A little early this week. I could blame the super bowl, but really I have to drive to my grandson's college on my days off. Lesson 5 Continuation with How. Lesson 5 enjoy
Continuation with How. Lesson 5
Good day to you all. I hope your week supplied you with much comfort and joy. Last week we left off with How. I want to continue with what people asked about the most. How long should their story be? If you ever walked into a library or a bookstore, your answer should be answered. Books come in all shapes and sizes. I have children’s books that are only 2000 words or less with a picture illustration for each page, and each book is around twenty pages or so. I have a lot of books that are called a novella, which are around 20,000 words on up. These can range from 60 to 90 pages in length, printed to the size of a half sheet of paper, 6 x 9. Some books may contain pictures or maybe just a sketch above each chapter for appearances. Then I have a few novels, full blown novels. These range from 60,000 words and on up. 60,000 words on a half sheet of paper will run at about 200 pages.
Let’s go back to children’s books. A child has a very short attention span, as do many adults now days, so under thirty pages of easy reading is a nice size. As they get older and fall in love with reading, they will expand their horizons and work their way through the Harry Potter or Nancy Drew series, all the way up to War and Peace or Shogun. So you see, it really doesn’t matter what length you end up with as long as you tell the whole story.
Stephen King’s book, ‘Stand by Me,’ which turned out to be a classic as a movie, was just a short story novella. I have a 9500 word book that I could see turning into a two-hour thriller, a 15,000 word book that could be a cartoon pilot for a children’s adventure series. In today’s society they say people don’t have time to read. It is a dying practice, replaced by video games, phones, and smart TVs. They no longer have time to just sit and relax for themselves, because of job pressures, household bills, events, and children. I work in the airport and notice people on their phones, tablets, and computers, and they are on Facebook, watching movies, or playing games. Very few are reading a book on a kindle while waiting for their plane.
Statistics say that the people that read are;
70% read /
Women read 13% more than men /
Readers read 4 to 12 books per year /
Audio books are on the rise with 14% /
Ages 16 to 29 read the most??? What?
Look it up on Google and you will find hundreds of different stats, and why should we care? Let’s move on.
How to format your book. I’m not talking about fonts and fancy letters. This is just about your story. When you are ready for your computer, all publishers and agents, editors, like to see your print set up as New Time Roman font, double spaced, page number in the center bottom margin, author name and title in the top margin of each page, and one inch margins. If submission is on paper, loose with a title cover page that includes your name and info. But we will get into that later.
You have an idea, but don’t know how to start. The best I can say is you know you, and you can go in one of these directions. My ideas come from within, and when I start writing, the character seems to take over, and the pen flies from the beginning to the end, sometimes. While in writing class our professor had the class write the last four pages of a story about a subject they chose, or a subject that we wanted to write about. This brought about a book called ‘Twinkles, the Flying Elf.’ The entire class enjoyed the read so much that I had to now go to the beginning and write the whole story.
In another class they had us do the same thing with starting a story, writing the first four pages, and again, it turned out with high praise, and I continued ‘Twisted Bwitch’ as a screenplay all the way to the end, which people have said they want to read it as a book.
I always write down my thoughts with paper and ink. Sometimes I bounce around from scene to scene, filling in with more heart throbbing details. On the cover of my notepad, I write the names of all the characters, the towns, places, and roads so I can refer back to them if brought up in another chapter. Many say to make a basic outline, a beginning, a middle, and an end. I have tried, but somewhere the character takes over, and I stop to read the last seven pages and I have said, “Wow, I didn’t see that one coming. That changes the whole ending.”
As they say with screenplays, “Write It, Submit It, and they will rewrite it seventeen times anyway.” So I say to you; write it, read it, and rewrite it until you feel confident enough to share.
One of my books published by a vanity publisher was in the stage of print. I made all the corrections that they suggested. By that time, I had school, and other books edited, rewritten, and learned so much more. They asked me before print, “Do you want to change or add anything else before we go to print?” To this I said, “Knowing what I know now, I could change and add for the next five years. Let’s leave it as it is and print.” This book is the first book of a five book series called ‘The Wild Boys.’ It is my top, number one book with hits on the Internet of over 60,000 clicks.
So for formatting, that’s all I have. Next week we will talk about When and Where. For now, go have fun for yourself, and enjoy until next week.
Happy Writing from rickkurtisbooks.com