Archive for the ‘Computers and Technology’ Category

Getting Closer!

Saturday, April 13th, 2013

Down To The Wire

iPad screenshot


This is a screenshot from my iPad where I do my first round of proofreading before I start preparing the different file versions for an eBook.

BookProofer makes it really fast and easy to make corrections, and I find that reading through on the iPad helps me find html errors as well as typos and other issues. No matter how meticulous I think I’ve been, there are ALWAYS errors, and I usually say, more than once, “How did I miss THAT?”

This file isn’t (yet) customized for various devices, though it will be the baseline for the Apple version. Right now, I’m just finding file-specific errors. When that’s done, I’ll start viewing on many other devices and tweaking as much as possible.


We Return You To Your Regulary Scheduled Programming

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

My webhost has been having intermittent problems with the server my site is on since sometime Friday afternoon. Hopefully this means they’ve addressed the issue.

If you’re seeing this, everything is fine!

If you’re not, well. Special for people not able to get to my website! I know the secret to eternal life. Send me $20 in a SASE and I’ll share it with you.



Graphics Caution: Formatting eBooks

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

I was reading this book I’d been really enjoying and then, with no warning at all, the book crashed and burned in a big way. I was so annoyed I stopped reading — as in forever– that book, but I still had 20 minutes to go on the treadmill. I went through my Kindle and in a moment of vicious glee began to delete books that pissed me off. Well, I removed them from the device. It felt good. Really good.  I really think Amazon should have an “up in flames” option for when you remove a book you hated. There’d be a whoosh and then flames consuming the book….

Anyway, then I reached a book I hadn’t read yet, and it was like finding gold. Only, as it turned out, not. There were strange and odd language errors and then some careless ones and I started to feel sad.

I was reading in the Kindle app on the iPad. So far, I haven’t messed with any defaults, which means I read black text on a white background. The story opened with a chapter header like this:

White Background

White background

This is the default setting of a white background with black text. At first, I thought, hey, that’s kind of cool, plus it fits with the tone of the book. But then I wondered what would happen if the background were black with white text? Well, it looks like this:

heading on black background

Set to a black background

This is probably not the intended effect. The edginess is gone and now it just looks kind of lame.

And what if the background were sepia?

Sepia background

Sepia Background

Oh. Wow. That’s just. Ick.

I’m pretty sure that the rendering engine doesn’t have access to the reader/app settings so you couldn’t prevent these two unsightly results by swapping in a different color combination depending on the setting. I Googled to see if it was possible, but didn’t find anything after not looking all that hard. I expect the answer is no. That would likely end up being a security hole. (If you can look at the reader settings, you’re that much closer to changing them. Then again, I’m not the engineer. Maybe that’s OK.)

This is what a lot of writers don’t get; the user’s preferences can mess up your notions of how your eBook should look. (That, by the way, is a sly hint that perhaps a different notion is in order.) What’s more, those user preferences might rise to the level of need. Google quickly got me to a page where a user with macular degeneration noted that a very large font plus gold text on a black background made reading easiest.

Not to mention, this header is an image. It does not re-size up or down with the text. Therefore, it’s quite possible that a user will find that header image unreadable. They will not know this is the prologue. Or Chapter whatever because the information is contained in an image that is not available to them.

And that is why an image is a very poor choice for conveying textual information.

A more elegant solution to this issue is html and css. I’m pretty sure I stand by my earlier musings that gray might be an appropriate choice for something like this. You could put a css border around the header text and achieve a similar effect. I think.


Today Was an Interesting Day

Saturday, February 16th, 2013

I wrote a manifesto because of a bunch of stuff that’s been building up. It’s still a bit disorganized and scattered, but hey. Over there on the left where I list my blog pages, I added a page on technology, my manifesto is there.

In other news, today I worked on a project I’ve been meaning to get to for some time, which is using the DocBook schema for my publishing process. Basically, DocBook is a framework that will take xml input and transform it into multiple formats: html, ePub, pdf, etc. One source file. Multiple versions.

Once I realized that WordPerfect X6 does a decent job publishing to xml, I knew I had to do this.

