Sunday, 20 January 2008

SoFoBoMo: the preparations

As this idea has stemmed from the NaNoWriMo, an important aspect to bear in mind is the community feel. There is the notion of participants supporting one another in their efforts throughout the month. In that spirit, I'm going to post about my efforts along the way - comments & help are encouraged. Until April, it'll be a few posts on preparing but hopefully a lot of posts through the month to capture my process and thoughts.

First up is the whole idea of preparation. I reckon there are a few basics that I need to get straight before I start the whole thing.

Subject: I want to present something fairly cohesive along a theme. A novel rather than a collection of short stories. Obviously it also needs to be something that can be put together in a short space of time. I pretty sure now what i want to do based on an idea that came to me reading Dave Beckerman's recent posts on grain elevators (although my subject will have absolutely nothing in common with that). It's also an opportunity to experiment a little.

Place: this is tricky. I have no idea what work I'll be doing (day job) or what travel I may have to do so I need to have enough flexibility to shoot anywhere. Usually I play off this uncertainty to widen my thoughts but SoFoBoMo will need a little more certainty given the time pressure.

Publishing: I'm going to have to learn the mechanics of putting together a book in PDF format. that means finding some software that will allow me to do the job without forking out $500. No Adobe InDesign for me. The mechanics of this bit need to smooth so I don't need weeks of fighting the computer - that's against the whole spirit.

Medium: as I shoot in a variety of formats I need to nail it. I'll stick to the DSLR - I'm very comfortable with it and it gives me speed and flexibility. I envisage needing to take a lot of exposures to get 35 images together. I'm actually going to target 50 to make sure I do get 35. I think I'll abandon my initial thoughts of 1 roll, 1 afternoon as I did with my bicycles theme.


  1. On a Mac, You could use Pages. There are many templates that could be used for a short book. Inserting pictures is easy, publishing as pdf is natively supported.

  2. Of course, that doesn't help a PC user like myself. I've actually got the full pdf995 suite (it's a freebie) but there is no proper colour management.
    I might check out a basic version of Acrobat and see if that works for me.

  3. Have you tried out Scribus.
    Works on all platforms. I haven't used it myself, but it looks promising. I think I will give the mac version a try any day now.
    I don't expect it to be as smooth as a commersial application, but it is free, it is color managed, and it exports to pdf.


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