I’m currently working on a novel and I’ve been having a lot of problems with corrupt files. I’m on Vista laptop, Dual Core processor, 2GB of RAM, Nvidia Geforce 9200m GE (1GB). Not a particularly good system, but you’d think it would be able to handle a document.
I’ve been working with Open Office Writer (latest version) and every once in a while when I come back to the document it will get stuck trying to open the file. The green bar in the bottom will remain at about two thirds importing the document. I have had to do an enormous rewrite previously because of this, since I had been on a rather lengthy writing spree, and somewhere amongst the endless coffee and take away pizza I’d forgotten to back up. I learned my lesson from that, and back up regularly now, but it still seems to happen every once in a while. It’s quite frustrating having to rewrite sections because suddenly the file became corrupted and I’m slowly losing the will to continue.
The document itself is 195 pages long so far, 125k words. I personally don’t consider that particularly long, but from my google searches it seems that anything over about 50 pages is considered ‘long’ as far as corrupting files goes.
I’ve tried using Microsoft Word 2000 (the only version I have), but my custom dictionary of fantasy names is not present and the formatting is a little off. Also, when I try to close the file, it also crashes so I’m not convinced it can handle what I’m doing here either. I have tried contacting the creators of Open Office about the problem and they had no idea what to do and asked me to upload the file for them. I am not comfortable doing that, a little bit paranoid and over protective over my IP I guess. My hope is that I don’t need to send the document to anybody.
Is there a proper way to approach writing a large document? Should I be using specific settings? Splitting it is not an option, I need to be able to jump instantly from chapter to chapter and be able to replace nouns throughout the entire thing at the drop of a hat. I do enjoy my writing hobby and would be willing to buy dedicated writing software if there are any recommendations out there.
Pretty much at my wits end though. It’s like I’m constantly building a house of cards.