Character-driven stories are always the best kind of stories.
I don’t talk to my characters (I swear!), but they do control my story more than I might let on. Characters, though fictional, are fully fleshed out people living in your universe of fiction writing if writing is what you live and breathe every day. If you’re serious about your craft, I think that you should be strongly connected with all of your characters. I might take this a step further.
I confess that often, it really is my characters that decide the direction that they will go in a story. I have heard of a few writers admit to this as well. Some writers whose blogs I have read think that this level of thinking is weird/wrong and that they as writers are always fully in control of their stories. The latter type of thinking seems too mechanical for me. I prefer to think of writing as a way to tell the stories of the people who exist in one realm of my fantasy universe.
Of course I am the one writing my story, but as a writer, I am not living this life fully on my own. These characters exist in my rich inner world and they have influence over how I write them. Writing totally is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. Maybe this weirds you out. Perhaps you disagree. That’s okay, too. There are many different types of writers. This is how I work.
My characters do have minds of their own and I have changed the direction of nearly every story I have written because they disagreed with the direction that I was taking them in. Sometimes, I stress out about this disagreement and I hesitate to write their fate in a way that I originally planned not to.
Writing is supposed to be fun. Write what makes you want wake up in the wee hours of the morning just to finish that next chapter. Write what causes you to lay in bed at night thinking about your characters. Write something you’re passionate about.
If that means that you talk to your characters or if that means that you let your characters choose certain paths for themselves, then let it be.
Writers, do you ever feel a character pulling you in the opposite direction of where you want them to go? Do you feel them have a mind of their own? Do you think all of this is simply weirdness?
(Photo Source: http://www.everystockphoto.com by Shandi-lee)
Waiting for me with a steaming tea. Warm eyes, shy smile, dark hair, strong character. Or so he said.
Holding my hand with reassuring words. Numbness melted away to hope. I submitted to trust.
We laughed, we shared, we planned. I awoke to his warmth. He borrowed my story.
He reappeared in the form of pictures, memories, nightmares. I cannot escape, but I write.
Once I saw him and his eyes flickered blue as he stared at me. I wondered if I would awaken one day to him killing me.
I write. Poison is not always physical.
Write little girl, for ye know not when death’s final grip shall drag you to her cold, final den.
I bring to you now the official cover design of The Suicides.
Designed by my talented sister, Jessica Kjeldsen.
I will be publishing The Suicides very soon! It’s sitting at a solid 20,000 words making it a novella. My sister has been designing a simply beautiful cover and is adding in the finishing touches.
I have a knack for novellas. :)
I will keep you posted on the publishing date of The Suicides. It has been a joy to write, I am very happy with it and how it turned out, and I thank all of you who followed along with the story of my protagonist, Alfred and his quirky friends. Your support means the world to me. Without you, my blogging would just be idle typings.
I’m a writer who loves to have a sound track to my books. Music plays a large role for the inspiration of my writing. I would like to share the play list for the songs that inspired Eve & Adam. Some of the songs are appreciated by the characters themselves in the story.
A short play list for a short story. <3
Hello, my awesome readers, I am here to announce that Eve & Adam is now available in print on Amazon for only $6.25 US. All proceeds will go toward my editing costs for my next book. The cover, designed by my very own sister Jessica Kjeldsen, would make a great addition to any coffee table or desk.
I read Eve & Adam myself in print, and the feel that you get as you read your own story, turning the pages of a tangible book, is great.
Here’s me with Eve & Adam! (Backwards). :P
Sari felt as though she was melting into the soft cushions. The moment that she stepped inside of Gunnar’s eccentric yet cozy retreat, a great weight lifted from her shoulders. She stared out the window at the mountains; the sunset highlighted the peaks in fiery glory.
As Gunnar sketched Sari, the sounds of his charcoal pencils scratching along the paper sent her into a relaxed trance. She imagined Melancholia posing for Gunnar in the very same room – his beautiful lover must have been happy during her moments at the retreat with him. Imagining the artist in love sketching the striking features of Melancholia cast a euphoric spell over her.
