Monday, August 26, 2013

What I Want For My Books and My Readers

Part 3: Setting and Plot

I want the setting to be so real that you don’t have to use your imagination to know what it looks like. I want the setting and history and context of the story to weave together into the perfect background.  I want the backdrop of my story, the history and fashion and smells to be necessary so that it’s impossible to switch setting without having to re-write the entire story.  I want the magical elements of my book to be possible.

I want my plot to be fresh and surprising.  I want the reader’s predictions about what’s going to happen to be wrong.  I want the reader to have to be smart and pay attention to figure out what’s happening in my book.  I don’t want to treat them as if their dumb.  I want the reader to be forced into suspending their disbelief because they just care so much.  I want the reader’s emotions to be pulled and tugged and crushed just as often as the characters.  I want this book to feel so real a small portion of the reader’s mind wants to pretend it actually happened.  I want the reader to think they know what’s going on, only to find they have no clue, only to figure it out again before the end.

To view part one, Characters, click here.
To read part two, Readers and Characters, click here.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

What I Want for My Books and My Readers

Part 2: Readers and Characters

I want people to be able to bond with each and every character in my stories.  I want all the character’s relationships to be deep and layered and JUST beyond the readers understanding.  I want you to not only see the characters, but also hear them, feel them, and smell them.  If my reader passes someone who looks just like my character on the street, I want the reader to turn their head. I want characters that are slightly larger than life.  The kind of characters you wish you could be or you hope will never be born.  I want to smile when I think of every good character and look over my shoulder when I think of the bad ones. I want the reader to worry because the character’s path might just get them hurt.  I want the reader to understand things about the characters before the characters understand the about themselves. I want each character and idea fleshed out just enough that the reader understands them and isn’t confused, but not so much that the reader had nothing more to learn about them.

I don't want to settle for a good book when I might be able to write something great.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 19, 2013

What I Want for My Books and My Readers

Part 1: Characters

I want someone to finish my book frustrated that the story is over. 

I want every character to pop off the page.  I want every character to speak so much like themselves that you’ll know who is talking just by reading their dialogue.  I want every character to be their own person and for each of them to be interesting in their own way.  I want the clever characters to be even more clever.  I want less likeable characters to be likable anyway.  I want dumber characters to add to the plot and the humor.  I want the characters all ready to be the stars of their own books. I want to make sure every emotion is real and told in the best way possible.  I want the character’s actions telling the story as much as their words.  I want my secondary characters to be people too.  I want them to be as much a part of the story as my focus characters.  I want them to have motivations and I want conflict to rise and fall from each of them.

I've been thinking about my standards for my books a lot lately.  I don't want what happened to Jo March to happen to me.  I don't want to compromise for pocket money.  I don't want to compromise at all.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Teens Top 10

Hey!  What?  A post on Thursday?  Why not.

This is just a quick post.  Like last year, Inklined will be participating in some in the National Teen Read Week.  It starts Octobet 13th.  I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to host for teen read.  Some kind of teen blog tour, for sure!  It you have ideas, leave them in comments.

As you may or may not know, part of teen read week is selecting the Teens Top Ten Books of 2013.  And they need teen votes to vote for these books.

As the teen book bloggers of this wonderful internet, do your part!  Vote for a few books.  Tag some people you know and have ask them to vote for books too!  You can vote for up to three books.

I voted for:
Son by Lois Lowry
Every Day by David Leviathan
The False Prince by Jennifer Nielson

The books you can vote for are:
Crewel by Gennifer Albin
Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
Skinny by Donna Cooner
Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross
Croak by Gina Damico
The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda
172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Wake by Amanda Hocking
Tilt by Ellen Hopkins
Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Butter by Erin Jade Lange
Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Every Day by David Levithan
Son by Lois Lowry
I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen
Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Immortal City by Scott Speer
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

I'm tagging three bloggers to vote for this years Teen's Top Ten and do a post, or at least mention Teen Read Week in a post.  Bloggers: if you want to tag a few big teen readers to vote, please do!  Them more people who vote, the better chance the best of theses authors will be chosen as the Teen's Top Ten!
I'm tagging:
Hannah at Candy Apple Books
Amanda at Born Bookish
Rosie at Writings of Rosie

Thanks for reading!  If you've read any of these books, what did you think of them?  Did you vote and if so, what for?  If you to a Teen's Top Teen post link to it in the comments.  I'd love to read it.

