So, I finished going through the first half of Murderous Requiem, using the iPad for editing, and that went pretty successfully. But when it came time to start adding new material, I discovered that typing on the iPad virtual keyboard is a huge pain in the ass, when you’re typing more than a word or phrase here and there.
Not only are the “keys” smaller than normal, forcing me to resort to two-finger (one on each hand) typing, but there’s a noticeable delay between when you touch a “key” and when the character appears on the screen. I was trying to get a little added every night, over the past week or so, but when I opened the document in Word on my laptop this weekend and looked at the word count, I was horrified.
In a week, I’d typed less than a thousand words.
So I went back to typing on the laptop, and I’ve already written a couple thousand words since yesterday. Not super fast, but lightning, compared to typing on the iPad.
There were also some other annoyances. Word, by default, changes two dashes into a proprietary long dash symbol that Microsoft uses. It looks nice on the page, but I discovered, when I submitted to Dreamspinner Press, that they didn’t use the same type of dashes. Theirs were called m-dashes. I have no idea whether Microsoft’s are also considered to be m-dashes, but they’re not equivalent. So I had to go through the proofs and accept replacement edits on every single one. Additionally, Office HD on the iPad didn’t recognize Microsoft’s dashes. They simply disappeared. So I’ve now turned off that feature and just use double dashes, instead. They’ll still have to be replaced of course, but I figured it would be easier to just avoid Microsoft’s proprietary characters. (I’ve also turned off their “smart quotes,” which replace single and double quotes with ones that are curved to the left or right, depending upon placement in the sentence. Unfortunately, Word often gets that wrong, so you end up with some bizarre looking quotes curving in the wrong direction.)
When I went back to Word on my laptop, I discovered, to my annoyance, that the dashes had reappeared. But now they were side-by-side with double dashes. So I have to go through the whole damned document again and correct that.
So, overall, I still plan on using the iPad for proofing and editing. But not for writing.