For those of you who work in Word, you should be able to do pretty much the same thing. I believe you can change .docx to .xml and you end up with Word’s xml.

Setting it up is not for the faint of heart, I’d say. If you understand html and xml, the steps are fairly straightforward. It wasn’t half as hard as I feared. The upshot is that in about 4 hours, I’d successfully installed the required applications and created a complete html5 version of my source document. About 20 minutes later I had an ePub.

Generating the ePub took 4 seconds.

This is worthy of repeating. I dropped my xml file into the input folder and 4 seconds after I told it to create my ePub, I had an ePub that opened in Sigil.

But I ended up with an ePub that opened in Sigil and that applied ALL my base css.

Next Steps

I didn’t spend any time on the parts that will prettify my ePub. But I did swap my own css stylesheet sheet for theirs, and it worked. My guess on how to make the cover show up was right on.

But here’s the thing. Even if I never do any better than this, I just cut my time to go from Final Word Processor version to ePub from about 5 hours to 4 seconds.

I’m guessing it would take me about 30 minutes to manually apply my special formatting to the ePub I generated. But I should be able to tweak the xslt and xml file to deal with this.

Take a look at the output below. It’s obvious that I can add my typical and customary front and back matter to my source file. And it’s equally obvious that when I create my final document, I could merge in the different files I need for vendors. But I may not have to do this. DocBook has functions that should do this for me.

The couple of errors are probably related to some html or css entities I didn’t remove from my xml. Easy enough to track down those errors.

The last one is easy, too. I didn’t copy the ePub validation jar file to my workspace. Trivial to fix.

Buildfile: /Users/clj/Documents/workspace/TheSpare.docbook.first/buildepubhtml.xml
[delete] Deleting directory /Users/clj/Documents/workspace/TheSpare.docbook.first/output
[mkdir] Created dir: /Users/clj/Documents/workspace/TheSpare.docbook.first/output
[mkdir] Created dir: /Users/clj/Documents/workspace/TheSpare.docbook.first/output/tmp
[copy] Copying 1 file to /Users/clj/Documents/workspace/TheSpare.docbook.first/output/tmp
[copy] Copying 1 file to /Users/clj/Documents/workspace/TheSpare.docbook.first/output/tmp/OEBPS/images
[xslt] Transforming into /Users/clj/Documents/workspace/TheSpare.docbook.first/output/tmp
[xslt] Processing /Users/clj/Documents/workspace/TheSpare.docbook.first/input/Jewel_TheSpare.xml to /Users/clj/Documents/workspace/TheSpare.docbook.first/output/tmp/Jewel_TheSpare.html
[xslt] Loading stylesheet /Users/clj/Documents/workspace/TheSpare.docbook.first/docbook-xsl/epub/docbook.xsl
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/bk01-toc.html for book
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch01.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch02.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch03.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch04.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch05.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch06.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch07.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch08.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch09.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch10.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch11.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch12.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch13.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch14.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch15.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch16.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch17.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch18.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch19.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch20.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch21.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch22.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch23.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch24.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch25.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch26.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch27.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch28.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch29.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch30.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch31.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch32.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/ch33.html for chapter
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/index.html for book
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/toc.ncx
[xslt] : Warning! Non-text output nodes are ignored when writing an attribute, comment, or PI
[xslt] /Users/clj/Documents/workspace/TheSpare.docbook.first/docbook-xsl/xhtml-1_1/inline.xsl:213: Warning! Cannot write an attribute node when no element start tag is open
[xslt] : Warning! Non-text output nodes are ignored when writing an attribute, comment, or PI
[xslt] /Users/clj/Documents/workspace/TheSpare.docbook.first/docbook-xsl/xhtml-1_1/inline.xsl:213: Warning! Cannot write an attribute node when no element start tag is open
[xslt] Writing OEBPS/content.opf
[xslt] Writing META-INF/container.xml
[copy] Copying 37 files to /Users/clj/Documents/workspace/TheSpare.docbook.first/output/tmp/OEBPS
[copy] Copying 1 file to /Users/clj/Documents/workspace/TheSpare.docbook.first/output/tmp/META-INF
[echo] Generating book.epub
[zip] Building zip: /Users/clj/Documents/workspace/TheSpare.docbook.first/output/temp.mimetype
[zip] Building zip: /Users/clj/Documents/workspace/TheSpare.docbook.first/output/
[zip] Building zip: /Users/clj/Documents/workspace/TheSpare.docbook.first/output/book.epub
[delete] Deleting directory /Users/clj/Documents/workspace/TheSpare.docbook.first/OEBPS
[delete] Deleting directory /Users/clj/Documents/workspace/TheSpare.docbook.first/META-INF
[java] Unable to access jarfile /Users/clj/Documents/workspace/TheSpare.docbook.first/lib/epubcheck/epubcheck-1.2.jar
[java] Java Result: 1
Total time: 4 seconds


