For the writer who wishes to have his or her work published, making sure the submitted manuscript is formatted correctly is as important as completing the work. A poorly – or wrongly – submitted manuscript will not even be considered, and all the hard work wasted as a result, hence understanding the requirements for submission and formatting is absolutely essential.
There are standard rules for formatting an acceptable manuscript, but the first thing you must do before submitting is make sure that you follow any particular rules outlined by those you are submitting to. They may have particular requirements with regard to fonts, paper sizes and even the type of envelope you use, and they will certainly have strict address guidelines, so take these on board and make sure you have covered them all before submitting your work.
Meanwhile, follow the basic rules of manuscript submission outlined below:
Make sure you use double spacing throughout your manuscript to enable efficient editing. This is a universal rule that is unlikely to be omitted by anyone.
When writing numbers in your manuscript use words – this is a general rule that applies as it makes recognition easier.
Avoid italics in the manuscript – underline any script that is meant to be italicised in the final version.
Use words for certain things usually depicted by a sign – ‘percent’, ‘pounds’, ‘dollars’ and so on – again this is for added clarity.
Use standard one inch margins on every page for the same reason.
Use only one side of each sheet of paper.
The above points are all to do with clarity and ease of reading, and this is why adherence to these rules is absolutely essential. If a publisher or agent – or other body the manuscript is submitted to – finds the manuscript hard to reads it will be discarded; to have your masterpiece overlooked thanks to a few simple mistakes in presentation is a waste of all the hard work and effort that you have put into it.
The rules are to keep to the basics above, and to enquire with the recipient as to the requirements that they may have with regard to submitting manuscripts. Follow these rules and you stand a better chance of being read, and possibly accepted.
© John. T. Roberts
Source: Article Factory
The old saying says that each of us has a novel inside us, but what about writing short stories for money? Many people are finding that writing stories is a good way of earning a little extra cash, and in these days of internet publishing there are many outlets that allow you to publish short stories and to possibly make some money from your efforts.
Of course, there is the story itself – where does it come from? In truth you do not have to be a superbly accomplished writer to put a good idea across, but it’s having that idea that counts. Here are a few tips on how to go about writing stories for money.
Start with a clean sheet of paper
Begin at the beginning, in other words; take a sheet of paper and jot down some ideas, phrases or words that may have inspired you to come up with a story. Don’t be afraid to draw on personal experience – every great author includes elements of people they know in their books
Keep a notebook
On the bus, the train, or simply walking about town you will see and hear things that may be of use; a joke in a bar, a chance comment overheard – all can be useful in writing a short story.
Develop the idea
Create a structure – decide what your story is going to be about, and then look for the beginning, the middle and the end. The plot may be very, very simple indeed; it’s what is written – and how – that is important. Add a subplot for increased interest, or develop a different story alongside the one you begin with; keeping the reader wanting more is the key to success.
Once you have a first draft invite a friend or relative to review it; ask them for serious, constructive criticism. There will be much more to remove than there will to add – why use ten words when one will do?
In the first instance do not be afraid to be farfetched and adventurous; stories do not have to be real, and some genre – the sci-fi realm for one – can be other worldly and, frankly, almost unbelievable.
Submit to publishing sites
If you use our search engine you will find a number of online sources for publishing short stories; use these to your advantage, and also take note of the many self publishing outlets that are offering print on demand services. This way, when you have a selection of stories ready to publish, you can publish economically.
The most important point of all is to enjoy your writing – there is no point struggling with a story if it is merely a chore. Use writing as a release, a get away from it all pastime and who knows – soon you may be a published author!
© John. T. Roberts
It's always bothered me that if you're seen as a struggling artist, you have no credibility to the world around you.
Friends, family and the state in particular regards you as some kind of pariah.
If you leave school and don't immediately get a job you're seen as a waster - what we call a bludger down here in the US of Oz.
Okay so there are lots of people who don't want to work these days.
Plus we have a welfare system in most countries that allows us to live without working, at least for a while, just.
