Updates: Writing & Writing Tools

Writing Tools: On this site I provided a Microsoft Word macro that I use to quick save documents (automatically date stamp and archiving the old copy). I have made some slight updates to the macro so that it works in Office 2013 (and now also 2017).

Writing: After a false start, revision will now begin on my first novel Vengeance Will Come. There are some significant issues to fix up, not the least is communicating successfully to the reader the intended passage of time. This is made complex because the events occur on multiple non-Earth planets and sometimes scenes last for very short periods during the climax events. More on this later…

The Rebel Queen. Response from my earliest beta reader has been positive. It is intended as a stand-alone book, but is in the same universe with ties to Vengeance Will Come. Revision will probably be queued until after Vengeance Will Come is completed.

There are so many other things I want to write and yet I must be disciplined and finish the existing projects. There might have to be a bit of a juggling act for sanity’s sake though.

Blog Post: I’ve re-released my bio for the early years.


Update on Quick-Saving Documents

In Writing Tools I provided a Microsoft Word macro that I use for quick saving documents, which automatically adds a datestamp to the beginning (or end) of the filename with a single click, and moves the old version to another location.

In the original article, I recommended putting the datestamp at the beginning of the file so that files are sorted nicely in the directory by date.

2015-06-19 Vengeance Will Come.docx

This works fine if the entire story is in a single document. However since then I’ve noticed Word tends to struggle a bit when documents grow too big, so I have split my document into chapters.

So now I have an amended recommendation:

If you are using the auto-archiving feature which automatically moves old versions of the document to an alternate location and you have multiple documents per story, then the datestamp works best when at the end of the filename.

Chapter 1 – Vengeance Will Come 2015-06-19.docx

This way it will be ordered nicely by chapter and as auto-archiving moves files you will still only have the latest version of each chapter in the folder.

Quick Save Your Documents

“You begin saving the world by saving one man at a time; all else is grandiose romanticism or politics.” Charles Bukowski

Following on in the same vein as my attempt to organise my writing files… After I’ve made the obligatory coffee, how do I first start to write? I open up my writing folder on the computer, and

  1. Copy-and-paste the document, to create a copy.
    datestamped file
  2. As I like to date stamp my writing (in the event of something cataclysmic happening), I then have to rename the file, changing the date at the start (to today’s date) and trim off the “- Copy” at the end.
  3. I then drag the previous (older) version of the file into an archive location, so my directory isn’t full of dozens of duplicates.

It might only take a few seconds, but it is tedious, and time better spent actually writing. No More.

I have created a fairly intelligent macro to do all this boring stuff for me, and now share it with you.

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