27 Mar 2015: Formatting text and emails into your novels

Been a while since I’ve posted.  Sorry about that.  It’s been hard to get back into the swing of things in the midst of my recovery.  Surgery sucks!!

So my new novel has brought up some new formatting issues for me.  Yes, I had some text messages in my last novel, but they weren’t as prevalent as this new book.  In the ebooks I’ve been reading as of late, I’ve seen dozens of ways to format texts, some good, some not so good.  But the first third of my current book is ALL EMAILS and TEXTS with just a bit of narrative thrown in to push the story along in an interesting way.  That’s a lot of indenting and date/time notations for texts and emails.  How do you format that and have it still be enjoyable to read???  Yes, this is my problem.

For texts, I’m indenting one character’s texts and not indenting the other’s so it kind of looks the way it would on a phone.  I thought this was more visual for a reader.  But I still have to put a date and time on it for it to fall into sequence, which I don’t like visually … but also don’t think I can lose.

For emails, I’ve been italicizing them with no indentation at all to make them stand apart from the regular narrative text of the novel.

But I still have to try and pare down the amount of emails.  My Scam artist was quite prolific in his emails, repetitive too.  I tell you it’s been quite the writing challenge taking the raw material of all our correspondence and attempting to mold and shape it into something a reader would enjoy.  But I guess I love it as well.  After writing my last series of five novels (The Purity of Blood Novels) this is something totally different.  I’m also trying to keep this book short.  Talk about a Challenge!!!  I love the details of a great story so keeping it moving fast is hard for me.

As a writer I think giving yourself challenges is how you grow.   Training yourself to keep the story brief, but interesting at the same time.  Taking on the challenges of formatting so many communication styles into something easily understood and readable is a huge challenge.   It will take time, but I’ll figure it all out and hopefully come out a better writer on the other side of this new novel.




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