Making your own ebook.
Someone asked me if I could make them an ebook. I have a mac and I’m pretty good on computers so they thought I’d be a good fit. I said I need to check it out.
Did you know that real ebooks need ISBN numbers?
And did you know that you have to BUY the ISBN number?
I missed that memo somewhere.
Now, they do only run around $250 for 10. But still, I didn’t realize that making an e-book would actually cost money.
That being said, I found this nifty little guide out there. In short, they explain all the services out there for ebooks and ebook creation, who gives you ISBN numbers, how much you get, how long it takes, ect. I also found this article that explains the few common forms of ebooks, why PDFs and picture books are not the brightest idea in an epud format and how to make your own epub format.
In short, I think making an ebook would be terribly easy to do. I’m just surprised some that it actually costs money.
Lessons from Editing short stories
Did I mention that I’m writing a story for my school newspaper? I would have posted a link to it but for some reason I’m not there.
Anyway, I’m only allowed 750 words an issue. For me, that’s hard. I’m having to cut out a lot while still maintaining interest in each issue. But I think it’s really good for me too because I tend to write too much into my short story.
So here’s what I learned from all this editing. A big secret behind short stories I think actually.
There is no such thing as background conversations.
Some people would call this maid-and-butler conversations. I don’t think of them as that, because the characters don’t know each other. It gives the characters a chance to tell each other some about themselves, while hinting information to the reader.
I like these. Sometimes they’re boring and need to be cut a lot later on, but I typically think they work out well enough.
In a short story, every word, as my book puts it, needs to serve double and triple duty. Immediately, when I am cutting out words, this is the first to go. Because my readers want to hear more about the fact that these illegal things are going on in town, what Colton does about them, and that Justin gets in a fight than that Colton and Justin have been arguing for a while.
Here’s another bit of advice for you to think about. Dr. D in class said that short stories are about change. I wrote it down. It would be interesting to see what would happen in Just Trust Me if Nessa went the other way.
Which reminds me of what I really wanted to mention. (Besides that I need to go eat lunch before my mom comes.)
ALL MY DUMB CHARACTERS FROM MY SHORT STORIES WANT THEIR OWN NOVELS!!!!
Seriously. I don’t know what to do. I’m writing a story right now about this body guard who a) loves the person he guards and b) is at high risk of losing his job (well, the draft right now doesn’t show that, but the character in my head does). And for some reason the important person is telling me that she wants to overthrow her uncle (the ruler) and lead a revolt. In a novel. And the the guy is going to go back home where there is a riot. And that the whole country is in unrest.
I know that I said writing short stories tend to seem to help me come up with better characters but this is ridiculous.
ALL YOU SHORT STORIES CHARACTER CANNOT HAVE YOUR OWN NOVEL. PERIOD!
I just don’t have the time. At all.
Anyone else have this problem?
Good evening, folks.
I realize that it has probably seemed like forever since I have written here last. I’ve missed it. No. I have not forgotten all of my fine readers. However, I needed to take a break because life became busy (okay, and I got a little discouraged/depressed in June), and then I had nothing to speak about because I’ve been a bad writer and haven’t written anything all summer.
I know. The horror.
Actually, I just finished writing the first draft a short story, which I started two weeks ago, so that was still summer, right?
Unfortunately, I can’t promise that I’m back for six days a week like before. See, I moved since I last wrote. Okay. I moved an hour away from my old home, but it involved a school transfer. I am now living in the dorms. And to be honest, dorm life can be busy. I went to two meetings tonight, both lasting an hour, and then dinner lasted an hour too.
I’m also taking six classes this semester, and of those, it looks like I must read the textbook for three of them. Plus papers. Plus my own writing. So, I’m still trying to work out priorities. But, I’ll try to make this more important.
On the plus side, one of the classes I’m taking is creative writing, which means that we’ll probably get some things that I’ve never discussed or would have discussed (such as poetry). I’m also taking Native American Studies, which will probably give some fascinating ideas to incorporate into a world. I wrote in the paper that
I hope to learn more about the culture of the Oyate so I can use that information in the future.
Now, in the future he’ll think when I’m teaching, but by in the future, I mean in my writing. Sneaky, eh?
Another thing that’s coming soon is I’m actually going to sit down and reformat this blog. While that means a lot of work for me, it also means that I’m going to try and make my stories in an easier readable formate, with the idea that you can then put it on an ebook reader. Now, I’ll just offer them as either an RTF or a PDF (votes anyone?) but that’s another change here. I’m realizing how important it is to develop a pre-publishing fan base, which sounds really bad, I know, but with how things are going, it’s more than likely that books from new authors will not be published soon. As such, anything I can do to make it easier for you, I will.
These changes will probably include a list of books I’ve read, since I’ve been reading a bit more, and maybe a three line review. However, we’ll see how that goes.
So, that’s my official coming back post and I’ll see you around.
Life is happy.
I just realized I haven’t written here all week. Bad, bad Abigail. (Nor have I found a job.) MOving on however…
Facebook status last night:
Today is a happy day. My characters FINALLY started talking to me. Only took them until Chapter 35. I so did not want to start my first draft without them talking though, so we are good now. :D Thank you, Sagi, Ber and Avi! Now Nessa… about you….
Now, besides the fact that all my friends now know I’m crazy, this is really good news.