Got a Comment?

Monday, February 11th, 2013

I discovered that a plugin I was hoping to use for cool stuff was interfering with people’s ability to comment on my blog. (Thanks, Dawn, for your email! Also thanks to Juli for mentioning it, too!)

I’ve disabled the plugin and let the developer know and now comments are working.  Sorry about the problem!


:Temporarily reenabled while developer tests::

::OK — deactivated::

You are free to comment again.


Facebook Doesn’t Like Me?

Friday, February 1st, 2013

I’ve temporarily deactiviated my blog’s “Like” buttons as it appears that Norton/Symantec is flagging all of them as malware and blocking ALL wordpress sites that have like buttons. I’ve scanned my site and it’s clean, by the way. So, I think, are all the others.

I believe it’s a Norton issue, but it first came up yesterday when my fellow Risky Regency-ette Janet Mullaney reported that Norton was blocking her from reaching the Risky Regencies. Her email included the path of the file Norton didn’t like. That path pointed to a Facebook application key, which made me decide to disable the Facebook like plugin the Riskies site uses. Janet was then able to get to the Riskies site.

Problem solved, I thought.

Janet then posted at the Riskies and mentioned her Norton/facebook troubles in her post AND continued s story I’d started on my post the previous day. Her story continuation was cute, so I tweeted it and someone clicked through and then tweeted/asked me if I knew anything about facebook malware, as she uses Norton and was getting blocked from a number of sites… She sent me the path that she was seeing blocked and when I compared that to the one Janet M sent me, it was a different Facebook like plugin with a different app key.

Several other people on Twitter reported that they, too, were getting blocked from sites…. And, indeed, mine was being blocked, until I deactivated my (different) facebook like plugins. I suspect there is actually no malware problem at all. (My blog and the Riskies site both come up clean. Other report their wordpress installs are also reported clean.)

So, for now, if you are dying to follow me on facebook:

I imagine Norton will address this shortly. Or else we’ll find out something really dreadful has happened over at FB, in which case if you haven’t disabled your FB like plugins, you will very much wish you had.


Why it Pays to be Paranoid

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Oh, yes, it pays to be Paranoid

About backing up.

What do you mean my files are gone?

The subject came up recently. Of course, the subject of backups is highly relevant to my day job, so it’s something I think about a lot. And, several years ago, I learned a hard lesson about assuming 3rd parties will always be there or will give you enough time to get your files as opposed to, say, just turning off the server. I did, of course, have my own backups, but I still lost a lot of files. And what about people who were storing perfectly legitimate files on Megaupload? The US government concedes this is true, but 5 months after having taken control of the files on Megaupload, not one single file has been returned to legitimate users.

I love Dropbox, but what if the US government seizes them? Never ever ever rely on hardware or services you do not personally own as your only backup.


Remember, the Internet is NOT always there or available. I happen to live in a place where I don’t have true broadband. That means a service like Carbonite won’t work for me. I was thrilled when I found out Dropbox didn’t overwhelm our internet and allowed me to specify what I wanted there. When I write on my lunch hour, I don’t have an internet connection. Hello USB drive!

I ran through my process and yeah, I’m paranoid. But it pays off.