See you on Monday!

Monday, August 12, 2013

First Day of School

Hey Guys!  Today marks the first day of school for me today.  I'm starting a little earlier than most of you, because I'm homeschooled and can start whenever I want.  As long as I get in 180 of school, I'm solid.

I spent some time on my first day setting my syllabus for the rest of the semester.  Late in the summer, I realized that I'm not as well read as probably most of you are, and certainly not as well read as an Honers English junior should be.  I was going to pick 15 books to read this year, but I couldn't, so I'm settling on 17.  I plan on reading 9 my first semester, so that if I only read 8 I'll still have time to procrastinate next semester.   I divided the list up into two haves, trying to spread the books I'm excited about reading and the books I'm not excited about reading between the two semesters as easily as possible.

Here's a list of books I hope to read in the next four months:

1.       Communist Manifesto by Marx
2.       Inferno by Dante
3.       The Scarlet Letter by Hawthorne (Edited)
4.       Paradise Lost by Milton
5.       The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald
6.       A Doll’s House by Ibsen
7.       Wuthering Heights by Bronte
8.       The Importacet of Being Ernest by Wilde
9.       Fahrenheit 451 by Bradbury

Yeah.  I know Marx isn't on the typical junior English class reading list, but I didn't have to read it last year for government and I'm thinking about getting a degree in political science, so I'm thinking I should read it.  I'm excited to read these books, but I'm also a little worried that they will keep me from reading the wonderful up ans coming young adult books that I love so much.  Hopefully that won't be the case, but I guess we'll see.

What about you?  When does your school year start?  Are you taking an English or Literature class, and if so, what class?  Have you read any of the books on my To-Read classics list?  If so, were they good or a struggle to get through? What are 5-10 novels that you're hoping to get read in the rest of this year?

Happy reading, writing, and studying!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Formatting a PDF for Kindle

Sorry for the long absence!

I don't know about you, but I've gotten my fair share of PDF books.  These are great!  However, when I go to put them on my Kindle something sad happens.  My Kindle isn't the size of a full 8.5"X11" page.  So I have to put it in landscape mode, and each page takes me three scrolls.  Still pretty good for a free book, but it could be a lot better.

So I recently wanted to put a doc. on my Kindle and was forced to play around with formatting a little bit.  I found a format that works much better on my Kindle and thought I'd share it with you.  For this process I used MicrosoftWord and PDF Complete.

First, copy and paste your novel into a new doc.
Under Page Layout, set your page size to 4"x6.25"
Still under Page Layout, set your margins to Narrow or .5" all the way around
Go back to the Home tab and set your line spacing to 1.0.
Set your font size to 11 or 12.  I normally use Times New Romans, but I've found Calibri works better for my Kindle.
If you have a cover, hit CTRL+Enter at the start of the first page and place your cover so that it takes up all of the first page.
In the margin at the top of the page, put your title in italics.
Save the document as something like "Your Title" PDF format Kindle.
Click Save As again, only this time under the drop down list Save as type, put PDF or PDF Complete
Copy and paste it onto your Kindle when it's hooked up to your computer, and you're done!

If you're e-mailing a copy of your book to someone, I would suggest you attach a full page PDF  version for computer reading, as well as this Kindle formatted one you just made.

Thanks for reading!  If you have ever tried reading full page docs on your Kindle, leave me a comment and let me know what you thought.