Got the boys to bed, sat down waiting for the wife to get in from work, and popped the netbook on my lap. Last night I finally got more written, not much (1000 words) but chapter four has begun. My main character discovers some maturity and relaxes into the inevitable and we get some development on two fringe characters who were slightly neglected in previous chapters. Still finding it hard to write a believable teenage girl without just copying and pasting bits and pieces of my friends from high school.
This one is a light holiday read and I’m experimenting with writing in a ‘real world’ contemporary setting (my other two books are set in a very different world around a hundred years from now). The limit is actually interesting because I’m having to let my characters do all the work of telling the story rather than the setting and the excitement of the unusual in an unfamiliar universe. To be honest this was the point of this book, I knew I needed to work on my ability to write a believable and relatable character with little overt description (my secondary characters have so far felt really wooden). I thought that if I wrote about a large group of friends I’d get the chance to work not simply on character but on fast character introduction.
Keeping with guidelines from successful Kindle authors I’m setting a word limit for the book of about 100,000 with 20 chapters of 5000 words each (easier to dip in and out of though I hope people get more gripped than that). From what I hear it’s tempting to go crazy with your word count, safe in the knowledge that no matter how much you write your book will only ever weigh as much as a kindle. I don’t want to get caught up in that so I’ve been strict from the outset.
Another tip for kindle writing is to read up on how to set chapter headings and on how to set paragraph format. If you get this right before you start you’ll save hours of formatting work at the end. Set all chapter headings as ‘heading’ in the formatting options at the top of your word-processing software and set all formatting to produce paragraphs that meet Kindle’s recommendations for formatting. A quick few minutes setting formatting at the start are worth it, trust me. It sound like a pain but there’s nothing worse than spending an extra few weeks (yes it can take that long) formatting something, I’ve learned from mistakes with my thesis.
I’ll try and get more done tonight (if the boys stay down) and I’ll post this weekend with an update. Thanks for reading.
(N.B. The lovely west coast beach pictured above is between Arisaig and Morar, with the island of Rhum in the distance, I nabbed the picture from http://www.flickr.com/photos/7213902@N05/2790109540/)