  1. I use Time Machine to back up my computer to an external drive. I have a total of 4 terabytes of external attached storage and sometimes I worry that’s not enough. Some of the storage is for legal reasons. (Google Jewel vs. NSA if you’re curious.)
  2. There are certain files I backup to other external drives.
  3. Since I run parallels, I make backups of the .pvm file to an external drive. That’s the fastest way to restore the virtual machine if something goes wrong. It’s a big file.
  4. I keep my writing files, website files and epublishing files synched with my laptop
  5. I synch those same files to a USB drive.
  6. I synch all those files plus others to dropbox. That makes it easy to keep files synched between the desktop, laptop, and iPad as well.
  7. Every night, I zip up files in the WIP, name it with date, and email that (as an attachment: to my gmail account with a subject of [WIP NAME] [Date]. In gmail, the email gets a label of “backup”
  8. The folder for every MS has a directory called Zips. Every zipped archive file is there. Which means it’s synched to dropbox.
  9. The folder for every MS has a directory called Current. At the end of every day, I copy all my MS files into it. That way I always have the previous day’s work right there. Every now and then, something goes wrong (often the problem is between the chair and the keyboard) and I have to recover by starting over for a certain chapter. The Current folder makes it easy to do that.

What do you do? What’s your backup and recovery strategy?


Why eBook Formatting Matters – A Case Study

Monday, May 28th, 2012

This is an image heavy post. I used my iPad3 to illustrate the problems.

Typesetting is a visual art. And, ironically, the best typeset books are ones where the art gets out of the way.

Berkley Books published my 2009 award winning historical Indiscreet. They did a fantastic job on the cover (Paul Marron!!!) and I love my editor. The entire Berkley team did a great job on editing, copy editing and proofreading. Berkley also eventually did an eBook. Since Berkley only has North American rights, I just recently issued an eBook outside the US where I have rights. And that means I have a case study about why eBook formatting matters and where the Berkley eBook falls very, very short. I heard from readers months ago that the eBook was practically unreadable. A while back I purchased the Kindle eBook and discovered it was true.

Some of you may know that I used to be a web developer in a previous job. That means I am very good with hmtl and css and, compared to the average author, quite knowledgeable about the guts of eBook technology. Am I bang up good at it? Not anymore, though I probably will be again shortly as there are lots of good reasons for me to brush up on my skills with respect to eBook formatting.

Here’s a screen cap of page 1 of Chapter 26 of the Berkley eBook for Indiscreet:


This looks OK, at first. But there are two HUGE typographic issues, one of which is better illustrated in the next image. The typographic errors are caused by the underlying html and css by the way, so to be accurate it’s not so much typography errors as coding errors that result in a poor reading experience. But typography gives us language that describes the problems.

In Indiscreet, I made the choice of opening many chapters with text that is descriptive of the chapter contents. It’s meta-text, in a way. Above, you can tell that first paragraph is indented text. You can tell that because there is text below that is not indented.

But this is an iPad screen that’s bigger than a lot of others. You can see more of the text per screen page. But what if you were reading this on an iPhone or other smaller screen? What visual clues exist to tell you that this is meta-text and not the actual writing? The indents are kind of a clue, but the white space issues make those indents less effective as a signifier. Notice the large spaces between paragraphs.

On the iPhone, the problem is even worse. You can only see a portion of any given paragraph.

So, the bad hmtl/css creates too much white space and that lessens the visual clue of indented text. Pages need white space. Too little white space is as serious a problem as too much.

Look at this image and you’ll get a better idea of the problem:

Landscape mode shows what happens with smaller screen real estate. On the left column, the indenting more or less vanishes. There’s no other text to show that this is an indented passage. What if your reading screen consisted ONLY of what you see in the left column?

The meta-text becomes indistinguishable from the actual text. The fact that the actual chapter text begins with CAPS isn’t a sufficient signifier, because, again, it signifies only when you can compare it to something else. A good typographical solution would embed the signification in the text itself. A different font entirely, for example.

Since this is the digital world where color doesn’t cost the publisher money, we should all be thinking about whether color might ever be of assistance. But that’s a digression. I’m just saying that in eBooks, black and white thinking might be limiting us in arriving at elegant solutions. Not that I don’t also recognize the peril of color in the hands of people who don’t understand color theory.

