So I decided to take the plunge and start my “Hunger Games”-esque novel. I’m tentatively calling it In the Widening Gyre. I say “tentatively” because my daughter Sarah informs me that it’s not a good “teen” title, because nobody knows what a “Gyre” is (Gyre = gyration, a spiral. Sheesh!). She’s probably right, but it is the opening line of Yeats’ poem. Unless I rearrange the wording and go with Things Fall Apart, which is supposed to be the next book in the series. I dunno. I have to think about it.
At any rate, I have the book outlined now, and I’ve pretty much wrapped up the first chapter and am into the second already. The chapters are a bit longer than what I normally write, but I don’t think that’ll be a problem. I’ve also chosen to do something a little different: I’m writing it in print-format. Rather than double-spacing it on 8 1/2 x 11 paper, I’ve set the document properties to a book setting, and I’m justifying the text, as well as using the fonts and so forth that I plan to use when the book is printed. I’m hoping this will save me some major editing steps, as I can see the book unfolding before me as I anticipate it will look once it’s finished. If this plays right, I may start doing this for all future books as well. I confess it’s a little odd, letting go of the formatting style I’ve grown used to for so many three decades, but I think it’s the right choice. We’ll see if it comes back to bite me in the hind end later.
On a related note, my print version of Spilled Milk has been delayed by production problems. Most notable is the fact that I’ve had to convert the file from Microsoft Word to OpenOffice format, so that I can use the pdf converter OpenOffice provides that neither my version of Word at home (2003) nor at work (2010) provides (for some reason, they never installed it at work). But this morning I discovered that my Word at workcan create the pdf after all. I can sneak it in through the “send to” function, where the pdf converting has been enabled. This means I no longer have to go through the entire document fixing all the page break errors that were created when I opened the Word doc in OpenOffice (it didn’t like the section breaks I used to change the header/footer information from the first few pages through the rest of the book. For some reason, OpenOffice wants to use just one header/footer throughout, whereas Word allows you to create as many as you want. Unless I’m doing something seriously incorrect.). Regardless, I should have the file ready to go on Thursday at the latest.
Oy! The perils of proofing!
No matter. I’m back to work on the book now. If I can crank this out as fast as I hope, then I PROMISE I’ll get right back to work on Topheth and Tree of Liberty before Spring is out.