How to: create cut ups

The main tool for creating cut ups, for me, is a Word macro.

Create a blank document, then go to View->Macros->Record Macro.

Name the macro CutUp

Type a space, and then delete it.

Go back to View->Macros and stop recording.

Go to View->Macros, select CutUp and then click Edit.

Highlight the macro below, and replace the macro you have on screen.

Sub CutUp()
' CutUp Macro
    With Selection.Find
        .Text = "^p"
        .Replacement.Text = " "
        .Forward = True
        .Wrap = wdFindContinue
        .Format = False
        .MatchCase = False
        .MatchWholeWord = False
        .MatchWildcards = False
        .MatchSoundsLike = False
        .MatchAllWordForms = False
    End With
    Selection.Find.Execute Replace:=wdReplaceAll

    Selection.MoveRight Unit:=wdWord, Count:=5
Loop Until (Selection.End = ActiveDocument.Content.End - 1)

End Sub

The macro is in two parts. The top part is a find and replace. This finds every new paragraph character and replaces it with a space. This turns your entire text into one big block.

You can copy and paste that section to find and replace any characters that you don’t want in your cut ups. Chance the line that reads

.Text = “^p”

Change the ^p for any string you want to match.

You can change the line

.Replacement.Text = ” “

to change what you want the text to be replaced with. Empty quotes will remove it completely.

The second part of the macro is the Do…Loop.

The cycles through the entire document. In this case it moves the cursor 5 words to the right and then types a new paragraph.

You can change Count:=5 to any number you like. I use 5 words as my default for cut ups, you may prefer longer or shorter.

Make sure you save your macro after you have made any changes.

Now you need some text. I tend to use either Project Gutenberg or movie scripts from Simply Scripts. I always use the HTML version. This often comes with images that I can use to visualize NPCs or locations. Click that the beginning of the text you want and then Shift+Click at the end.

Paste this as text only into word.

Click at the top of the document, and then Go to View->Macros and run your Cut Up macro.

Eventually, you will end up with a long list of cut ups. I normally copy that list into Excel and from there I can add numbers down the side so I can roll against them, or use vlookup() functions and random numbers to get the spreadsheet to pick them for me.

I hope that gets you started, without having to cut your favorite books up with scissors.

Leave a Comment

WordPress Anti-Spam by WP-SpamShield