Word Nightmare / by Kenneth Buff

Sometimes old lovers become our worst enemies. In the software world, Word is that lover turned enemy for myself. I used to love that little bastard. It was white, so it reminded me of paper (my first love), it had a little word counter at the bottom, and it seemed pretty straight forward. You typed words into it and it brought your story to life on the computer. The only downfall of course to anyone who formats their own ebooks (which should be everyone who writes books...don't pay for something you can do yourself with 30 minutes of internet research) is that formatting with Word is a real bitch, and if you're like most writers, you did manual indents and the like, which really turned your file into shit.

I bring this up because tonight I formatted a short script for a friend so he could upload it to KDP. I figure it'll be a 10 minute job, but of course I forgot all the bullshit of bad formatting that goes along with Word and the habits of most writers. This is precisely the reason I gave up on Word. It only took me one manuscript written in word for me to get sick of manually deleting every tab and extra space (command+f doesn't seem to work on "tabs" in Scrivener). Now my formatting is easy, and the process couldn't be more pain free. Because of this, I haven't really delved into learning how to format in Word, because, why the hell would I? Makes it hard for me to give any advice to friends who still use it that isn't simply just "use Scrivener." I'd really like to make my job easier when formatting manuscripts, so I'm not spending hours cleaning up stupid garbage that shouldn't even be in the file (it's all bullshit that's mostly been caused by the writer, and they don't even realize they've done it...meaning they don't realize how fucking hard they've made my job).

Yeah, so I guess the overall point of this post is, don't use Word. I know it's a hard habit to kick, but if you're serious about publishing your stuff, stop using it as soon as you can. Buy Scrivener, import your stuff into it, format it so that it no longer looks like shit, and then after you've spent a couple hours doing that, and realizing that it would have taken you literally less than a minute to do it if you would have just written it in Scrivener, you'll no longer feel like wasting your time.