Accentuate Writers Forum

And so it begins

flyingbird65 - 8/24/2014 at 07:36 PM

As those who have read the Accentuate Writers Forum Facebook page know I am taking on a task of turning my ex-father-in-law's memoirs into a book format. This isn't something I am doing with hopes of selling it to make money but strictly a labor of love for a man I dearly admire.

For years I have been telling him he should consider doing this very thing with his memoirs. He's always laughed and said no one would be interested in his life. That may or may not be true - I don't know. I do know however that I am interested and his family is interested in all he's done in his life. So for them and myself I am starting the long process of doing just that.

To give you some idea just how daunting of a task this will be let me explain what I have saved in a file right now. I have 52 word document files of memoirs. Each word document ranges from 1 to 20 pages (most are at least 3 pages). Of those 52 word documents I have 2 that are titled Timeline 1 and 2. Both Timelines are over 15 pages long. Each word document also includes pictures taken that coincides with that content of the written work.

My job right now is mostly reading through to correct as many of the spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors I can found. Afterwards I have to figure out how to meld all these documents into a working format fit for a book that will include pictures. So this should be an interesting project for sure. LOL

If that isn't enough already - my last email with updates was dated back in 2011. Dad has added untold number of pages since then. So I have more to come that I will also need to figure into some part of this book idea.

By my calculations right now (rough estimate) we are looking at a book between 200 - 250 pages not counting pictures. Adding the pictures I think we can easily go over 300 pages depending on over all layout of the written work.

Even though my personal writing has stalled I find myself involved elsewhere. I look forward to the day I can present dad's book to him. That as it is I also must add that he is 84 years old right now and not in the greatest of health. So I don't have a lot of time to finish this project but have no idea how long I have (if you know what I mean).

No matter the out come, no matter the gravity of the task at hand I am ready to tackle this. Dad is a wonderful man and deserves more then I can ever give him by way of a book.

I will come back here off and on as I progress to give you all updates. In the mean time wish me luck and pray for my success in this undertaking.

flyingbird65 - 8/24/2014 at 10:31 PM

Just a quick update. I was getting lost and confused in documents so I copied and paste everything into one document. Total page count as it sits right now (no editing, deletion, corrections, or rearranging) is 266 pages. This doesn't count what he has done over the last 3 years so who knows what I will have to combine then.

266 pages alone is a good book as it sits. Now it should be a bit easier to edit for content (spelling punctuation, etc). Once that is done the hard part starts - deciding if or what I should or shouldn't keep or if I should leave everything he has and go from there. A lot of work ahead but my excitement is growing. I can't wait to hear and hopefully see his face once I have completed this project for him. He will be one very excited and surprised 87 year old. :)

Can't get any better then this.

Michy - 8/25/2014 at 08:28 AM

When you have it all in the right order, send it to me, and I'll do a quick book style format on it, so you can know the real page count. Because you're in an 8.5X11 Word document, but books print at out 6x9 with margins--so 266 pages will nearly double, unless your 266 pages are double spaced. If your pages are single spaced, you can expect it to double the word count once it's formatted. It won't take me long to do the book formatting for size and type of book, and then you can know the page count you have to work with and how much editing you'll have to do.

flyingbird65 - 8/25/2014 at 08:41 AM

OK, I need some input please.

As I stated above I have combined all of the documents into one. That makes things easier to work with.

There are lots of pictures that go with each part of his timeline. What I need to know is what would be the best way to do a book format?

Should I consider:

1. keeping everything as he has it only worrying about the spelling, punctuation, etc?

2. move picture to separate page putting corresponding numbers with each to indicate what they are?

3. remove all the pictures and place in separate book completely with captions and back story about each?

I want to clarify that I am just starting and have a long way to go. Just the pictures are something that are throwing me off a bit. Want to get some input so I can stopping thinking about those so much and move forward with everything else.

Michy - 8/25/2014 at 09:41 AM

I personally would put the pictures throughout the book in the area where they pertain to the text, so they can be seen right along with that part of the story.

flyingbird65 - 8/25/2014 at 01:40 PM

Quote: Originally posted by Michy  
I personally would put the pictures throughout the book in the area where they pertain to the text, so they can be seen right along with that part of the story.

OK, that goes along the same lines of thinking I was having but wasn't sure if it would be correct. thank you

Have lots of work ahead of me so going to be busy for a while. Will post more here later. Thank you

itzrissa2u - 8/25/2014 at 05:17 PM

I agree with Michy about the pics throughout the book. Oh my God, this is a wonderful thing to do! This is something the family will treasure forever! I begged my dad to do this before he died, but he didn't. So many stories lost forever.

What a labor of love!

flyingbird65 - 8/25/2014 at 07:53 PM

I had to call Dad today to get some input on stuff. In doing so the cat is now out of the bag and he is excited. He said he can't wait to see the end product. I can't either for that matter. He also informed me he mailed the new CD out today with all the updates, addendum's and other additions so I will have everything. I told him for the sake of time and energy I was going to consider what he sends me the last of it. Any further additions he makes from this date forward will have to be typed and sent via mail, email or CD to who ever wants or needs a copy. If I wait til he's done writing I'll never get the book done since he'll continue til the day he is no longer able to type or passes away.

Because he is 87 years old I don't want to wait until he's dead to do this. I want him to enjoy seeing his work in a book form.

flyingbird65 - 8/26/2014 at 03:35 PM

OK, I am faced with a few questions.

Dad's memoirs are basically his autobiography. That I know.

The basics of his autobiography is broken down to 2 main parts: Timeline 1 is from birth to the end of his military service in the 50s and Timeline 2 covers from 50s to Aug 25, 2014 (yes he's that up to date on it. I've informed him that that will be the cut off date for the book form)

The rest of his work is in the form of Addendum. There are approximately 100 of those. Also are a few post scripts, and hundreds of pictures. Most of the pictures are his or families. Some he found on the internet as a way to support or clarify his point of historical information he's added. (note: Dad is a retired teacher, among other things, so he's always teaching, even in his own Autobiography. LOL)

First, I need to know the best way to include the post script. I assume that goes at the end of the book.

Second, how to do the addendum's. The addendum's are broken up into Timeline 1 and Timeline 2. My idea here is to place those (numbered as he has them) after the actual autobiography. However I have also thought to placing them after each corresponding Timeline ( Timeline 1 + Addendums for Timeline 1 followed by Timeline 2 + Addendums for Timeline 2). Any suggestions here would be a major help.

Also some of the Addendum's are not actually personal experiences but more historical retelling based on available facts and supported with internet research, pictures, etc. If this was a normal book kind of thing I wouldn't bother using those addendums. But...not sure how I could exclude them without being considered offensive to Dad. Ya know what I mean? So since I don't know where he got all the pictures for these addendums how do I still use the pictures without fear of copyright? If at all?

Finally and likely most important basic book formatting. What is it? (line spacing, chapter placement, etc)

I will be doing a Table of Content I'm sure no matter how I do this.

flyingbird65 - 8/27/2014 at 03:53 PM

Bumping this back up