On Writing, Questions

Novel Writing Question 1: One Document or Many?

What I mean by that question is how should you write a novel when writing on a computer?

Should you:

  • write the whole thing in one document?


  • write it in chapters or separate parts?

I’ve done both and there are certainly advantages and disadvantages to both.

When writing in a whole document, you don’t really have to worry about splitting it up into chapters while writing. You just have to write and write and write until you’re done. When it’s time to redraft, it’s easy to read the thing as a whole and see what needs fixing. Unfortunately, this does mean that, when you want to go back to a certain part, it can be difficult to find it again unless you’re clever and use bookmarks (which I think can be done in Word but I don’t know how).

When writing in separate chapters, certain events are easier to find (so long as you remember where they are) but, when it comes to redrafting, it can help to put it all together and, let me tell you, it’s a pain to copy and paste everything in one document.

So, I give the question to you. Which do you think is better? Does it even matter?


4 thoughts on “Novel Writing Question 1: One Document or Many?”

  1. Thanks for your opinion. It is indeed frustrating, as I’m finding writing the fourth draft all in one document. Not to mention the longer loading time. Still, when the thing’s done, it’s better from a redrafting point of view as you can see if all the parts work together or not.


  2. Each chapter should have its own file document. This allows you move things around, insert new chapters and delete ones that don’t work. You may have to renumber the chapters but it’s the only way to go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You make some valid points. I suppose my only gripe with individual file documents is when you have to put it all together.

      Thanks for taking the time to let me your opinion.


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