Gutter Space

Last year I made a few print copies of Persona for my family. (No, it is not for sale. Yet.) But anyway, I discovered this rather annoying problem with my Word program when it came to converting the text for printing.

Every page needed a designated amount of “gutter space.” This is the space that you see right in the middle of the book when you open it up, the little “gutter” that is created where the binding comes together. For whatever reason, my Word program could not target even versus odd pages, forcing me to spend FOUR HOURS going through each individual page and shifting them over.

As evidenced by what happened next, shifting text is quite boring.

“Gutter space” sounded so … sordid. Kind of seedy, you know?

I decided that what “Gutter Space” really stood for was that place where all rejected novels go, and for four hours that late November night I let my creative brain run rampant. It was quite entertaining. I had a main hero named Partial (standing for Partially Formed Idea) who was met by several different novels, all of them with some form of book disease.

My personal favorite was Multiple POV Disorder where the inflicted novel kept switching characters mid-sentence.

In any case, I sort of let “Gutter Space” fade away after I finished shifting text but this week I caught myself in that weird transitional period between projects. And, lo and behold, Gutter Space came back to mind. As much as I loved the concept of Partial being introduced to every manner of writing mistake (like Purple Prose Syndrome, which was so full of unnecessary description that it continued to just describe things around it rather than address anything of worth to the plot) I’m not quite ready to write that short story.

But trust me, I will.

For now, I’ve decided that “Gutter Space” will be anything and everything that my brain needs to clean out before it’s ready to start on a new project.

So what is my “Gutter Space” comprised of today?

Well … Here’s my line-up …

1) Residual Haunting — needs completion (But it’s also my next project so I don’t need to worry so much.)

2) Persona — needs a new ending (Already got this baby scheduled.)

3) Usurper — needs an edit or … uh … 5 (Pardon me as I hide from all Trenna fans. I already promised it would be out in 2015!)

4) Primal — needs re-written or … brainstormed or … something

5) Dead Weight — needs completion

6) The Abolitionist — needs research

… My car needs cleaning too.

And I should wash my carpets ’cause … Winter is coming.

And there you have it … That’s what’s in my Gutter Space today. Starting next week I’ll be diving headlong into Residual Haunting and posting it, as promised, for free on Wattpad. It will be completed by the end of October, which frees up my November for NaNoWriMo where I will either be working on Primal or The Abolitionist.

We’ll see.

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2 Comments

  1. It’s funny how I had always noticed those two sordid words juggling with print settings of pages but never knew what they stood for till now. Thank you for the enrichment! I loved how you turned the phrase into a symbolism of bugbears in life.

    Reply

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