Monday, 21 November 2011

The first goal of writing...

The first goal of writing is to have one's words read successfully.  ~Robert Brault,

When I did my author interview for Diverse Traveller one of the questions was “Did you attend any writing classes?” No was my reply- well a bit more padded out than that but that was the crux of it. But it made me think – should I have attended a class to improve my writing technique? Again today I spoke to someone about this and he said – surely learning how to write went against being creative- putting your freedom back into a box so you lean like the rest of them. He went on to say that most writers write for themselves and develop through their own work- true I thought happy with his deduction but I am an academic. The problem is – everything I have learned I prefer not to continue with. So enrolling in a creative writing course I decided was not for me. I love writing I don’t want education to take that away from me. But there are snippets of technique that you can and perhaps should learn. Today for instance I leaned that it was better to provide just jey pieces of description when describing a characters looks- such as mention brown hair and let the reader fill in the blanks. Something I didn’t do in GT. I wanted to really paint a picture but I think readers prefer characters looks of which they can create in their imaginations. I think the images they create is much more vivid then. So I am using this tip in The Bittersweet Vine.

I will explore further writing tips that I have discovered recently – learning on line through various websites but first can I just tell you about part one of my kindle experience.

So I have heard that formatting is a pain- and I though as GT was professionally edited it would be almost there- well it is kind of but there are so many other bits to do. The image size is too small for the cover and my friend who did the image is now on holiday- so annoying for someone with no patience like me!
Each para is indented on kindle – I have to change each one if I don’t want it that way- indenting is fine for me!!!
Kindle changes the format from when it is in HTML format to kindle so you have to do a trial run to see where these format changes are- sooooooo frustrating. I really hope that I can achieve creating GT kindle (cheaper version) in the next two weeks- maybe I will need to start getting up earlier!

The only good thing is amazons quick guide to the process- and mobi pocket creator and the kindle previewer- downloaded in seconds ( and my computer is generally slow)- even if you are technically illiterate like me you will be able to down load and use the two applications. If only to see just how difficult it is. However in saying that I realise that I have only had an evenings worth of frustration (and remember I am impatient) so maybe in another few tries I will be there and then you have to ask- was it that difficult if it only took a week to get right.

With many technical things such as this most of it is the knowing how- Once you have mastered the art of the formatting- it is probably as easy as writing your own name. And I suppose it depends on how fussy you are. I may be impatient but I am not pedantic. Therefore do I really mind that each paragraph is indented? No not really- is it going to hamper the readers experience? No I don’t think it will. If anything on the kindle previewer it is kind of easier to read that way--- after all its just a format!

I am going to persist this week and then wait patiently for my friend to resize the cover image! Will I be able to sell it on Kindle for the Christmas rush…. I just don’t know. Watch this space.

Just to let you know I have decided on which short story I am submitting for my writing groups flash fiction competition. The Blue Cardigan. Both the Blue Cardigan and Stealing Mangoes will be posted here shortly.

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