Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's just for research...really!

Hello peeps!

Still in downtime from finishing my book. I've been doing a little reading or as I like to call it ... research.

I'm not stealing anything but I do write down bits and pieces of dialogue and grammar usage for reference.

I've noticed that I don't format the way most published books do. I don't mean margins but more like sentences and paragraphs.

I'm not sure how one is supposed to know how to do that part. Just copy from others?

I'll read a short paragraph, two or three sentences max, then one sentence by itself and then dialogue.

I don't think I have anything formatted like that and now I wonder if I should be. 

I'm not very good with chapter placement either. I started the book with chapters and then it became one really long chapter. Gonna have to break that up.

But, that is for another day.

A special thanks to Tonja from Tonja's Musings for passing along a Stylish Blogger Award!

So, what are you guys up to? Are you reading anything for research?

Did you have a nice weekend? It was hazy, hot and humid here in NY for the guys to march in their navy blue uniforms for the Memorial Day parade.



  1. I can't do that formatting stuff and rely upon a friend to bail me out. However, I do know we're supposed to use New Times Roman. From other blogs I learned to have 11 or 12 font, space once at the end of the sentence, and remove numbering prior to formatting. We traveled mid-week so got lucky and had lovely weather in Rhinebeck, coming and going. Your photo is precious!!!

  2. I thought formatting is what editors are for. You're the creative genius, editors are grammar and format-police. I am more than happy to check for appopropriate chapter breaks - I just need to see the WID first! ;-)

    We had great weather at the shore this weekend - of course, I stayed in the house and puttered around helping Nan and Pops get everything ready for the summer. Em bounced around in the waves (60 degree water!) and soaked up the sun with Carol, Robyn, and Pete. Andrew even put in an appearance on the beach for a bit. Perhaps a trip in August could be planned?

    Love you,

  3. Formatting is always tricky. I mean go read something by Stephen King and then go read Cormac McCarthy and you'll see what I mean. Sometimes the formatting is as much of a statement of the art-form as the content of the words themselves. I would just say whatever works best for you is the way you should do it.

    This weekend I worked a whole lot. Actual work for money and stuff, and a ton of role-playing for for my players D&D campaign.

  4. Um yeah... I have no idea about this either? Weekend was long but quick even though we really didn't do anything. :P

  5. For me, a scene is typically five pages, and a chapter is ten. Of course there are exceptions to both.

    Wonderful, relaxing holiday here! Glad to see you had the same. :)

  6. I'm finishing my second book in the Losing Beauty series and I have so many chapters. It's funny that you think long chapters are a problemm because I was worrying that short ones were!

  7. My chapters tend to be ten pages as well. Maybe that's the way us guys think?
    Shorter sentences are something I've had to learn to do more often. That part of my work tends to look different than some books, especially like the one you described above.

  8. We had AWESOME weather here in Phoenix, Az, which is really unusual for us. It was in 80's when it should have been around 100. Nice surprise :)

    Don't worry about your formatting. That's more a reflection of your voice. Just go with your gut. Same with chapters. You'll find your pauses. You can't go wrong to pause at a cliff hanger. Best of luck!

  9. We had great weather here in western New York as well. :)Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

  10. I read a lot of books about forensics and autopsies for research. Fun stuff! And incredibly morbid. Hope you're enjoying your downtime.

  11. Kittie – That is the information that I have as well. Thanks for confirming it though. It helps. I’m glad you’re weather was good. Thank you!

    K. – No. Formatting should be all done before it goes to editors. They may tweak but that’s all. You will certainly have a lot of work to do, as usual! I’m so glad the shore treated you well and that Emily got to swim! Love to make some shore plans with you!

    Chris – You make a really good point. I guess I’m just trying to look current. My formatting looks old and dated…like me!
    I didn’t know you were in an active D&D game!

    MJ – Understood! ; ) It’s always quick when you’re relaxing!

    DL – That’s helpful! Thank you! Glad you were able to relax some.

    Johanna – Ha! Best of luck on finishing! When I say long I mean REALLY long. Like it’s going to be ten chapters or so long! : 0 )

    Alex – I’ll have to go see how many pages I have now. Ten pages sounds good! I’ll have to look at my sentences more closely too. Thank you!

    Shiela – That weather sounds perfect! I’ve heard how brutal summer can be in AZ. You make a good point about voice. I hadn’t thought about the structure being a part of voice but I guess it would be. Thanks for the wisdom!

    Dana – Glad to hear that! Yes, thank you, the holiday was very nice.

    Clarissa – That is actually awesome. We have been known to watch that true autopsy show during dinner. I am, thank you!

  12. Heather, check these two lengths about paragraphs. One or both may help you.
    There are few rules but a lot of general guidelines.
    Good luck!

  13. Carol - Thank you! I checked on both links. I think you're right. No hard and fast rules but some guidelines help.
    Thanks for helping me!

  14. after cp suggestions & reading/researching, i also broke my original 15 chapters into 50! (that includes an additional few thousand words, too)

  15. I'm still learning about format. My first drafts were a mess, but my CPs helped fix that, as well as my chapter length. I remember having a chapter that was over 8000 words long! They should be around 2500, or 10 pages. I think reading is the very best way to learn what works best.

    As for the weather, well, I live in Seattle so the weather always sucks.

  16. I'm pretty good with chapter placement and ending each on a hook, but sentence structure is something I have to work hard at.
    I'm sure your CP can give you direction. I love mine!!

  17. Aww, such a cute little flag waver! I've been editing and have been changing the dialoge/paragraph structure to something that makes more sense...and then on the next read through I'm changing it back, soooo sorry I can't be much help with that. The key is that it's a logical flow for the reader but sometimes there's more than one way to go.

  18. Tara – Yeah. I have a lot of chapter work to do! But, that’s okay!

    Nancy – That’s good info for me to have. Thank you! I’ve heard Seattle can be lovely at times, no?

    Ciara – It’s good to hear that others are having the same issues. I don’t actually have a CP. Just some friendly editors.

    Nicki – No problem. I’m going to start reading it out loud to see how it sounds.

    Thanks everyone!


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