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Editing a Novel on a Tablet

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. It was also the first book that I had written solely on a tablet – a Kindle Fire HDX. I had never tried editing a novel on a tablet though, 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, yes, indeed it is! If you only write a couple of thousand words a day and then upload them to the main computer.  It works very well if you then just tag them on the end of your novel..

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.

Kindle Fire HDX

However, although it can easily read books much larger than the 75,000 words in Dead Centre 2, 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 Kindle 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 to carry out each command. Usually, between one and sixty, unfortunately, but it can take longer.

So, say in your typing frenzy, you allowed the predictive selection of ‘standardised’ for ‘stand-up’, you would need to backspace seven times and type ‘-up’ (i.e, three characters). That is ten 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 on the Kindle Fire, I achieved speeds of 600 words an hour. That is comparable with my speed on my Asus, although I can write faster anually, although I hate typing up.

Dog Root in a Tree Stump

Dog root in a tree stump

A photo for those of you who couldn’t see the root outside my office window.  A root-branch transformed itself into the head of a dog overnight! See it, clearly marked? You will probably need to enlarge the image to see it easily. However, 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. Mainly because I did stick with it for fourteen of the twenty chapters. However, that means that I have to crack on now.

All the best,

+Owen

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

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