Writing a book

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sardinops_99
Posts: 11
Joined: 2003-06-07 06:19:28

Writing a book

Post by sardinops_99 »

Dear all
I have been using Nisus as my main text editor since the mid-1990s and have always found it intuitive and powerful. I now have to write to book and since I have always heard Nisus touted as the long document editor, intend to use it. What I want to do is set up the document right from the beginning to avoid hassles later. It will have about 12 chapters with sections, ToC, bibliography, footnotes, index, no pics and be in English. Can anyone give me some pointers? In particular because I will be working on each of the chapters at once instead of consecutively I would like to be able to collapse/ open chapters so I don't have to scroll through the whole thing to navigate.
Thanks
Rod

exegete77
Posts: 194
Joined: 2007-09-20 17:58:56

Re: Writing a book

Post by exegete77 »

Howdy. Wish you well on this. I don’t write books but longer papers. However, you might want to search the forums for Anne Cuneo, since she has written (and published) several books using NWP.
iMac 21.5” / MBP 13” Retina
Mac user since 1990

robertb
Posts: 40
Joined: 2006-04-02 15:48:28
Location: Jacksonville, Florida

Re: Writing a book

Post by robertb »

For my first book, a 140,000-word biography that will be published this fall, I wrote the rough draft in Scrivener. It uses index cards on a cork board for chapter titles and an outline of what the chapter contains. It's easy to rearrange the cards and to switch from the index card view to the writing view. Bookends was my reference manager; a Scrivener keystroke keystroke automatically inserts a Bookends code for the footnotes/endnotes.

After the rough draft, I exported the Scrivener version to Nisus for everything else: many more rewrites, formatting and tweaking the footnotes (Nisus works great with Bookends), preparing the index, the bibliography, and the table of contents. Nisus handles large files with aplomb--all the usual aids (find-replace, spell-check, style sheets, etc) worked fast and flawlessly.

Robert, Jacksonville, Fla.

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greenmorpher
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Re: Writing a book

Post by greenmorpher »

sardinops_99 wrote:Dear all
I have been using Nisus as my main text editor since the mid-1990s and have always found it intuitive and powerful. I now have to write to book and since I have always heard Nisus touted as the long document editor, intend to use it. What I want to do is set up the document right from the beginning to avoid hassles later. It will have about 12 chapters with sections, ToC, bibliography, footnotes, index, no pics and be in English. Can anyone give me some pointers? In particular because I will be working on each of the chapters at once instead of consecutively I would like to be able to collapse/ open chapters so I don't have to scroll through the whole thing to navigate.
You can’t collapse open chapters in NWP, rod, which I loved to do back in the day when I worked with MORE outliner. However, you can look away from them. Set up your chapter and other headings in Styles to be Table of Contents components, then work with the Navigator open (Menu Bar > View > Navigator > Show Navigator. You ToC will show in the Navigator and when you click on a chapter (or whatever) heading, the document will scroll straight to it. In practical terms, it is not a lot different from collapsing the type in that you have your ToC with all the heads in plain view all the time, and the only type you’re looking at is what is in front of you for the head you’re working in.

I've set up my outline heads with matching body text. The head is set with "Next Style" being the matching body text so I type a head, hit return , and it goes sutomatically to body text style, which in turn has a Next Style of the same body text. I have keystroke shortcuts assigned to all the heads (and body texts if it comes to that) so when I get to the end of a body text and want to go to the next head, I sm;lly hit return and then the keystroke shortcut for the level of head I want. Easy peasy.

Moving the heads around in the Navigator moves the body text associated with the moved the head. I promote or demote heads using the style shortcuts.

When you say you want to set up the document right from the beginning, as an old time DTP person, I have to ask what that means? Are you publishing from NWP? What is the final form of your book going to be for publishing?

Cheers, geoff

Geoffrey Heard
Business & Environment Writer, Editor, Publisher
The Worsley Press

martin
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Re: Writing a book

Post by martin »

I'm no author, but I would say a good tip is the consistent use of styles. Whether you choose to write each chapter in a separate document (and combine them later), or keep everything in one file, you should always enforce formatting (and TOC inclusion, etc) via styles. Especially if you choose to keep separate chapter files, then having a consistent set of styles (with exactly the same names in each file) will be invaluable.

Oh, and we do have a join files macro in the macro repository.

sardinops_99
Posts: 11
Joined: 2003-06-07 06:19:28

Re: Writing a book

Post by sardinops_99 »

Many thanks for all this which is very helpful. I will no doubt have more questions when I start in earnest.
Yours
Rod

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