The Many Creative Twists and Turns of Creating My Book #2

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Categories: Book Blogs, On Writing and Publishing

On the Rocks: The Path You Choose #2

On The Rocks: The Path You Choose #2 by [Jill Ammon Vanderwood, Kerah Diez]
https://www.amazon.com/Rocks-Path-You-Choose-ebook/dp/B09LWKYM8C/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=On+the+Rocks+by+Jill+Vanderwood&qid=1637447560&qsid=146-9944677-8815019&s=books&sr=1-1&sres=B09LWKYM8C

My teen book, On the Rocks, asks the question, "What would you do if you were invited to a party where kids your age were drinking?" On the Rocks is the second book in the Path You Choose series. The first book in this series is Off Target—about gun safety and answers the question, "What would you do if someone showed you a loaded gun?" https://www.alcohol.org/ https://jillvanderwood.com/books/off-target-the-path-you-choose/

In the process of creating my book, On the Rocks, I write out the beginning which will be used in all of the stories. I then write different stories, that branch off from the main story. I write them all out in order from beginning to end.

Person Using Typewriter
Creating My Book

When Creating My Book, An Editor is a Necessity

After I have written a collection of stories, which total thirteen different endings, I send it out to an editor to make sure I’m using proper grammar and punctuation. This step is a necessity. One should never assume they have noticed all the mistakes in their own stories. And of course, the writer should never assume that they haven’t made mistakes in the first place.

Working with an Illustrator while Creating My Book

My next step is to go through my stories and pick out scenes that will work well for an illustration. I have worked with my illustrator, Kerah Diez, for several books and we work well together. I give her leeway so she can choose the illustrations she wants to do. Such as, “For the opening scene, I would like either the boys listening in while their parents are talking or a scene where the parents are leaving for a trip, pulling their suitcases.”

This book is interesting because we are trying hard to be sensitive to race. We had the discussion of— “Should we make the main family black or white?”

I asked, “How about the boy named Kyle who has a drinking problem? I don’t think he should be black, because that could be seen as a stereotype. How about if he is black and his mother is white?”

She said, “No, it wouldn’t be right to have a black boy being scolded by his white mother.”

We did add a few black characters and a few Asians but didn’t point a finger at anyone because of or despite their race.

Using Charts to Move My Story Around

I’m creating a book that will not be read in a sequence of pages, rather, the reader will be asked to make choices throughout the book and then turn to a different page, depending on their choice.

Once I have the edited version of my story, and the pictures, I write out numbers.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24. . . going up to about 120.

While I’m putting the stories into a different page order, I always write the page number at the top of the page, along with the bottom page number which is in the footer. I do this because when I am moving pages around, the pages get off the correct pages and I will need to find them and bring them back in order.

My next chart has each story name and the page numbers I have assigned for that story, for example, Story #1 in Off Target is on pages 1-6—which are used for all stories, and then 9,11, 13, 14,15, 21, with the ending on page 24.

Making a Story For Reluctant Readers

So, as I move the pages of the story around, I will use the first chart of numbers to mark out the pages I’ve used in that story. That way I will know which pages are available for the other stories. I also try to make it so the pictures will be spaced apart, if possible. On the second chart, I will record the page numbers used for that story. And then I will move along to the next story.

Person Holding A Book
Creating my Book in a way that will benefit reluctant readers

This may seem to be a difficult way to create my book because I am rewriting the same story from many different angles.

It’s different for the reader though, they can make one choice and see the consequences of that choice. They can then go back and read about what can happen when they make a different choice. Also, a reluctant reader can possibly be finished with the path they choose and reach an ending after only 13 pages, with three of those pages containing a picture.

Page Set up is Final, and Cannot be Changed

Once I have all the pages set up, I can not move them and the publisher needs to make sure that all the content of a page stays on that page—otherwise, the reader won’t be led to the right words when they make a choice.

This also applies to the Kindle or tablet book. It has to be published just like the book, or the choices the reader makes will not end up where they should be and the reader will be absolutely confused.

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