Editing a Novel on a Tablet

Editing a Novel on a Tablet


Editing a Novel on a Tablet

As many of you know, I finished writing Dead Centre II at the end of last month, but it was also the first book that I had written solely on a tablet – a Kindle Fire HDX, as it happens. I had never tried editing a novel on a tablet, so my next task was to try that.

Editing a novel on a tablet has been a disaster!

I will explain. The Kindle Fire HDX has sixteen gigabytes or memory, so plenty you would think, and so indeed it is, if you only write a couple of thousand words a day and then upload them to the main computer to be tagged on the end of your novel. It works very well.

The size of the Kindle (in the photo), compared with my Asus, is tiny, yet it has ten hours of battery life compared with the Asus’ two and a half. It makes it the ideal medium to use when I’m out for the day but still working. That was why I thought I’d try editing a novel on a tablet as well.

However, although it can easily read books much larger than the 75,000 words in DC2, it is not equipped to hold them in memory for editing. While it can cope with editing an article or a chapter with ease, editing a novel on a tablet like the Fire is awesomely tedious.

The first problem with editing a novel on a tablet is that the internal gubbins of the tiny machine is so overwhelmed that it sometimes can’t find the time to load the keyboard. If you can persuade it to do that, and there are a few tricks you can play on it, it takes seconds, between one and sixty, usually, but it can be more, to carry out each command.

So, say in your typing frenzy, you allowed the predictive selection of ‘standardised’ for ‘stand-up’, you would need to backspace four times and type ‘-up’ (ie,three characters). That is seven operations, which could easily take five to ten minutes.

Now, I like the app, called My Office, I think (a large ‘W’ on a red square), but I’m afraid it can’t cope with editing a novel on a tablet. Writing, yes, but editing, no. When writing, I achieved speeds of 600 words an hour, which is comparable with my speed on a laptop, although I can write faster by hand, but hate typing up.

Dog Root in a Tree Stump

Dog root in a tree stump

Dog root in a tree stump

Those of you who couldn’t see the root outside my office window which has transformed itself into the head of a dog overnight, here it is, clearly marked. You will probably need to enlarge the image to see it easily, but she is there looking up to two o’ clock.

My experiment with editing a novel on a tablet has put me back a few days, because I did stick with it for fourteen of the twenty chapters, but it means that I have to crack on now.

All the best,


Amazon Image  Dead Centre the first of the two novels about the ex-SAS daredevils.