Creative Writing Tip: Going Deeper in Your Fiction

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

1341529_shoreline_rocks_2We authors–at least, authors who are like me–are always aware of a need to take a first draft deeper. To connect with the characters more, make them more alive.

This is particularly true in my case, as I have a simple, precise style and my first drafts are rather minimalist. (Are you that way, a fellow Hemingway? Or are you a Faulkner?)

But what does “going deeper” mean? What’s the difference between going deeper and adding fluff?

Writing is never easy, and it’s not something you can do alone: you will always need beta readers and editors to help you fill in holes and iron out the excess.

Still, there are general ways I find myself taking a draft “deeper” before I ever send it off to beta readers.

  • I CUT DOWN ON WHAT FEELS SUPERFLUOUS. A book can only have so many words, after all, and you…

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Of Making Many Books, There is No End — or Reward?


“Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.”

Ecclesiastes 12

From the Beginning

It was that way right from the beginning, I’m sure. Carvers in stone, makers of runes,  scribes in papyrus and parchment, right up to workaday paper — Hebrew, Greek, Latin, English — Making books is weary WORK, not glamour. Don’t take my word for it; here is Gabriel Garcia Marquezauthor of, among many other long works, One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera:

 “Ultimately literature is nothing but carpentry. Both are very hard work. Writing something is almost as hard as making a table. With both you are working with reality, a material just as hard as wood. Both are full of tricks and techniques. Basically very little magic and a lot of hard work involved.”

Carpentry! But people persist in regarding writing…

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Stephen King’s No Joy In E-Book Land

Falls Into Writing

As I’m gearing up to self-publish with both e-book and paperback options, the news breaks today that Stephen King has made the decision to not provide an e-book option for his upcoming book Joyland. In today’s digital age where authors like Neil Gaiman are pushing for change in order to keep up rather than to go extinct, it’s either a bold move or a big financial mistake.

The decision to not include an e-book at all for Joyland makes readers have to purchase the physical book, which is King’s ultimate motive. In a move that shows support for brick-and-mortar stores, the book is available for pre-order as a paperback on Amazon, but a reader can purchase a limited hardback edition through Titan Books. So that may change things slightly as he is not treating the release in the traditional way. Now he’s making the hardback a limited…

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Is It Worth Converting an Old Book Into an eBook?


THE project involves a print book that’s about 200 pages long, and which was published 13 years ago. Clean copies are available. It contains three types of content:

Running text with chapters, subheads and other formatting used in nonfiction books


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Is It Worth Converting an Old Book Into an eBook?



THE project involves a print book that’s about 200 pages long, and which was published 13 years ago. Clean copies are available. It contains three types of content:

Running text with chapters, subheads and other formatting used in nonfiction books

Tabular composition (tables and charts created with typesetting)

Graphics in the form of drawings for which no originals can be found.

This is a trifecta of difficulty. Each of these types of content needs to be handled differently. Here’s a streamlined version of what it would take to complete this project.

A clean copy will need to go to an OCR (optical character recognition) scanning service. They will scan each page of text and create a Word file. It’s critical that you choose a good-quality scanner for this service, since some suppliers simply run the document through their OCR scanner and give you whatever the software puts out.
But think about it. Even if they maintain that they have a “99.5% accuracy rate,” you should expect lots of corrections. Even though it sounds good, if your book has 100,000 words in it, you are looking at a document with 500 errors—somewhere.

Send the resulting Word file out for proofreading and correction, which is easier and less expensive to deal with early in the process. Okay, now you’ve got a clean manuscript, but it’s only of the first type of content, the running text.

Re-create the tables and other material created by the original typesetter. Someone will have to re-enter the text since it will come from the OCR scanner in the wrong order and mixed with other unwanted characters. Once completed, the new material will need to be proofread and then sent to the book designer to be included in the new version of the book.

Pages with graphics will need to be scanned separately, and perhaps by a different vendor if the OCR scanner doesn’t provide graphics scanning.

The resulting graphic files will likely need clean-up and adjustment before they can be included in the ebook file.

A book designer or ebook formatter will then have to reassemble the three types of content and convert the resulting book into the ebook formats required by the client.

In the meantime a cover designer will need to create artwork for a cover suitable for listings on e-retailers and for promotion around the web.

It took almost half an hour to just describe this process adequately and, at the end, it was obvious it would be a big job.

“So, does the book have a good sales history? Is it still up to date?” I asked.

“Well, the client was thinking to use it as a giveaway.”

“A giveaway? You realize you’re going to have to contract with and pay an OCR scanning company, someone to scan the graphics, a book designer or layout artist to create new files for the book, a proofreader and

E book Design in a Grand Tradition of Bookmaking

English: A Picture of a eBook Español: Foto de...

