To A Deluded Storyteller

If you are using Word to write your stories click on the Styles tab and then Manage Styles. Now click on Modify then Paragraph. Under Indentation look for Special and select First Line and then select by how much you want the first line to be indented.

 

Check your output after conversion. If there is no indentation do not publish but try to figure out where you are going wrong. Are you using free software? If so, perhaps it is time to try something else that will format properly.

 

You cannot keep writing these bricks and expecting them to sell, or are you just using this as cheap therapy?

Comments

  • I absolutely agree. 

     

    I have spent years gnashing my teeth over the appearance of far too many self-published books. The only reasonable conclusion I can draw is that their authors have never in their lives opened a real book and actually looked at it.

     

    There are very good reasons traditional books are formatted the way they are---not the least of which is simple readability.

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

    Some people do use writing as a form of therapy, which would mean the readers are part of the therapy as well. A group thing if you will.

     

    As for the brick format, it may be due to lack of concern. Too often writing is simply seen as a way to get paid lots of money without the corresponding effort.

  • I don't see what you mean. I write books the way a baker makes bread. I suppose we all try to sell the best products possible.

    Are there people who release books as self-inflicted failures?

    By the way, my wordprocessor is WordPerfect so I suppose it's the reason why I have next to no problem formating a book, while others seem to endlessly struggle with cryptic problems about margins, page numbering, header, footnotes, what not?

     

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

    There really are people who release books that would qualify as a self-inflicted wound or failure either through intent or inattention to detail.

     

    Different people have differing skill-sets. Some can use simple ingredients to prepare a superb meal, while others can use the exact same ingredients to prepare something a dog won't touch and a cat won't bury.

     


    potetjp wrote:

    I don't see what you mean. I write books the way a baker makes bread. I suppose we all try to sell the best products possible.

    Are there people who release books as self-inflicted failures?

    By the way, my wordprocessor is WordPerfect so I suppose it's the reason why I have next to no problem formating a book, while others seem to endlessly struggle with cryptic problems about margins, page numbering, header, footnotes, what not?

     


     

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    I'm undecided as to whether the subject of this thread writes for self-therapy, and the results are simply a means to get those ideas out of his head, or if he, as Sphinx suggests, believes that glomming together a fifteen-page past-participle word brick will suddenly bring about fame and fortune. I do see the latter trend in some other writers, but they seem to use more than one tense, and to construct coherent sentences. Long, dull, and repetitious sentences that lack a point, but coherent sentences, nonetheless.

     

    It is a point well taken that such books do cheapen the "self-published" category of books, like the unmowed lawn and unpainted house that brings down property values for the entire neighborhood.

     

    But the question becomes whether there rightly should be a threshold for quality, and of so where, and to be determined by whom. As much as I grit my teeth when I see one of the wordbricks in question, I have to ask if it's not a very good sign that people are allowed to produce such utter drech. In theory, in an unrestricted market, the better product will arise, and the worse product will fall into well-deserved oblivion.

     

    But at the very least, I wish that man would double-tap his "Return" key once in a while....


  • SphinxCameron wrote:

    There really are people who release books that would qualify as a self-inflicted wound or failure either through intent or inattention to detail.

     

    Different people have differing skill-sets. Some can use simple ingredients to prepare a superb meal, while others can use the exact same ingredients to prepare something a dog won't touch and a cat won't bury.

     

     

    Exactly. And these people should not be expecting anyone to pay for the shoddy products they produce.

    Yet they do expect that very thing.


  • Skoob_Ym wrote:

     

     

    But the question becomes whether there rightly should be a threshold for quality, and of so where, and to be determined by whom. As much as I grit my teeth when I see one of the wordbricks in question, I have to ask if it's not a very good sign that people are allowed to produce such utter drech. In theory, in an unrestricted market, the better product will arise, and the worse product will fall into well-deserved oblivion.

     

    But at the very least, I wish that man would double-tap his "Return" key once in a while....


    There have always been some fundamental thresholds in writing and publishing. Even unconventional authors---from Laurence Sterne to James Joyce to Cormac MacCarthy---have realized this. Writing styles and techniques aside, there are very good reasons for many of the traditional formatting conventions in publishing and one should flaunt these only after having understood and mastered them.

  • "Are you using free software? If so, perhaps it is time to try something else that will format properly."

     

    Except, I had the opposite experience. Word was so awful version after version, in desperation I tried free software. LibreOffice Writer is wonderful, it works for me the way MS Word never did and never will.

     

    There are all kinds of delusion. Opening your mind and being honest about your own delusions and prejudices is the hard part.


  • steelpillow wrote:

    "Are you using free software? If so, perhaps it is time to try something else that will format properly."

     

    Except, I had the opposite experience. Word was so awful version after version, in desperation I tried free software. LibreOffice Writer is wonderful, it works for me the way MS Word never did and never will.

     


    I couldn't agree more. I've used Word in the workplace and found it to be both counterintuitive and user hostile, especially to a Mac user. LibreOffice is a breeze.

     

    As for the other matter, I don't know if it's delusion or sheer obstinacy.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Ron Miller wrote:

    Skoob_Ym wrote:

     

     

    But the question becomes whether there rightly should be a threshold for quality, and of so where, and to be determined by whom. As much as I grit my teeth when I see one of the wordbricks in question, I have to ask if it's not a very good sign that people are allowed to produce such utter drech. In theory, in an unrestricted market, the better product will arise, and the worse product will fall into well-deserved oblivion.

     

    But at the very least, I wish that man would double-tap his "Return" key once in a while....


    There have always been some fundamental thresholds in writing and publishing. Even unconventional authors---from Laurence Sterne to James Joyce to Cormac MacCarthy---have realized this. Writing styles and techniques aside, there are very good reasons for many of the traditional formatting conventions in publishing and one should flaunt these only after having understood and mastered them.


    Point taken. I suppose that it's a bit like an athletic event open to all participants. On the one hand, one would not want to miss a great athletic performance that might never come to the attention of the gatekeepers; on the other hand, it's hard to perform well while the track is cluttered with inept participants. And to further the analogy, viewers would not pay to see hundreds of inept athletes in the hopes of seeing one great one.

     

    So my question becomes: At what point do we draw the line? Excluding the truly inept -- such as the subject of this thread -- seems obvious, but what about the fellow who simply can't master the use of capitals and punctuation?

     

    I know, I'm sinking the discussion with excessive philosophizing. In general, I'm in the consensus on this discussion.

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