As I get closer to finishing the first draft of D&B, I’ve been struck by the inexplicable urge to format. I was given a copy of Scrivener for Christmas from my dad, and while I love using it, there is also something about having a full copy of my novel in one word document, all perfectly formatted.
The problem with this is that while I’m working on the end of the story, I’m also editing, altering, and even adding chapters in the middle. This means that each time I do something like this, I need to check that all the formatting is correct. I probably don’t actually ‘need’ to, but I feel like I should, just to be sure.
I like to call this ‘Novel Nesting’. It’s basically the way your dog behaves just before they have puppies, or the way a pregnant woman will suddenly want everything perfect and ready.
It’s a lot more understandable when there is a child coming. An unfinished book you have 23 copies of because you email it back and forth to yourself and constantly reformat to make sure everything is perfect? Suddenly you’re looking a little more crazy.
The good side, of course, is that in all this formatting and nesting, I’m finding a lot of the things I want to do. The sections I feel need more explanation and the paragraphs I want to rewrite. Obviously, with each of those edits I’ll probably format again.
Maybe this is editing, I’m just being incredibly neat and incredibly messy all at the same time. I have a problem with hoarding notebooks, now I’m hoarding unfinished and unedited copies of my manuscript. Luckily for me they’re all on my computer. I can only imagine how much a forest would hate me if I printed them all out.
On the upside, as I said, I am getting a lot of editing done.
Downside: Not as much sleep.