See, I’ve been having a problem connecting with characters in the way that I need to connect in order to write a good book. The last story this really happened with initially was Shad, and I think that had to do with the fact I thought about writing it for over a year before I actually wrote it.
Instead of trying to force my characters to talk to me, I turned back to how I learned to listen to characters and began writing in a modified role playing format. I call it my pre-first draft and you know how bad first drafts are suppose to be? This is worse. :)
In short, I only add the details I know. I put in dialogue as I feel it works, some emotions, indications that the character speaks, but nothing extra. I’ve been doing this since March and just now I’m figuring out how the houses look.
The problem with this is that if the characters don’t start talking to me by the end of this, it’s really hard for me to edit and typically I toss the story before I finish it, putting a good two months of work to waste.
However, since this is the first time I’ve done it with a novel, I can say I do believe that this is going to work. Three of my main characters are finally clicking with me, and really giving me a clue about themselves. The only problem I have is actually my main character, Nessa, but she’s a little more complicated than my other characters so I think it’ll be fine.
As for weekly word count, I’ll post that tonight because I’m hoping to finish my current chapter before tonight. (I don’t write from Friday night to Saturday night, since someday this’ll be work, but that’s another post.)
Oh, and right now I’m toying with the idea of naming mermaids “For Keren.” It’s not a very strong title I don’t think, but it’s a common theme that a lot of the characters say. Just a thought. Maybe “Avicherfa” would be better though, since she is the real motivating factor behind a lot of things.
Mermaids last week: 30,470
Mermaids this week: 37,584
Total this week: 7,114
However, I did not finish my chapter. I perhaps wrote… 100 words today. Bad Abigail.
Another productive week.
Word count for last week: 24,985
Word count for this week: 30,470
Total for the week: 5485
The only problem is that I discovered I’m on Chapter Twenty-Eight. That, in itself, isn’t bad. However, I estimate only forty chapters total. Which means I am basically 3/4 of the way done.
Well, technically, because looking what I have coming up, I know I’m missing things, and I also know these chapters will be on the larger size. I’m also writing a very rough draft, to the point that if I don’t know something, I just skip it. The idea is to get the story on paper and come back to it. So maybe, just maybe, I can get it up to 120,000 by the end of my first draft. (This is a pre-first draft as i call it. So bad that no one should see it ever.) From there, I can then drop it to 100,000. Either way, I’m not going to worry about it yet. This story should be solid enough as it is.
Sending off the babies.
If you don’t know, I’ve been working on writing a synopsis off and on for Shad over the course of the semester. I start thinking that I’ll probably be done soon, especially since I finished my semester today and school won’t start again until at least May 31st.
As such, I started looking for information about how to work on synopses. Unfortunately, they all say the same, obvious tips. Keep things basic. Don’t do anything stupid. Include only what’s needed. Ect.
However, I found this great blog post that summarizes all this rather well. The Basics: Standard Manuscript Format and Mailing. The synopsis I skimmed, but he also included information on a cover letter.
Hopefully, this will help you all as well as it helped me.
The productive week.
I said I would start posting my word counts, to encourage me. :) Well, so much for that. I did, however, write this week so I might as well admit it.
Last time I posted, I had 19,009 words competed in mermaids. Since i didn’t write for almost two weeks, we can assume that is the same number. This week I have 24,985, which means that I wrote 5976 words.
Not only that, but I also imputed the paper edits of Shad’s synopsis, all 7 pages.
Oh, and I think I came up with a good enough title for Shad, at least until someone can really give me ideas: The Sweeper Pilot. Preferably it’d be fun of it showed up on the book as The
Sweeper Pilot, but I think that works well enough. What do you think?
This was a productive week.
I read a book.
I know; that isn’t a good thing to say as a writer. But with college and my own writing, my fear of not having a good book, and the sad lack of books we have available at the library in South Dakota, I haven’t picked up one in possibly a year.
Wow! I forgot how good it is to just read a good book.
I read Imager, by Modesitt. It sounded pretty good, so I asked to borrow it from a friend. I didn’t start it for almost a week. Once I did though, and I actually got passed page 60, I started finding it incredibly interesting. I almost literally couldn’t put it down and would bribe myself to clean a section of the house, read a chapter, clean, read, clean, read. (I had to clean; I wanted to read.)
Now, don’t mistake this for a review of the book. I actually think it was a little slow and a little confusing, and I wished I had a map. But I’m more focusing on the fact that I read a book and leave my reviews for amazon.
I actually did it based on someone’s advice. I didn’t want to write and all I could think about was reading. I just wanted to be swept away into a story.
And suddenly, I want to write again. It’s like after seeing a beautiful world created and put to right, with fun characters, plots and intrigue, I wanted to put that kind of magic on paper. For really, in many ways, it is magic. Think about it in that we as writers get to sweep someone up in a world of our own creating, and hide them in it for a while.
I’m now ready to write again. In fact, since Saturday night, I wrote 5000 words, which tallies out to about three or four chapters. Yes, I’m writing small chapters. I like doing it better that way.
So now I’m looking for more books to read, and I want to soon modify this website and include a page on my recommended books in sci-fi and fantasy. I don’t have a lot right now, but hopefully they’ll grow.
A reminder as finals approuch
Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.
~ Lawrence Kasdan