English: A Picture of a eBook Español: Foto de eBook Беларуская: Фотаздымак электроннай кнігі Русский: Фотография электронной книги (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

E book Design in a Grand Tradition of Bookmaking
by Joel Fried lander on March 17, 2011

For some time we’ve been moaning about how bad most eBooks look, the poor typography, the feeble attempts to make eBooks look like printed books, which they do not resemble in any meaningful way.
The litany of complaints from typographers and book designers includes:
• poor tools for working with eBook files
• poor results from automated systems for converting files to eBooks
• lack of ability to create eBooks that are formatted like print books
• difficult and awkward integration of graphic elements
And the generally poor choices of fonts, settings, and control over the reading experience. Everybody admits it’s true, and we all seem to be waiting for something better to come along.architament-novel doc




ArchRecord: “Housing the YouTube Generation and Beyond”

Today’s Architectural Record covers the Association of College & University Housing Officers–International’s (ACUHO-I) “21st Century Project”

which investigates college and university housing for students from the present to 25 years in the future. The winning design, “net+work+camp+us,” from a group

with Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company, of Norfolk, Virginia, uses prefab units to build adaptable residence halls that can be altered easily for

 changes in population and even climate.


For an architect, architectural frameworks of space is very peculiar programme,an experience related to labyrinths of psychology.


As we’ve all experienced, if our leaders inspire us, we always perform better — and we’re far more likely to collaborate more effectively and enthusiastically.

And, as night follows day, this will inevitably lead to vastly improved innovation. The role of inspirational leadership looms large.


 How to Organize Your Book’s Front Matter

how do you turn that manuscript into a book? After all, there are lots of things in books that you’ll never see in a manuscript.

 Things like running heads, page numbers, half-title pages, indexes… stuff like that. And the part of a book that most confuses

new independent authors, in my experience, is the front matter. What is Front Matter Anyway?


why there are different design cultures in different schools of architecture and offices. It will introduce the idea that there are

 different – though often related – aesthetic, theoretical and professional communities within the discipline of architecture,

 which have different ways of valuing visual, textual and three-dimensional communication


Changing Things by Design The material dimensions of alienability, rivalry, and exclusion cost represent a “given” or natural

 infrastructure in which informal institutions evolve, either by chance or by design, and a set of background conditions against

which formal institutions are formulated and enforced. When those background conditions


Let us return to engineering design, and to an analysis of its gradual development towards a model more like architectural design,

 as we identified it in the opening section of this introduction. In the 20th century the institutionalization of a rich variety of engineering

design traditions and practices emerged. During the second half of the last century design practices gradually developed that focus on the

material product of design and on the broader social system in which these products are supposed to perform their function.


I did not acquire a camera until 1966, when I took a trip to Cairo, Beirut, Turkey, Greece, Italy, and Spain,

en route to the United States for

a home visit in August prior to my one year Peace Corps contract renewal. As a result,

most of the early photos of my stay in Emdeber were taken

by others. Most of the images shown here were taken by Dick Coolidge during a visit in early 1966, with

 a few others taken by miscellaneous others.

They convey a combination of distance and intimacy at a time when Ethiopia seemed as strange and as exotic

a place as one could imagine.

MODEL -LEADERS/Publications Featuring Maria Lorena Lehman

Sensory Design Research Paper by Maria Lorena Lehman Published in Intelligent Buildings International



Make a good impression.

Whatever else you do, give the class the impression from the beginning that you are well organized. Your students must get


SUSTANABILTY/Service in Sustainability

Sustainability is fundamental to our future as design professionals, but it takes authenticity and smart planning

to expand the discipline in an effective manner. Here are a few principles to keep in mind. Provide safety, function, and value, in that order.


  • Islamic gardens in Spain  Cordoba gardens
  • If we follow the Arabs into the West, we find the garden

 enlivened by many novel features. Their poetry, it is true, though incessantly dwelling on the subject, does not contribute much to our knowledge, for it mostly emphasizes the feelings awakened in the singer by the beauty of the garden, and the poems often extol the renown of the wealthy owner.


For the first time, in history, the majority of human beings live in urban regions. Although cities are among the

 most complex human-made systems, they are unfortunately

environmentally, economically and socially unsustainable. How can we change this? This paper discusses an

 undergraduate architectural design studio, Future Cities, which pushed

for an environmentally holistic design process, moving past the idea of single, object-like buildings. The studio taught

various digital and research methodologies to aid in the complex

issue of urban form. Emphasis was placed on balancing the huge amounts of data and information that is available in our technological age,

with the need to retain the human

perspective and experience.

Space Vs time


A]ny definition of architecture itself requires a prior analysis and exposition of the concept of space. Henri Lefebvre (1991: 15)

Everything exists and moves in space (that Panofsky would call mathematical or geometric space).

“Space and time are the framework in which all reality is concerned. We cannot conceive any real thing except under

the conditions of space and time. Nothing in the world,


LIFE-STYLEShiver me timbers

When the little hairs on the back of your neck stand up, pay attentionClose your eyes take a deep breath, and relax. Don’t worry

beach blanket bingo

You are on the beach, walking down to the water in your cute little…okay, maybe your support one piece. You automatically suck in

your stomach-that’s your intuition or gut instincts, telling you out. how about when you are walking down the

street and the little hairs on the back of that’s intuition,


if a cab is your transportation of choice, be sure to follow these safety tips when traveling here or




Islamic gardens in Spain–Cordoba gardens


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