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Writer's Room => Picture Books (PB) => Topic started by: marjorie on May 10, 2021, 11:32 AM

Title: Writing software for picture books
Post by: marjorie on May 10, 2021, 11:32 AM
 :parrot
I've been writing in Microsoft Word. Wondering if there is a better tool. It gets challenging to keep track of word count when you add illustrator notes. Plus I need to delete the notes if I want to share story only.  Thank you.
Title: Re: Writing software for picture books
Post by: Brian Garrison on May 10, 2021, 01:33 PM
One way to manage the story vs. notes in Word is using Styles. You can set each style to have its own specific formatting, which works best if your story & notes are always on separate lines.

You can then quickly "select all" for just one style, which gives you the word count (at the bottom "x out of Y words"). Once you have just one style selected, you can copy-paste or delete, depending on what you want to achieve.

I also heard someone on Twitter say they are working on a possible option to use with Google Docs
https://twitter.com/ChrisNantais/status/1389326712530481152
Title: Re: Writing software for picture books
Post by: marjorie on May 10, 2021, 01:45 PM
Thanks. I've written in blue, which is a different style I guess. Will look more into this. Tweet was great, hope he creates it.
Title: Re: Writing software for picture books
Post by: erika-romero on May 10, 2021, 03:03 PM
One way to manage the story vs. notes in Word is using Styles. You can set each style to have its own specific formatting, which works best if your story & notes are always on separate lines.

You can then quickly "select all" for just one style, which gives you the word count (at the bottom "x out of Y words"). Once you have just one style selected, you can copy-paste or delete, depending on what you want to achieve.

I also heard someone on Twitter say they are working on a possible option to use with Google Docs
https://twitter.com/ChrisNantais/status/1389326712530481152



Great to know! I’ve been frustrated with this same issue. Looking forward to styles making this task much easier.
Title: Re: Writing software for picture books
Post by: dkshumaker on May 10, 2021, 03:52 PM
I don't think it's crucial to have exact word count. Illustrator notes should be used sparingly.  I just quickly count up my illustrator notes then subtract that number from the word count shown. (I use Pages on my Mac, then convert to a .docx.)

But interesting about the "Styles" thing. When I write NF PBs, sometimes I use sidebars in a smaller, italicized font. But to get word count, I've just been selecting each text box, then add them all up.  I'll have to look to see if Pages differentiates "styles".
Title: Re: Writing software for picture books
Post by: Vijaya on May 10, 2021, 04:00 PM
I usually have a clean copy (without notes, footnotes, doodles) vs. the annotated copy when I write.
Title: Re: Writing software for picture books
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on May 10, 2021, 06:12 PM
I've never used it, but I wonder if Scrivener can do this.

I just add up the words by highlighting each section of text and using a calculator.

Where do you find "styles" in Word? I've never seen that.
Title: Re: Writing software for picture books
Post by: Mindy Alyse Weiss on May 11, 2021, 02:20 AM
I keep hearing about using Styles in Word, but haven't tried it yet. Thanks for sharing, Brian!

Like others have said, I go through the manuscript and jot down the word count from my art notes, then subtract it from the total word count. I try to keep the number of art notes low, but a few manuscripts have demanded more than usual, and it doesn't take much time to tally them up. But if you do find an easier way, please share it with us. :)

I'm wondering why you need to delete the art notes to share only the text. If it's truly needed, how will the person reading it understand what's happening?

One way to manage the story vs. notes in Word is using Styles. You can set each style to have its own specific formatting, which works best if your story & notes are always on separate lines.

You can then quickly "select all" for just one style, which gives you the word count (at the bottom "x out of Y words"). Once you have just one style selected, you can copy-paste or delete, depending on what you want to achieve.

I also heard someone on Twitter say they are working on a possible option to use with Google Docs
https://twitter.com/ChrisNantais/status/1389326712530481152


Title: Re: Writing software for picture books
Post by: Brian Garrison on May 11, 2021, 08:06 AM
Here's a brief rundown on where to find the styles pane in Word.
I can help out with questions that would be more specific if you run into them.

http://wordfaqs.ssbarnhill.com/DisplayStyles.htm


Pages used to have the ability to "select all" for one style, but that has disappeared in recent years, along with other formatting nuances.
Title: Re: Writing software for picture books
Post by: Brian Garrison on May 12, 2021, 10:59 AM
Update! I just saw Chris Nantais post that he finished his add-on for Google Docs.
https://twitter.com/ChrisNantais/status/1392490510753935371
Title: Re: Writing software for picture books
Post by: marjorie on May 12, 2021, 11:01 AM
Awesome! Thanks for the update. I will be trying it this week.

 :yay