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Technical help

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resetpreacher
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Technical help

Postby resetpreacher » Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:29 pm

I am new to writing, about three chapters short of finishing a book. I am self editing. look forward to reading many of your helps in writing. I don't see any forum for technical help with writing. I was hoping to ask for advice on indenting a paragraph. I notice most books have excerpts from other works, including scripture intended both right and left. I cannot find an easy way to do this. I am using Word for Mac 2011. Any suggestions where to post this?

resetpreacher
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Re: Technical help

Postby resetpreacher » Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:30 pm

Sorry, that should be indented.

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Deb Porter
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Re: Technical help

Postby Deb Porter » Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:06 am

Hello resetpreacher. Are you talking about indenting your articles here at FaithWriters? If that's the case, then you need to use a little bit of HTML to do that. The formatting in Word won't translate over.

However, if you are talking about just indenting a paragraph for Word generally, that is actually a very easy thing to do. I don't have my Mac open at the moment (on my PC), and off the top of my head can't remember if the Paragraph section is in the same place, but that's where you need to go.

Step 1: Select the text you want indented. If it is your whole manuscript, then select all text (again, can't quite remember how to do that on a Mac).

Step 2: Go to "Paragraph" in your tool bar (you can find it in the tool bar or under the "Page Layout" tab)

Step 2: There should be a little arrow in the left bottom corner of the Paragraph section. Click on that to open more Paragraph options.

Step 3: When the Paragraph Options box opens, go to the Special section (usually set to the default (none). Open that box to see other options.

Step 4: Select "First Line."

Step 5: Once selected, the "By:" box will probably show 1.27 cm. This is the default indent. I usually opt for 0.6 cm, but it's up to you.

Step 6: Once you have set your options, click "OK". The manuscript should now have the first line indented for every paragraph.

Having said all that, this sort of cosmetic work is not really necessary in the initial stages of writing your manuscript. Page layout for publication purposes requires quite a lot of work and fine-tuning.

When you said you are "self editing," do you mean "self publishing"? Definitely edit your work a few times through, but then we strongly recommend seeking professional editing before proceeding with publication, particularly if you are planning to publish yourself or with a subsidy press publisher.

Love, Deb
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Breath of Fresh Air Press - a little publisher with a lot of heart

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resetpreacher
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Re: Technical help

Postby resetpreacher » Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:00 am

Deb, I'm leaning to self publishing but I meant self editing (with the help of a few friends). There just is no money to go towards paying someone for it, so I'll do the best I can. I have a small group helping with grammar and general impressions. Then I have a couple of friends who have agreed to do more, though they are very busy and I may have to wait on it. Both were English majors in college.
Thanks for the technical help, resetpreacher.

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Deb Porter
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Re: Technical help

Postby Deb Porter » Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:32 am

Hi resetpreacher.

We have an outstanding forum regarding writing technique (Jan's Writing Lessons). Well worth checking out. :D

And I do understand your hesitation to spend money on editing, but I shudder every time I hear someone say that. Of all the things you invest in when it comes to your book, editing is the absolute number 1 must do. Cover design is next in line. English majors will get the grammar and typos, and may even get some structural elements, but there's no guarantee. Structural editing is part learned skill and part instinct.

Of course, it's your decision, but with the door to publishing open these days to just about everyone with access to a computer, the market is being flooded with books published before they are ready, and the readers aren't slow to voice their opinion in reviews. My heart breaks when I see something with excellent potential spoiled in this way. You might be one of the exceptions, and I hope so, but even the very best authors are edited for structure.

I guess my question is whether, if the finances are tight, you would be better exploring other options for publishing your manuscript. If the book is something you believe is fresh and has strong publishing potential, then start looking into traditional publishing options. If you just want something to be able to take with you when you minister and sell or give to a small group of people, I guess it doesn't really matter as long as your friends have caught all the grammatical issues.

You mentioned that you are a new writer, and that's great, but I do recommend slowing down a little and developing your skills before rushing into print with your first book. There's no shame in that. It's simply allowing your understanding of the craft to catch up with your passion to communicate.

Anyway, I do wish you well, and encourage you, at the very least, to find a critique group. In other words, a small group of fellow writers who will work with you, as you work with them, to share feedback and input on each other's manuscripts. It may slow down the process, but it could be worth the wait.