Anyway, if you are trying to read Indiscreet on a smaller screen, you will spend time dropping in and out of the story as the poor typography makes you struggle to figure out what is meta-text and what is regular text. As another aside, my meta-text authorial decision itself pulls the reader slightly out of the story flow and, boy, the bad presentation only exacerbates that problem.

Here’s what I did in my version:

Typography solved this issue centuries ago.

Notice the italics. It’s obvious that the italicized text is meta-text. In fact, this is a standard reason to use italics. With italics, it doesn’t matter if the reader sees only the meta-text. Italics alone tells the reader that they are not in the actual text.

Here’s an interior page from the Berkley eBook that shows why the formatting errors make their version of Indiscreet a chore to read:

Even on the iPad, with its bigger screen real estate, all that white space between paragraphs destroys the reading flow of the story. As you can see, it’s particularly bad when there are short paragraphs.

Here’s my version:

It makes a difference to the reader. A big difference. Page after page of paragraphs sitting in an ocean of white makes reading a chore.

You’ll notice that I don’t fully justify the text. I’m open to persuasion on this issue, but my current position is that when text flows to fit a changing container (landscape vs. portrait, iPad vs iPhone vs. Kindle Fire etc…) full justification will inevitably and unpredictably lead to lines of text that stretch in ways that slow down the eye and therefore the reading because of the insertion of white space. So, I left justify.

I also don’t include those pretty dingbatty things that start out chapters, even though it would be dead easy to do. Why? Mostly because the iPad background is actually not completely white and the dingbats show up on a whiter rectangular background and that bugs me. You can see the issue in the Berkley Chapter 26 image. That pretty sideways spade shows up on a whiter background. And it STILL bugs me. I’ve been mulling over various solutions to the problem, but I haven’t reached the point where no-dingbat vs. time to create perfectly invisible dingbat background has driven me to set aside time for a solution. I have a few ideas.

So. There you go.

I worked very hard to write a book readers would enjoy. And in the case of this eBook, it’s too much of a chore for many readers. They can’t read the story because of the presentation and that makes me sad.

Carolyn Talks Techie

Both P and DIV are block level elements that include padding by default. You must create and apply a style to control that padding if you don’t want that white space to appear.

p {
font-size: 100%;
margin: 0em 0em 0em 0em;
text-indent: 1.5em;
text-align: left;

Will create paragraphs that don’t include space before or after and that indents the first line

<p>Your fantastic text.</p>

Will look more like a book page than

<DIV>Your fantastic text.</DIV>

Which will actually render really badly.

DIV has more padding than P and when you stack a bunch of DIVs you get white space below the first div, then white space above the following div. Double the white space. The default padding for P is smaller than for div.

Therefore, if your program to convert your Word doc or PDF to html is creating DIV tags instead of P tags to contain your paragraphs of text it is breaking the html specification. If it also doesn’t even create a style sheet to fix the problem, your eBooks will suck.

And Now I Call Publishers out

Why are publishers using tools that create CRAP eBooks?
Why haven’t they hired anyone to fix it?
If they are out-sourcing this work and paying for it from the gross income, they’re getting ripped off. So is the author.

C-Level employees of publishers can be found all over the place talking about the ART of publishing and how much they care about the physical beauty of their product and how much they care about the reading experience.



Gadget Girl Makes An Observation

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

No, I’m not procrastinating, why? I don’t know why you’d even say that.


I am addicted to have the following apps on these devices:

  • Kindle App – all devices
  • HootSuite (Twitter app) on iPad3
  • Seismic (twitter app on iMac)
  • Twitter (on iPhone 4)

Here’s what’s started happening:

Me at my desktop working hard and taking DESERVED breaks for twitter: Someone has obviously said something funny, but seismic SUCKS at showing the conversation history. I grab the iPad and open up HootSuite, find the tweet and click “show conversation.” Ah, now I can tract back and find out who said the funny thing and decide if I want to pretend I was in on the funny thing all along.

Me on my iPad: I take a break from playing Quordy to see what’s happening on twitter. Oh, hey! There’s someone I want to follow and/or add to a list. I put down the iPad and go to seismic on the iMac because seismic makes it EASY to follow someone and add them to a list. Hootsuite not as much.

