Writings of Stuart Whitmore

If you're looking for the latest news about the writings of Stuart J. Whitmore, you've found the perfect blog for that! If you're not interested in news and just want to see what books are available, see: StuartWhitmoreAuthor.com

Page, fetch me my... page?

"Page!" King Reedur bellowed. "I can't sleep! Fetch me my scroll with my favorite bedtime story, The Slaughter of Framsingtonne!" The young man leapt up from the shadowy corner of the room and sprinted out the door, returning quickly with a heavy bundle. "What is this?" the king demanded. "I asked for a scroll!"

The young man grinned faintly. "Your Majesty, this is a new invention. It is a book, with pages. Instead of one long scroll, your favorite bedtime story is divided into pages. To continue reading, one simply turns the page."

"Fine, fine," King Reedur grumbled, "get on with reading to me how my valiant knights slaughtered the scum rabble of Framsingtonne."

Many generations later, Pat Reedur, a distant descendant of the king, peered at the Kindle display and muttered angrily. "What is wrong with this book?" Pat asked the inanimate device. "The letters look funny, and I can't make the text bigger to make it easier for my old eyes to read. And the story doesn't flow right, it has all these weird page breaks. It's like a PDF or something."

Children's Book Formatting for the Kindle: Updates

About a year ago, I wrote a blog post that has become fairly popular about how to format a children's book for the Kindle e-reader platform. Technology moves forward, however, and that includes the technological wizardry behind e-books and e-readers. I felt it was appropriate to post an update to cover some important changes since that older post, and to address something that I did not discuss before (the dreaded "aspect ratio").

NaNoWriMo 2012: Back to the Winner's Circle

After my first NaNoWriMo "loss" last year, I'm happy to be back in the winner's circle this year. I even managed to cross the 50,000-word finish line a few days early.

Experimenting with Bitcoin Book Sales

Have you heard of Bitcoin? If you have, skip ahead to the next paragraph! For those who are unfamiliar with it, Bitcoin is a "digital currency" – an alternative type of money that is designed and intended for the modern digital age. Unlike a national currency (e.g., the US Dollar), there is no central issuer of Bitcoins. Instead, they are "mined" by computers solving difficult problems. The currency system is controlled by a peer-to-peer network. While the system itself is very complex, you can use (obtain and spend) Bitcoins without worrying about all of the underlying details. Of course, this blog is about writing, not techno-geeky topics like digital currency, so I won't delve into more detail. You can always learn more on Wikipedia. Otherwise, it should be sufficient to say that Bitcoins are digital coins that you can use to buy both digital and physical products and services.

Four First Paragraphs

I recently had a brief discussion on Twitter with Ksenia Anske about the importance of introducing a story's main character in the first paragraph. As I will explain later in a more detailed blog post, I am skeptical of some of the "rules" that are passed around among modern authors, and the idea that the "MC" must be introduced in the first paragraph seemed like one of those ideas that sounds good at first but is really unnecessary. You can find some rather popular books (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Fellowship of the Ring for two extremely successful examples) that do not introduce the main character right off the bat.

Rather than delve into that rule or any other, however, I thought it might be interesting, or perhaps vaguely amusing, to offer up the first paragraphs of the four books I currently have on the market. So, that's the purpose of this blog post. Although I certainly did not intend, in advance, to introduce my main characters in my first paragraphs, that is indeed how it turned out. (Considering my generally low sales, I can't imagine that not doing so would make my sales any worse.)


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