How do you handle proof reading?

I wrote my first book in Neo Office, daft decision, I know, then send it for proof reading and editing to a friend, got it back, copied and pasted it into Scrivener (which I just had discovered) and then compiled it. My next book I will write from the start in Scrivener but not sure if there would be a better process for the proof reading / editing step then Compile doc > send to editor > get file back > copy and paste all back into Scrivener > compile.

How do others here handle that step? Thanks in advance, SY

I compile the manuscript to a .mobi version and email it to my Kindle 3G. I’ll carry the Kindle around with me, reading whenever I have time, and when I find a correction I’ll highlight it or flag it with a note. Then when I’m finished I sit down with Scrivener and my Kindle side-by-side, and use the Kindle’s “Menu / View Notes & Marks” function as a punchlist for performing the corrections.

If you’re at the stage where you’re mainly sending out completed drafts to an editor and going back and forth with that file, honestly I’d say you are past the point of using Scrivener. The software is really more geared toward the creative writing phase, and I would say also the personal editing phase, as Ed points out above. This could be a extended a bit if your editor is willing to get Scrivener as well. Then you can just pass the project back and forth—that’s very viable, but it involves having a flexible editor. :slight_smile:

There is one other solution, it also involves a degree of flexibility on your editor’s part, and that is using the File/Sync/with External Folder method. This can make a bunch of RTF files, one for each part of the draft in the Binder. They can then make adjustments to these files using a word processor—insert comments and so on—and then you sync the changes back into the project. Everything goes back to where it should be. But, like I say that requires a little flexibility as well since they would be working with a bunch of RTF files instead of one complete manuscript. How easy it is to do that will also depend upon how aggressively you use Scrivener’s philosophy of working in small chunks. For some writers this would not be feasible under any circumstances. They might have hundreds of RTF files representing the draft and that would be a huge pain to work with using a word processor. Those that tend to write in chapter-length files, however, might find this to be a very good way of working.

Thanks Amber, some good tips!

I am more than happy to sponsor him his own copy of Scrivener when my next book approaches the proof reading stage, but he might be not enough technically minded to enjoy that challenge :wink: So perhaps the second method you described would be more feasible for us as I write anyway in longish chapters.

Pity that Scrivener doesn’t have a convert from Word (or similar program) function where H1-headings become automatically the chapters or does it and I haven’t found it yet? SY

That is kind of possible at the moment. If you use File/Import/Import & Split..., you can specify a separator that will be used to cut up a long document into chunks. So what you would then want to do is use some kind of unique phrase or string of characters that could be used for a separator in between chapters. You could even use the Separators compile option pane to insert them all for you. However the problem with that method is that you are generating entirely new draft items instead of replacing the contents of the originals. It may be that you haven’t started to use the Inspector in-depth yet, but for a lot of people, replacing the original sections would be unacceptable because they have keywords, cross-links, snapshots, notes, collection assignments and other things bound up in the original draft items (a huge chunk of the Scrivener feature set, basically!). That’s where the folder sync method works really great, because it just examines the contents, takes a snapshot of the current text, and then inserts all of the changed text directly into the existing draft.

So in summary: if you don’t use much or any of the meta-data features, and don’t expect to ever get much out of that side of Scrivener (corkboard synopses and all that), then the describe method of inserting a separator string (like “----- NEW CHAPTER -----”) and then re-importing and rotating out all of the old sections would be good enough. I’d venture a guess that many people could do that. A lot of writers just use the basic features and don’t spend a lot of time using labels and keywords and so forth.

I don’t know if this is helpful, but I sent my chapters as individual Word files, then re-imported the edited files and compared the modified text (with comments) to my original in split screen view. This was especially helpful when there were still structural changes to make (and had someone willing to read early drafts). However once I neared the end and had a close-to-submission version, I then did all remaining edits in Word, only switching back to Scrivener if I found further structural changes to make or significant new sections to write. At this stage, I simply cut and pasted those changes into the Word document.

EDIT (in light of AmberV’s post): You can get the best of both worlds by incorporating the method AmberV describes and then using split-screen to modify your original side-by-side. This maintains all your meta-data AND you can be sure that any changes are ones that you are actually willing to incorporate (occasionally my proof-readers “fixed” things that weren’t broken or made suggestions that I strongly opposed - I was able to choose to ignore them).