29 January 2016

Widow Hunter

I've spent the last month or so eliminating widows and orphans. This particular phrasing is hilarious for a few reasons, the first one being the insane amount of work that goes into simply formatting a book. I'm genuinely excited about producing and releasing my novel because it will be so easy compared to the trial-by-fire that is the RPG book. I, conceivably, should simply be able to dump the text, tidy the indents, make sure the chapters are indexed and be on my merry way. Not so with the RPG book.

Before I proceed, it's probably worth informing those of you who, like me, had no idea what the term 'widows and orphans' meant before a month ago. My lovely wife with the fancy art school degree informed me of this when she perused my first draft of The Dig, noting all the words and lines stuck by their collective lonesome at the tops and bottoms of pages. In brief, a widow is the last line of a paragraph appearing by itself at the top of the following page, while an orphan is the first line of a paragraph on its own at the bottom of the preceding page. They are a nuisance and an eyesore.

I hate them! And that is the second level of hilarity, that of the Christian perspective. As James tells us:
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
So it's super ironic to me to think about how much I hate 'widows and orphans' in light of that bit of scripture.

But I went into this whole process knowing that I wanted to learn how to properly lay out and edit a book. Getting on in years (meaning in my early 30s) I don't like learning new things. Okay, I do but who has the time? InDesign was a skill I could set aside the time for, that I was eager to learn. If I'm going to make and publish books it's important to get comfortable with the industry standard. And though I didn't throw myself at it with abandon, watching tutorials and picking the brains of experts, I had a good (and frustrating) experience learning as I went. The result is, I think, pretty good.

The Dig will be released this weekend.



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