I’m on the MacBookPro and someone tweets about a great book. Woot! I pick up the iPad and use the Kindle store app to buy the book…

I’m somewhere away from the iMac and MacBook and don’t have the iPad with me (OMFG!) I pick up reading my book on the Kindle App.

Seriously. I have gadgets within reach with apps galore, and I switch between devices, sometimes without leaving my chair, ONLY because I want to do something that some other App does better on a different device.


1. Why can’t someone make a Twitter app that melds all the things people actually do so it’s all in just a click or swipe?

2. Did anyone foresee Apple being this evil? I didn’t. But now I’m an Apple gadget girl and it feels so good.

Uh Oh. A Rant

I also have a Kindle Fire. In my Kindle account, here’s my devices:

  1. Kindle for iPad1
  2. Kindle for iPad3
  3. Kindle for iPhone
  4. Kindle for Kindle Fire
  5. Kindle for Mac (iMac)
  6. Kindle for Mac 2 (MacBookPro)
  7. Kindle Cloud Reader

Every single one is legally purchased. My son is currently using the original iPad. I read across devices.

Someone explain to me why publishers should limit the number of devices that a book can be read on.


Why My Affair with Scrivener Didn’t Work Out (So Far)

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

A bit of background first. Way back when I switched to Mac from PC, also bought and used Parallels for Mac so I could continue to write in Word Perfect. Word, as a professional writing tool is horrible. I hate it. None of the default Word settings are correct for what’s required for a novel and trying to fix a formatting issue in Word tends to create a bigger mess.

With Word Perfect, however, I can do everything I need to do and fix problems easily. My WP novels automatically number my pages and chapters and allow me to have the title page and headers I want.

I’d heard wonderful things about Scrivener but it was a while before I wasn’t in the middle of a project with a deadline. I decided my current project was perfect for testing a switch to Scrivener. It’s a novella, so I’d have an answer quickly and if it didn’t work, switching back to WP wouldn’t be all that onerous.

Here’s the Number One Important Thing for Me, the requirement that has to be in place No. 1:

I need to not waste time figuring out what/how to do things. I need to spend my time writing.

I don’t mind spending some time learning. But it needs to be quality learning, not frustrating learning.

What Went Wrong

1. The novel formatting template would not allow me to change fonts. As soon as I started typing text using that template with the default font set to my preference, the font reverted back to the original default font. WHICH I HATED. I have a font I like to use that’s easy on my eyes. I read up on changing preferences, googled etc and nothing solved my problem. I could not get the damn template to accept my preferred font. For that reason, I abandoned the novel template and started from scratch.

2. Things went pretty well for a while. Until I decided I needed to start generating some compiled versions. Suffice it to say, I could not make it create a title page that wasn’t recognized as a chapter and incorrectly numbered. I Googled some more, read some more, consulted the knowledgebase and help and there was no set of enumerated steps that worked as advertised. When I tried to search for the words that appeared to be relevant, I got ZERO results.

When I finally, after HOURS of trying, found a way to make a title page that didn’t get counted as a chapter (and that still didn’t work in a way that was at all logical to me) all my chapters ended up with TWO lines for the chapter heading. (Chapter X was repeated twice for each chapter.) Not only that, but page numbering moved, for some reason, to the bottom of the page. WHY? THAT’S NOT WHERE THEY GO FOR A Novel. At that point, I gave up.

3. The Scrivener help file is awful. The Knowledgbase and forum searching are likewise difficult to search and did not return relevant or helpful results. None of the books I consulted were helpful. They were, sadly, based on working assumptions that do not in any way match the way I need to write.

A Few Other Issues

1. Not all writers need or want structure
2. I no longer write chapter scenes. I haven’t for years. But I STILL had to create chapter folders in order to get chapter numbering. WHY? And once I did that, there was no way to create a title page that didn’t screw up all the numbering.
3. The problem with templates is that most people need/want to customize them. Therefore, customizing a template needs to be easy and it wasn’t. The instructions for changing defaults DID NOT WORK.

I can’t waste any more time on this.

I’m totally bummed because there’s a lot other features I would love to use.

If anyone knows how to make any of this work, I’m all ears.