Gunnar’s sketching ceased. The silence that followed seemed to heighten Sari’s senses. He came to her side and knelt down, touching her chin. For a moment, she thought that she was imagining things. Then, mind fog overtook her and she saw a pair of angry hazel eyes from her past staring back at her. She blinked.
Gunnar’s soft gaze calmed her. He looked down for a moment and a familiar sense of sadness stung her insides. She always seemed to somehow scare people away just when she felt that she was connecting with them. She took a deep breath and sighed.
He offered her his hand. She took it without hesitation, mirroring her reaction the night that they met in his dark gallery. She allowed Gunnar to guide her then; he took her on the most amazing journey by telling her about his travels and how he met his Melancholia. His artwork conveyed so much emotion to her. Only someone who loved as much as he had could paint with such depth.
Gunnar asked her to come with him on the balcony and watch the final sun’s rays yield to the night sky. She smiled and agreed to go. He put his arm around her shoulder and they walked toward the French doors. His comforting hold set her at ease.
As they stepped outside into the cooling air, they watched the world fall to sleep. The evening’s chill brought them closer. Their calm silence cast a spell on her mind. Both of them overcame considerable pain and hurt, but they still had a long way to go. There was much for them to live for as long as they never stopped seeking the light. They were both dreamers with a will to fight for the life that they wanted.
As she rested her head on his shoulder, echoes from the voices that she did not want to remember fought their way back into her memory. She longed so much to stay in the moment, but even as she stood so close to her new friend, the darkness within her awakened.
I thought I would go over how to format a Word document to be fit for Create Space.
- Get Rid of All Your Previous Formatting – This is the time to switch everything back to single space. If you used “Tab” or “Enter” to indent paragraphs, set them back to no indentation. There is a better way to indent paragraphs which I will go over after. :) If you used “Enter” several times to separate your chapters, remove that separation. Basically, make it all as simple as possible. Everything is single spaced with no extra formatting.
- Set Your Page Layout – Paperback books are sized at 6″ x 9″. Go to Page Layout –> Size –> More Paper Sizes. Set the width and height for your book’s final trim size to 6″ x 9″. Be sure to choose “Apply to Whole Document” on the drop down menu at the bottom.
- Margins – Go to Page Layout –> Margins –> Custom Margins. The exact requirements for this will depend on your page #. Go here to see exact inside and outside margin requirements. For my story which is only 33 pages, the gutter margin was .325″. The outside margin was .25″. I then used .5″ margins for both top and bottom. Gutter position should be set to “Left”.
- Indent Paragraphs – Go to Home –> Paragraph. Select “First Line”. Set it to .5″. You can highlight the entire page/entire document to make this faster.
- Formatting Chapter Separations – Remember to never separate Chapters by hitting Enter until it reaches the next page. This will ruin the formatting once you submit it to Create Space. Instead, use Page Break before each chapter to properly format.
- Page Numbering and Headers – Go to Insert –> Headers and Footers. Select “Different First Page” to prevent numbering from starting on your first page.
- Deleting Headers/ Page Numbers From Specific Pages – If you do not want numbering and headers to start, say, until page 5, then what you do is go to the Breaks option again. Under Section Breaks go to Next Page. This should delete headers and page numbers from that specific page if you have a Mac. If not, then this link is a valuable tool with pictures and a step by step guide on how to complete this process with ease.
- Save document as a .PDF file.
Do you have anything that you would like to add?
I hope that this was straight forward. It personally took me a whole evening to format my Word document for Create Space, but I hope that with all the information in one place, this could help someone go over the process much faster.
Eve & Adam is FREE on Kindle today! You can get your FREE copy here today until Tuesday at noon.
Here is what Eve & Adam is about:
Adam meets Eve, a girl who lives in the cult village, on the afternoon he decides to kill himself. Her whimsical charm pulls him away from his suicidal ideations, but he soon learns that she holds a world of darkness within her that rivals his own.
They long to escape their suppressive backgrounds, but there are people in Adam’s town who already have other plans for him. Will the two misfits finally be able to break free?