ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Before you Submit Checklist, NaNoWriMo and Halloween House of Horrors.

RomanticFridayWriters is going on hiatus in November, so the hosts and other members and friends can devote more time to NaNoWriMo. Unless you've been asleep under a rock, you'll know this is the month of allocated writing frenzy where you sign up to write 50,000 words of a novel. By tapping out about 1,500 words a day, you will reach the goal. There's lots of cool gadgets and stuff to help your motivation and writing buddies to cheer you on.

So after the writing frenzy, the re-writing and editing begins, until you're ready to submit your masterpiece of a manuscript. I came across this very useful checklist in Writer's Digest, by Sage Cohen which I've been using on my current projects before submitting and will keep on using it.

On the RomanticFridayWriters website, you'll find lots of publications waiting for your work. Before you submit your work, Sage suggests you tick these boxes:

c  Have I completed the three-step revision process - big picture to nitty gritty?

c  Have I reviewed and revised this story at least three times?

c  Has this piece had time to 'settle' before its final full revision?

c  Have I carefully proofed for spelling, grammar, consistent verb tense, and an overall cohesive reader experience?

c  Have I done everything in my power to make the craft of the piece - language, action, imagery, dialogue, narrative arc, use of line and stanza, voice, POV - as powerful as it can be? (Make your own craft checklist for your particular genre of writing, and tick off each item each time you revise to ensure that you're covering all your bases.)

c  Has this piece been read and edited by at least one colleague or adviser whose expertise and opinion I trust?

c  Have I run spell checker?

c  Have I made sure there are no strange formatting errors or page breaks?

c  Where have I said something that could be simpler or clearer?

c  Does this piece integrate and reflect the knowledge I've gained working with (or being rejected by) this (or a similar editor/agent in the past - if applicable)?

c  Does it integrate and reflect what I've learned about being productive and successful with this genre of style of writing in this type of market?

c  Does this meet stated submission guidelines such as word count, formatting, packaging, presentation, topic and/or theme?

c  Does this meet the objectives stated in my assignment contract or my own stated creative goals?

c  What does my gut say? Am I really finished, or is there more work to do here even if I'm not exactly sure what that work is yet?



HAPPY SUBMITTING FELLOW WRITERS! And enjoy NaNoWriMo if you're participating.

The next RomanticFridayWriters challenge is for Halloween. As always, open to all writers and poets - you can sign up here and post your story/poem on October 19.



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18 comments:

  1. That's a very handy list. I'll be doing NaNo again; this will be my 4th November NaNo - I think I must be a gluten for punishment!

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    1. Hi Angeline. It will be my fourth too!

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  2. Great checklist. I can't believe it's already time for Nano again. A lot of my friends do it although I haven't yet. Good luck with it!

    Jai

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  3. Great checklist!

    I'm debating whether or not I'm going to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. I did it a couple of years ago and finished my manuscript (I didn't exactly follow the guidelines of starting a new project) but I became sort-of addicted to the word count graph and it kept me motivated all month (I wish we could use it the entire year!!) I've been planning to start my third novel since the summer but I've only written one chapter, so I think I may give it a try. I need all the motivation I can get!!

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    1. Hi Lorena. As I said, it helps to have the motivation of others. Writing is usually such a lonely pursuit (but I love that part of it too.)

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  4. Thanks for the list! Excellent reminders. Looking forward to the horrors of romance!

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  5. I think the most important one is the last one on the list: what does my gut say (but we have to be honest).

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  6. Good luck with your NaNo project Denise.

    Wow, what a turn out so far for our Halloween challenge. So awesome.

    .......dhole

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  7. Thanks for the checklist ~ Good luck on your project ~

    I am still thinking of what to write as you know that prose is not exactly my cup of tea ~ Will be checking out the challenge for sure ~

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    1. Hello Heaven. Thanks for visiting. You are more than welcome to pen a creepy poem - I don't suppose it'd be 1,000 words, but one of our judges writes poetry, so she will be very able to consider it.

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  8. What a great checklist - so helpful. I can't believe November and NaNo are almost here again!

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  9. Hi Denise .. that seems an excellent checklist - I think I'll have to seriously consider Nano next year ... but I can definitely see how you can't do too much - so enjoy the Nanowrimo hiatus .. cheers Hilary

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  10. Hi, Denise,

    Wow, these are great tips we ALL should commit to memory. Thanks.

    NaNo? NO WAY..... I admire and respect anyone who can accomplish this feat without going INSANE! GOOD LUCK to all of you!

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  11. That's a handy dandy checklist!
    Looking forward to the Hallowe'en blogfest :-)

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  12. This is superb checklist that covers a few things I did not even think about. Thanks for sharing this, Denise. :)

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  13. A very handy checklist, Denise and thanks for the link to Scott Hagen post!

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  14. Thanks for posting the checklist. Those are important points!

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