’s going to be much easier to use stylesheets from the get-go than try to retrofit material for e-and-POD-pub. And to that end I have discovered, albeit a bit grimly, that one *can* set a new default template in OpenOffice, and macros for italics and whatnot, so I’ve just got to…do that. Learn to do it. And all. *grim*

In the meantime, I’ve scraped up the bubbled paint, sanded it down, and filled in the cracks and holes in the kitchen walls. I was going to put masking tape up, but I’ve lost heart. Mom says she never masks anything anyway, and it’s hard to argue that it would be messier when I’m done than it was before I started, so maybe I’ll just go for it.

Also, I got Sarah Rees Brennan’s UNSPOKEN (although I have been advised not to actually read it until the second book is out because apparently there’s an OMG ending), and I have her other DEMON books, and I’m going to sit down and read SRB until I have absorbed her ambiance and am an awesome, wonderful, heartrending, laughter-inducing YA novelist like she is.

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

 
 
 
Laura Anne Gilmansuricattus on September 23rd, 2012 03:19 pm (UTC)
I may throw myself on your mercy for aid re: those stylesheets....
dancinghorsedancinghorse on September 23rd, 2012 04:50 pm (UTC)
I just asked on BVC if the Cohen is useful for how it's done there or if we should run screaming. Vonda has trained me to use Styles&Formatting for mss., and now formatters fall on my neck weeping with joy.

It's also, once you figure it out, pretty simple, and it makes Word just a little bit less crazy-making. Interesting that BVC has been ahead of the publisher curve again.

I caught myself trying to spell Word as Weird.

Need. Caffeine.
kitmizkit on September 23rd, 2012 07:50 pm (UTC)
I'm going to create a Novel Template. If you like, I'll write up a play by play on how I did it. I'm using Open Office, but I think it translates pretty directly to Word...
(Deleted comment)
kitmizkit on September 24th, 2012 02:38 pm (UTC)
Scrivener's going to be a sometimes-tool for me, I think. Something for a specific, large project. If it becomes second nature, I'll move to it, but yeah.

You sound like a voice of experience with style sheets for Word! I have a problem:

They want us to go to using style sheet italics in our manuscripts. That's fine; I even figured out how to make an OO keyboard shortcut that puts something into italics.

What I *can't* figure out is how to make it *stop*, or at least not with a keyboard shortcut. The only thing I've been able to figure out so far is another key combination to set the Character Styles back to (we'll call it) Default. Except that's doing it at the character level, and I really need it to be at the Paragraph level.

Any ideas?