Love, Deb
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Shann
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Re: Technical help

Postby Shann » Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:20 pm

I'm going to echo Deb's sentiment. I've read a lot of self published books and the single biggest mistake made is self editing. Even after having friends who are English majors go over grammar and what not, you should find a professional editor. Perhaps the teachers will pick up on grammar and punctuation, but that isn't all an editor does. A good editor looks for continuity, development of characters, awkward sentences, using repeating words, not varying sentence structures, and the grammatical things as well.

I just finished reading a book and the story was great. Based on the storyline alone, I would have given it 5 stars for the review, but it had some serious errors that an editor would have caught. One was having too many names for his characters. Sometimes he'd use full name, sometimes last name, sometimes first name, and sometimes nicknames (one character had 2 nicknames) I spent way too much time trying to figure out who was who. It was a suspenseful book, but I became frustrated easily because I'd have to backtrack to figure out who was who.

If the storyline hadn't been as good as it was, I'd have given up and tossed the book aside. There have been other books I've read where it was unreadable because there were so many errors.

When I first joined FW, I felt quite confident. All my family and friends had told me how brilliant I was. I quickly realized I had much to learn. Now I cringe when I read the earlier stories. I've been editing for about 18 months now, and I'm still learning. I suspect it will be a lifetime experience. I recently went over the first book I edited and was surprised at the things I had missed. No one is perfect and there are different rules out there which makes it even harder to write an error free book.

FW has a list of editors. Maybe it would be worth it to contact some of them. I know I sometimes will give someone a discount if I'm moved by the story. Another thing I do is give a sample edit and critique so the author can get a feel if I'm the right editor for her. Lastly, you might find someone willing to take a payment plan.

Like Deb, I wish the best for you and hope you'll pray about this and God will help you find the answer. I know someone who had a church dinner to help raise money eyes to get her book published. That may be something you might want to consider.

Good luck, I sincerely hope this works out great for you. :D
Shann

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beaedwards
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Re: Technical help

Postby beaedwards » Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:22 pm

Echoing Deb and Shann's wonderful advise.

Thanks ladies!

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Lillie22
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Re: Technical help

Postby Lillie22 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 1:47 pm

I have a question regarding Logins. I tried to login to a forum called WriteTrack, but it would not accept or recognize my username and password. SO I was wondering if I have to register again for this forum as I was already logged in to Forums. I also noticed that it is for 500 Platinum members, which I am. Would you be able to tell me why I couldn't access this particular forum/article for WriteTrack?

Thank you.

Rachael Severa

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Shann
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Re: Technical help

Postby Shann » Sat Jul 26, 2014 2:42 pm

There are two different logins. One is for the main site which is where most of the writing is handled. Then there is a different login for the forums. You likely have a different username and hopefully password. If you haven't registered for the boards then you need to do that. Once logged in, you should be able to respond to any forum.

So try it again. The fact that you can respond here, means you should be able to login on the other thread. I'm wondering if you just used the wrong username or password. It's possible that the site was experiencing a glitch. If you have your own computer, you may want to check the box that says login me in automatically.

I looked and couldn't find the thread you're referring to. I might be looking right past it, but still can't figure out why you couldn't post. Maybe you could leave a link to it if you're still having problems.
Shann

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Deb Porter
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Re: Technical help

Postby Deb Porter » Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:28 am

Hi Lillie. You've got me beat as well. I don't know what forum is called WriteTrack. I think we have a member named "writetrack" (is that Lynda Schab?), but there isn't an actual forum called that.

There are no specific forums here that are for 500 members only.

Could you post a link here or something to show us where you mean?

Love, Deb
FaithWriters' Writing Challenge Co-ordinator


Breath of Fresh Air Press - a little publisher with a lot of heart

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User avatar
Deb Porter
FaithWriters and Site Admin
FaithWriters and Site Admin
 
Posts: 15721
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 4:02 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Technical help

Postby Deb Porter » Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:29 am

Yes, I just checked. "WriteTrack" is actually a member's user name, not a forum. Where you perhaps clicking on the moderator for that forum instead of the actual forum, perhaps?

Love, Deb
FaithWriters' Writing Challenge Co-ordinator


Breath of Fresh Air Press - a little publisher with a lot of heart

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