Monday, May 23, 2016

Pictures vs Imagination: When Writers Need Both

I enjoy having pictures pinned to my walls. More so I actually use these pics as part of my writing process. Some pics are of the hero and heroine of a book, but most others are of settings related to important scenes. I take these pictures from a myriad of sources including home magazines, travel magazines, etc. The internet and a good printer make this a much easier process than when I first began writing.

It may seem odd to you that I do this, when I obviously have a vivid imagination, but sometimes an author needs a little extra. What is fun is that I can stare at a picture of a mountain scene and imagine a walk through the woods in whatever way I want.

Do I see animals?  What sounds do I hear? What time of day is it?

Not only can this be relaxing, it's also how I unlock some of the most creative settings from my mind. Pictures are a moment captured in time, but a creative writer can gaze into the misty background of a scene and see more. The mind can be quite the playground. *wink*

I put pictures on my wall of sunsets and deserts, while writing my first book, Dhampir Passions. Why? In a way, a dystopian romance requires that the setting be its own character.

Having pictures is also helpful with a characters' details page on my wall. The page contains the basics; height, eye color, weight, hair color, etc. This details page is needed because I usually have more than one story I'm writing, and it helps me to not mix up characters. I've seen it happen to other authors with their character names. A small faux paus, but one I intend to avoid if at all possible.

For now, I'm nearly done with Sindriel's story, which is the sequel to Love's Demon Ways. I still need an epilogue. That will come to me. Perhaps I just need a picture to inspire this last moment of his "happily ever after."
 Happy reading,
Mary

Monday, May 9, 2016

Font Size and Crossed Eyes: A writer/reader perspective

Has anyone else noticed that the word/font size in current paperback books is so much smaller than in decades past? In addition, is there less space between sentences than in times past. Does it matter? First let me explain how I discovered this interesting tidbit.

As a romance readers, I have a large collection of books. Some books date back decades when flowery language and prose were the norm. This said, I brought out of my favorite author's books from the past. This book was published in 1998. Immediately I saw the difference, but just to be sure, I brought out my most recent paperback romance bought in 2016. Here's what I noticed:

Page length varied but thickness of book was the same:
1inch thickness
1998 – 362 pages
2016 – 424 pages

Word/font size was considerably different. Although I couldn't measure this, I opened both books to a random page and the 1998 book appeared almost to be written in large print. A big difference when your eyes are tired.

Sentence spacing appeared similar, but again, it's the size of the word that made the page easier or harder to read.

The reason I examined this is because as a reader, I like to relax at the end of the day with a book. That being said, I'm already tired and sometimes can't make it past a few pages before my eyes are crossing in exhaustion. I always believed it was me, but seeing the word size and spacing in older books gave me a different opinion.

So then, in modern books readers get more words on the pages, more story to enjoy, but at what cost to their eye health. I can't say I'll ever stop reading paperbacks. I just might change up my night routine to older favorites, so I don't strain my eyes. I'd go for hardcover, but there is cost involved with that and not every book comes in hard cover.

What do you think? Do your older books have a better word size and spacing? Does it matter to you?
Mary

Sunday, May 1, 2016

What are you looking forward to in May?

I always look forward to a new month. Why? It's probably because I believe every new month is a new beginning with the possibilities of great things to come.  

In May, I'm expecting a new review to come out for Bet Your Sweet Aces. Fingers crossed that it's a good one. I'm hoping to finish writing Clandestine Engagements. I know several readers inquire about my progress on the story. It's currently at 27K words, btw. I think they'll be pleased, despite the wait, how the story comes out. It's definitely an erotic read.  

Mother's Day is May 8th. What are you doing special for Mother's Day? I don't do traditional flowers, but I usually do buy and plant something for mom. She likes her garden.

It appears to be a quiet month, overall. I'm hoping so anyway. Writing is sometimes an escape from the stresses of real life, but most times stress is not conducive to writing.

Here is wishing everyone a great month of May! What are you looking forward to in May? Any big plans you'd like to share?


Mary