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How I Work

Posted by IvesBentonEaton 2 years ago


I don't expect readers to be terribly interested in this particular blog post, but perhaps it will help current or future writers for Eka's.

Most of my story writing starts with OpenOffice, which I keep updated. The Tales of the Visceral Voyager, for example, are kept as a single document with each story title using the Heading 1 style and each Afterword titled with the Heading 2 style. This makes it easier to use the Navigator to jump between the stories so I can check continuity between them, copy and paste the more difficult names, and such.

I maintain a separate dictionary for this story file so I can add character and place names and words in languages native to the world of Āen to it; that way OpenOffice doesn't keep redlining them as spelling errors and makes sure I don't misspell them without cluttering the standard.dic file with terms I only use in one group of stories.

I maintain a separate Notepad file for Unicode characters and terms with Unicode characters in it because I do my vore stories on a notebook computer with no numeric keypad, making it difficult to type Unicode alt-keypad codes. These days, I plug an external keyboard into a USB port whenever possible to bypass this problem.

I save the story file in native ODF format, but when I feel that a particular story is ready to share, I create a new document, then copy and paste that story from the master story file to its own file and then save it in Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP format. This practically universal word processing file format has never given me any formatting problems in my gallery on Eka's. I have noticed that many authors here have great difficulty formatting stories so that they display properly in their galleries: the stories are too wide for the display window, making the reader scroll left and right all the time, or all the text comes out centered or right justified, or in too small a font, or in a sans serif font, which is not recommended for large amounts of text as the serifs help lead the eye and reduce reading fatigue. Certainly, readers can download the stories and fix them on a word processor; personally, I find myself just skipping stories that are too hard to read unless the first paragraph grabs me right away. I can't reformat or line edit every story file on Eka's.

One important thing I learned about Windows documents is that user data is saved with every document when it is first created. This can be a big problem for privacy; I spent a hasty hour once re-uploading all my stories so my real name was not attached to them. Fortunately, OpenOffice allows the user to display the document properties of any newly-saved document so this user data can be scrubbed by unchecking the "Apply User Data" box. It's buried a bit: go to ToolsOptions, then open the Load/Save node in the tree view on the left. Select General in the list below Load/Save. On the right, check the box under the Save section labeled “Edit document properties before saving” and click OK at the bottom and you’re good to go.

I may start using graphics thumbnails for my stories but I personally find it nicer to see the text as a thumbnail rather than a misleading graphic. Also, I am not that sort of artist and can't afford to commission such work. Ah, well.

If I notice an error in a story later, I fix it in my master file first, then copy the story to a new Word file and save it over the old export file and upload it over the old file on Eka's. Fortunately this isn't too difficult. It's still a "D'oh!" moment, however.

For blog posts, I'm trying out the external BBCeditor. So far, so good…
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