Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Aesthetics: The Journey to Fortitude (1)

"Fortitude explores what lies in the heart of human emotions.... something that is not easily done with words. Yet, Sofia manages to do so through characters readers can relate to. A must read." --- Tina Chan @ The Book Landers

"Intelligent and thought provoking. Sofia weaves a tale through the lives of four individuals that will ultimately shape the journey of one. Fortitude is a beautiful exploration of social and emotional adversities that challenges the reader to examine the world around them before writing their own future." --- Mal @ LilaJune's Book Saloon

"Heartbreaking, sweet, hopeful. A thought-provoking tale of emotions, wholeness, and the tumultuous teenage years." Nathania S'Worth @ One Woman's Opinions.... About Books and Writing

Welcome! Welcome! Welcome to the mini series that will dominate my blog (not really) for the next five weeks known as The Journey to Fortitude. What is this mini series all about, you may ask. Well I don't know if anybody from Twitter remembers reading a tweet, asking if they wanted to hear about the writing of this lovely short story. And even if you didn't read that tweet, you're here anyway reading this post, right? 

*Sidenote: Did anyone notice the mini series title? The Journey to Fortitude? I didn't want to say "Behind the Scenes of Fortitude," and I think "The Journey to Fortitude" has a nice ring to it*

The Journey to Fortitude Schedule

6/15: The Aesthetics: The Journey to Fortitude (1) ---- This is this week's post where I shared the appearance (front/back cover, spine), official book pages (copyright, title, dedication, about the author), and of course, the backstory.

6/21: The Long Awaited Story Itself: The Journey to Fortitude (2) ---- This is the post you're reading right now, with is purely the short story/novella itself, and I can't wait for you to read it which ended up being a little under 10,000 words.

6/29: The Premise: The Journey to Fortitude (3) ---- This is where I talk you through the entire thought process that made Fortitude what it is today, the many different ideas when it came to premise, and everything else.

7/5: The Revisions: The Journey to Fortitude (4) ---- This is where I talk about revisions. Oh joy! A writer's BFF. Just kidding, they were really tough for me to do, especially because thoughts changed and evolved, but I talk you through the intense process, as well as working on the deadline.

7/13: The Annotated Version (5) --- I believe this title is self explanatory. A lot of English teachers butcher a story by making their students try to interpret different events, sentences, and so on. I have been victim of this cruel fate, and this is the closing post where I reveal the story behind each chapter so in the one in a million chance teachers would want to make their students interpret my writing, I would have the real answers here.

Ze Backstory

Before I start, I would like to establish (just for the record, you know) that I am not blind in terms of symmetry and font. I pixelated my middle/last name for privacy issues throughout all the images. As many of my lovely readers know, I love backstories, and of coures I am going to tell you the backstory for Fortitude -I mean, it is my novella. So, at the very end of April, my teacher told the class about an assignment we would have to have done by Open House. My peers that had visited the classrooms the previous year had already known about the project, while I was wary about it because I had assumed pictures were necessary. (Trust me, even my stick figures have issues) Luckily, my teacher quickly explained the guidelines, which were pretty chill, and didn't confine me in the box I had been trapped in all year long. Cue me thanking the heavenly lord above. 

These were the three guidelines: 

1. It has to be between 20 and 22 8.5'11 

2. It can be a chapter book or picture book 

3. No poetry

The assignment was met mostly with groans since we had just finished testing, and were only a month away from the end of school. But I, as the budding authoress (at least in my head) was simply ecstatic with the news. There were more groans all around as my English teacher (she seems to be famous by the amount of times I have mentioned her on my blog) also explained that students needed to make the book as professional as possible by adding a title, copyright, dedication, and about the author in their books.

Ze Title Page

The moment you open my book, you will see my title page which is extremely simple, as the only requirements were the title and author. I also inserted the "publisher" and logo of my publishing house, which if you zoomed in, you would notice is a compass rose. Fun Fact: My publishing house of Fortitude is actually a mock title of one of my personal WIPs. Invenio means "discovery" in Latin (thank you google translate), and I thought a compass was very fitting because they help people make discoveries.

Ze Copyright Page

On the other side of the page -when I say that, I mean the other side of the cardstock which I glued my other piece of paper on top of- you will see my copyright page. Now, I went a little overboard with this, trying to make it AS CLOSE to an actual books as humanly possible. All I needed to do afterwards was add the different genres Fortitude is catalogued under, and I would have been all set. As you can see, there is the notice about none of the book being reproduced -essential. The disclaimer that everything in the book is a work of ficiton. And various information such as the author and the font it was printed in -a nice detail. What I am most proud of on my copyright page is the one sentence summary of Fortitude that you would see as the blurb on lists such as the New York Times Bestselling. My mom was quite skeptical as how I could possibly sum up my story, when you read it next wekk, you will know that it is REALLY  out there, but I did it.

Ze Dedication Page

So I pondered my dedication page for quite a while because I honestly did not want to put "For my loving mother and father who helped me every step of the way." That is a great dedication if you want to thank your mom and dad for helping you with your novel.... it just wan't for me. I actually also reached out to my lovely friends from Twitter, and they said it wasn't too cheesy. I remember thinking of it and knowing that that is what I wanted to say. My hope would be that people who wanted to become authors would read this and be inspired, and that people who are authors would know that this book wouldn't have been possible without them. 

About Ze Author

The next 21 pages is the story itsef, and then it's the about the author. If you look closely, you might notice that the quote above my (exttremely blurred out) head is the same one on the Loving the Language of Literacy banner. (The blurring was done because I look like a dork in the mandated school picture that had to be included, as well as privacy reasons) And just for the record, since I'm already making this post all about myself, I might as well mention that the quote is mine. The funny part about it, is that it was taken from an essay I wrote this year, so it's kind of like recycling words.... ish. While my personal information is pixilated out of the image, you can see that I think where I live is too sunny, I like running, reading, blogging, writing, and quote pinning, and a multitude of other factoids such as my love for the Legend Trilogy (you know I had to put that in there). I promptly end the About the Author by mentioning the number one profession I would like to pursue (even though being a skilled under-the-covers reader is wonderful) is to become an Authoress like Jo March from Little Women, and write "The Great American Novel."

Sample Pages

These are just soem examples taken directly from the hard copy book itself, which displays the format that was consisten throughout the novella. There would be the chapter number, name/time/location stamp, quote, the chapter itself, and then repeat. As you can see, the chapter number was the largest font in Times New Roman 18, then name/time/location stamp was in Courier 12, and the quote itself was in italicized Times New Roman 12. And just for the record, there were A LOT of single sentences that were centered throughout the novel so I could accentuate my point. In case you were wondering, the name/time/location staamps were necessary because in each chapter, the narrator, date, and location that particular section of the book the story took place in, changed. 

So there you have it! The aesthetics and background for my novella Fortitude. If you liked the content of this week's post, stop by Loving the Language of Literacy next Sunday for the novella itself. No I would like to know, have you ever had a school assignment that was similar? Have you written and/or are writing a novel/novella of your own? Would you like to write as a profession? Tell me in the comments below and check back next week for the novella itself.

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