Reply to post: Re: So they force him to use Word hmm?

Brit Sci-Fi author Alastair Reynolds says MS Word 'drives me to distraction'

Dave Bell

Re: So they force him to use Word hmm?

People such as Charles Stross and Alistair Reynolds work with publishers. They know what they are talking about. They write stuff that is good enough to win Awards.

I think you underestimate how much Word gets used as a format. Mr. Stross has written a lot on how the process works, and I don't think you're far wrong on why it gets used. Most of the cost of producing a novel from a manuscript is in the editing, and Word is the de facto standard. Microsoft have been destroying the alternatives in the word-processing market, and nobbling the process that sets standards, and there isn't a practical alternative for what the publishers have to do.

Yes, it is possible to change file format. but if you go back and forth between Word and ODT a few times, what information about the document have you lost?

(There is, incidentally, a standard manuscript format which, within the limits of an ordinary typewriter, encodes a few format changes, such a bold and italic.)

If you just want the WYSIWYG, download Open Office or Libre Office.

Scrivener looks like a good choice for writing long texts. I use it a lot now.

Perhaps the biggest problem is that our schooling is focused on writing short, stereotyped, texts in response to exam questions. What was the longest thing you wrote at school? How many of us, when a novel today is typically 100,000 words, can judge the ability of a program to handle such a work?

Have you even tried NaNoWriMo?

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