Holidays, needy writers, trying to get it finished and tablets

I'm on holidays now. (That's vacation for you Americans.) I've said many times in the past how my writing would benefit from a break from studies. Don't believe these lies. Holidays lull you into a false sense of security. They tell you you'll have all this time to write, but really you won't -- unless you make it happen.
That's where my problem often lies. I'm really bad at making things happen. One of those things is writing. If I were to write whenever I felt like it, I'd never write because as much as I love having written, writing isn't easy.
I hate it when people say, "The only reason you should be writing is that you can't not write." Because that's totally not true. Writing is more than a need. It's an ambition. Footballers don't play football because they can't not play football. They do it because they want to, becuse they love it, or because they want to get somewhere with it.
I'm not a needy writer, I'm an ambitious writer. I've spent two years writing this book not because I need to, but because I want to. It's a journey that I want to see to the end.
April is just about to begin, and with only two chapters left to write, I want to see this book finished and edited in the next two weeks, while I've got this break.
I've moved the release date back from Q1 to Q2 2012. No one should ever realease a rushed product. But is that what I'm doing? I don't know, I'm just doing what feels right.


Yesterday I bought an Asus EEE Pad Transformer. Look it up, I just typed this whole post on it. 
(If you consider getting one, make sure you get the one with the keyboard dock.)
I'm very excited because now I can work on my manuscript on the 1.5 hour train trips to and from Uni four days a week (3 hours a day, 12 hours a week). It also has enough battery power to last those 3 hours a day and more. Something my laptop was never capable of. (It lasts about 5 minutes unplugged.)
I'm using Dropbox to sync between my tablet and computer, since I was already using it to sync between my laptop and computer. It didn't work at all using the pre-installed Polaris Office, but I spent the $19.99 to buy Quick Office and it synced with my computers straight away. I suspect I'll have to reformat my manuscript in Word when I get home, but what's that when I can be writing all the time?
Now I'm off to write, and we'll see how Quick Office fares with the formatting.

Print Preview: Formatting for CreateSpace 3. Font Choice, Font Size, Line Spacing and Sparkle

So forgetting my mysterious and untimely disappearance, here's where we left off.

You may notice that I've decided to replace the Author Bio with the "other titles by this author" list. The title page should stay on the same page as before.

Now we get to make this baby look like a book!

Go to each of your chapter titles and make them 36pt. Garamond. Also centre them and check that they don't have any automated indents (which you would see in the ruler at the top of the screen).

To get the spacing to look like the one in Chapter Two, click at the end of the chapter title and then press Enter. If there are extra spaces or blank lines, hit delete until the first line begins at your new position.

Now select the main body text chapter by chapter, and do these things:
1. Ensure that the text is "justified". To do this, you might want to click align left, and then click justify again. The buttons are found above the "paragraph" tab.
2. Now select the whole document (ctrl-A). Click on the little box on the right side of the "paragraph" tab and fill out the information to look like this:
(you shouldn't have to change much)

3. Check for areas you wanted spaces that may have been removed when you checked "don't add spaces between paragraphs of the same style", which is a totally useless way of saying "don't add spaces between paragraphs automatically".

4. Select each chapter's individual body of text (in other words, don't select the chapter titles) and make 11pt. Garamond. You can do them one at a time, or you can select multiple bodies of text by holding ctrl.

5. While that text is still selected, go to the ruler at the top of the page and move the top slider to where I've positioned it. (You may want more or less indent than I've given.)

6. Click within the first paragraph of each chapter and remove the indent by moving the slider we just moved back to it's neutral position.

7. Check the last paragraph of every chapter. Sometimes the last line has only two words spaced out evenly across the line. My only solution for this is unfortunately to make that one paragraph aligned left.

8. If your headers are looking cramped like this:

Click inside the headers, put your cursor at the end of the title, name or number (whichever is farthest to the right) and press Enter.

9. While you're there, check that your headers and page numbers are also in Garamond. Make the page numbers 11pt and the name and title 10pt in all caps.

Ahh, this is all looking very nice. But wait, something is amiss!

Why are there extra spaces on the first page?

Press ctrl A to select your entire document. Now go to the "paragraph" menu and click the "lines and breaks" tab.

Make sure "widow/orphan control" is deselected as shown below.

Which will make your lines look like this:

Yay! Much neater. And much more bookier . . . ier.

Nearly done. Now it's time for . . .


Select the first letter of every first paragraph of every chapter of the book . . . of . . . of . . .
And under Insert, select "Drop Cap" > "Dropped" from the right side of the ribbon.


That's it, that's all the pearls of wisdom I have to offer. Hopefully by now you know the system well enough to make your own decisions about how you want to format your work, but I think what I've given you is a nice, clean, pleasing format if that's all you want.

If you've followed this, you should now have a fully formatted book.

This concludes the Print Preview series on formatting for CreateSpace.

I covered a lot here and throughout the series, so if anything wasn't clear enough, please leave a comment so I can help.

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Welcome to The Dark Corner of the Mind. My name is Ryan Sullivan and my aim with this blog is to help others with their own writing, as well as to make note of some of my own writing endeavours.

Here at The Dark Corner, Real Life is both our best friend and our worst enemy. Look to him for inspiration, but don't let him get in the way too much.

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