3 articles tagged as Kindle

As you may have read in last Tuesday’s post, The Light at the End of the Never Ending Tunnel, I was nearing completion of my first draft. Well guess what? I finished it. Yup, that’s right. I found the ending and stopped upon arrival. Of course, now comes the hard part – the Editing stage.

Editing – a Love/Hate Relationship

I’ve read a lot about the editing process in the blogs I follow. So I can guarantee you, I have not been looking forward to this stage. While I’ve been dying to finish draft one, I’ve been dreading the reward – editing. But in reading through blogs, I got a really good suggestion from several sources – read through your first draft as though you are reading a book. Do not start editing or adding content. Just read through it to see how it works as a real book.

Easier said than done, I know. And this is where my Kindle comes in.

After completing my draft, I set out to put my WIP onto my Kindle. This turned out to be extremely easy (click here for instructions). Basically, you get an email account for your kindle then you email the file to the account. For a very small fee (I paid $0.15), Amazon will convert your ‘book’ into an ebook. It then magically shows up on your Kindle when you connect to the internet.

The formatting is not ideal – my paragraphs are not indented, my headings are all wrong – but I can pick up my Kindle and read my words the same way I would read any other book. Plus, I cannot edit while on the kindle.

I am getting a little frustrated with the no editing thing. I read some sentences and cringe, or I see a typo or a place where I inserted the wrong character’s name. And the writing, oh the writing is so loose and I am just dying to tighten it up. But I also see the sense in this plan.

Why don’t I just get out the red pen and go to town?

Before waisting my time editing, I need to make sure the story actually works. I need to know how it is flowing, what things I abandoned halfway down the road without meaning to, or where I can add things that I decided halfway through to run with. By reading it all the way through, I am experiencing it the way a reader would experience it. And if you recall from my post last Tuesday, the reader is who you ultimately want to please.

So far, not so good

I know it is a rough draft, a point I keep reminding myself of, but so far, I’m not impressed. In fact, I’m a bit bored with my writing. Part of this could be that I already know how it will end, but part of it too is that I got lazy with word choice and my sentences are too wordy. But you know what, that’s alright. Because what I got down in the first draft was my story. The details are all there, waiting for me once I can get past the poorly constructed sentences. And once I see how the content works, I can go back and spend hours searching for the best word or the most clever sentence structure. But until then, I’m just not going to worry about it. I’m reading for content, and content only. The rest can all come into play in the next drafts. This read-through is all about making sure it works.


Without the bones of a good story, no amount of fancy writing will save your book. This is the reality of being a writer. And so I’m willing to suck it up, cringe at the writing I would never pay money to read, and focus on the content.

How do you edit? Do you pull the red pen out and start marking everything up, or do you take your time, immerse yourself in the story first, focusing on that main element, before going crazy with the edits?

With the holidays rapidly approaching (or having already passed depending on your religious affiliations), I’ve heard a lot of talk lately about eReaders. Mostly, the talk has revolved around people wanting to know which one is the best.

Like with a computer or a car or a mattress, I don’t think there is one BEST e-reader. It all comes down to what you hope to gain from your e-reader.

As you may have picked up, I love my Kindle. I got it last year for Christmas and I have not once regretted asking for it. I also have some experience with the iPad. As you prepare your holiday wish lists, I thought, why not provide my opinion on these two devices as well as some feedback I’ve picked up regarding the Nook.

The Kindle

Again, I love my Kindle. To understand my love for it, though, you need to understand why I wanted it.

  1. I don’t want to have to take lots of books with me on travel, or lug a heavy book on my commute to work. The Kindle lets me store tons of books, meaning I only have to carry the relatively light-weight kindle. I save on space and I save my shoulder.
  2. My bookshelf is out of space. I tried to solve this problem by making myself go to the library. But let’s be honest. Sometimes I just don’t want to wait the 6+months it can take for a new release to become available. When I see that I’m #200+ on the wait list, I usually decide not to wait. The Kindle allows me to give into my impatience without overloading my already loaded bookshelf
  3. Sometimes you find yourself in a position where you are not happy with your book choice, be it over your lunch break, during your commute, or when you are away on vacation. Because I can store all of my books on the Kindle and I can buy new ones in seconds, this is no longer a problem.
  4. I don’t like reading on a computer screen. The technology the Kindle uses really does feel to my eyes like I’m reading paper.

The Kindle has answered all of the things on my list. I see the Kindle as a true e-reader. It doesn’t have tons of frills, but then again, neither does a newly purchased book from the bookstore. If you are looking for a solution to any of the problems I mentioned above, then this is the e-reader for you.

The iPad

When I think of the iPad, I do not think eReader. However, if you talk to my stepfather, he will try to convince you that reading books is one of the main selling points of the iPad. What do I think about the iPad as an eReader:

  1. The back light gives me a headache if I read too long.
  2. The back light also encourages skimming. Because it doesn’t feel like paper, I find myself reading how I would read a computer screen. I skip over sections and skim a LOT.
  3. The screen gets gucked up. Because you touch the screen, it becomes littered with fingermarks. I want a nice clean screen to read from.

And what do I think of the iPad as a whole:

  1. As an alternate laptop, the iPad is great. It is lightweight and small and can do more or less everything a laptop can do, unless you are looking for gaming capabilities (and by this I mean the old school massive games like World of Warcraft or the Sims) or have a fascination with Flash heavy websites
  2. The internet is a lot better than the Kindle’s internet capabilities
  3. If you get a portable keyboard, typing on the iPad is a cinch

To sum it up, if you are looking for an eReader, I say go for the Kindle. If you are looking for an alternate option for a portable computer, the iPad just might be your best friend. Of course, there are tons of other options out there, but I don’t feel qualified to comment on them.

What do you think of other eReaders you’ve checked out? Are you asking Santa for an eReader this year?

Like many book lovers, I fought against the e-book revolution currently sweeping the literary world. But, like many, I have given in. While packing for a 10-day, overseas trip, I was torn as to which books I should bring. I didn’t want my bag to be too heavy, but I wanted to make sure I had enough material to keep me entertained, especially on the 18-hour plane ride. This dilemma is what finally won me over to e-readers and e-books.

Having gotten a Kindle for Christmas, I have already loaded it up with books. I will still buy and check out real books (I still cannot consider an e-book to be real), but the ease of traveling with as many books as I want is this book lovers’ dream come true.

In addition to the ease this device offers in supplying a vast amount of reading materials, just in the few days I have owned my Kindle, I have discovered another advantage to this technology. E-readers provide exposure to authors. I have already discovered several new authors (some I like, some I could do without). While libraries are great at allowing you to sample someone new, the wait for a book often means that you are forced to read on the libraries schedule, not your own. When I want a book, I want to read it now. This is an advantage of the e-reader. Additionally, Amazon, along with the other e-book venders, offers many free books (not just the classics). This has allowed me to sample new authors with no financial commitment, just as the library allows only now there is virtually no wait.

This is not to say that libraries and bookstores should become obsolete. I think there is something magical about entering a room full of rows and rows of books, holding a real book in your hands, smelling the paper, listening to the sound as you turn the pages, and I will continue to buy books the old-fashioned way and wait for my name to move to first place on the library waitlist, but I am no longer opposed to this new medium for book delivery. If it makes books and literature more accessible, that’s good enough for me.