So, ever wonder what happens to your story in-between the submitted Word document and the final output? Here is a quick overview of what I do.
- I copy and paste the story into plain text. This strips out all formatting, all styles, but most importantly, all of the sins of the word processor used to create it.
- It is Find and Replace time! Remove the Tabs, and double spaces after punctuation. Change it so ultimately it is two hard returns after a paragraph, with no hard or soft ones in-between.
- Quotes are straightened, single and double. Each dash and hyphen is inspected to ensure it is the correct punctuation mark.
- Any spacing between sections is normalized. I use either * * * or just blank space.
- I open up the original again, and reformat any italics in the piece. I check to make sure the paragraph breaks are correct, all the section breaks were marked.
And now I have a clean and correctly formatted version of your story in a TXT file. From here, I can convert it to DOCX or EPUB or just about anything I want without formatting worries. If there is a change to be made, I can make it in the TXT file, and it is changed everywhere.