After last night’s post I went back to work on Secret Doors, just as I said I would. After two more hours of deleting dumb quotation marks and replacing them with smart quotes, I had an idea. I was really tired of the process and suddenly had an idea that just might take care of the rest of the novel in one fell swoop. I was about 60% of the way through the novel.
At that point I was six hours into fixing quotation marks. So, I used find and replace since all I was doing was replacing anyway, I figured it would work. I hit the button, replace all, and a short while later…all the ones I had fixed were changed back to dumb quotes.
I felt sick.
I quickly saved the file with a new name and then reopened the original. Sadly, Scrivener auto-saves frequently and it had the changes, too. Not only had I lost six hours of work, but the one chapter that had been okay in the first place, was now dumb quotes, too. It was a disaster.
But from disaster comes inspiration. I started trying different solutions until a modified version of plan that had just failed came to mind. I did a find replace on all the dumb quotes with a smart “left” smart quote. It replaced all the marks with “left” quotes, so I had half of them done.
Then I set up the find replace with a “right” smart quote and simply hit next twice and then replace. It worked and though I still had to go through the entire novel, I was able to finish the whole thing in three hours. It is unlikely that I would have finished as quickly with the old method. So, in the end, it worked out.