Wednesday, September 7, 2016

When it comes to formatting, Work Smart, not Hard.

In Reckless Magus I've got a number of characters who communicate with each other using mental communication. As I was writing, I threw the text between <<>> to indicate when a character was speaking psychically, like so:

Abe looked at the Esper with a sour expression, "Was that really needed?" 
Simon looked to at Abraxas and responded, <<He was not going to to assist us otherwise. He will not help us knowing you are a Spellchaser.>>

That worked in my first draft, but by the time I went back to edit the book, I thought I needed something more to make the text stand out, so I changed the text inside the angle brackets to italic. It looked much better, but every time I had to process the text, I would lose all formatting.

But before I could start to groan about having to send each draft through a second pass to edit back in the formatting, I caught a post from Evil Hat's Fred Hicks about using Indesign's intelligent styles. It really helped save me from headaches, and I just wanted to tip my hat to one of the people who I've been paying attention to in the business of creativity.