And while I don't condone sponging off the state, I do support those who want to create books, film and music for no initial reward in the hope of hitting the big time.
After all, not wanting to waste 40 to 60 hours a week to make a living is to me a sign of complete rationality.
I'm just surprised there aren't more people out there who don't rage against a system that requires them to work in jobs they loathe and for bosses they despise...
But I'm not a Marxist. I know that the system would collapse without at least 80% of us wanting to do the right thing and work for a living.
It just amazes me that the vast majority are okay with that.
To me, creativity is the reason for existence.
And all the time I worked in offices and factories - admittedly not for very long - I felt as though my very lifeblood - my creativity - was being horribly stifled, causing me no end of stress, self hate, heartache and consequent broken relationships with loved ones because I just couldn't do it!
Maybe I'm just weird.
But I can completely understand someone who would rather spend their time writing books or screenplays or composing symphonies, if that's what they want to do.
In France, you can register for unemployment as a poet.
You can't do that in the US, England or Australia. Why is that?
Why is having an artistic temperament seen as an aberration - especially given that, as I argued last week, the whole economic structure of society would fall apart without artists to provide vision, new ideas and new worlds to aspire to?
I can only assume it's because artists are seen as freaks.
The irony being, of course, that when a particular waster does hit the big time, they're held aloft as inspirational - a veritable model of drive, focus, talent and vision!
When their art is applauded, all their foibles are forgiven, their past accorded with new insight - and they are promptly absorbed into the system as demigods, more than worthy of our complete adulation.
I'm not the first person to notice this phenomenon.
Colin Wilson wrote The Outsider in 1956 about this very issue.
He lived in the woods and wrote in the British Museum (to keep warm) for a while after leaving school, shunning a society that to him seemed irrational - only to write a book about it and yes, by doing so, becoming a pillar of the establishment - as his own book predicted he might!
I guess we all have to find our way in the world.
If you want to work, if that's what makes you happy and keeps you fulfilled, do it.
But if there's something else you want, something that burns inside you to be expressed, do that instead.
Ignore the fear.
The universe - and our society - seems to have a way, a need almost - to eventually incorporate your special talents into its fabric.
Capitalism works on the principle that there's a need for every type of person - and that everyone can and does specialize in their own uniquely individual way.
Those that would have you compromise and accept their reality are quite simply wrong to talk you out of following your heart.
If writing is more important to you than work, love and play, then do it.
Do it now and tomorrow and for the rest of your life.
If writing to you is play, a luxury or an indulgence, then do it.
Do it now and continue doing it.
If there's anything in your life you don't like, then stop doing it!
The world doesn't need another martyr, hiding away, struggling with inner demons.
The world needs you to be yourself: to dream - to ignore the 'state of the economy', and to wholeheartedly reject the pre-conditions of the previous generation.
You have a right to be happy and fulfilled.
To do what you want.
That's how the universe works.
Everything and everyone has a place, a purpose and a set of intentions that need expression.
We now know that even on a quantum level, atomic particles have an innate Intention built invisibly into their structure.
It's there for a reason.
Because without the expression of intention, nothing comes into existence.
By extension, you can never truly be yourself unless you LISTEN to your intuition, your gut in other words, and just do what in your heart and mind you know is true and right for you.
There are no prizes available for self sacrifice - and only destruction can come from denial.
Sooner or later you will come to this realization, as you're supposed to, and know that your dreams are there within you to inspire you into action.
Be what you want to be.
Do anything you want to do.
© Rob Parnell
We all tackle plotting differently. How you plot will be individual to you, as it is with every writer.
Below is an outline of what can go into a plot. How much you choose to develop each point is entirely up to you.
So some basic questions to ask are…
1. Briefly what your story is about
2. The theme?
3. Main Characters
a. For main characters, it’s best to write a full biography of them.
4. Secondary Characters
a. Who are they?
b. What will their role be?
c. What is their relationship with main character?
5. Beginning of the story
a. Viewpoint – who will be telling the story?
b. Setting – where will the story take place?
c. How will you introduce main character?
d. How will you introduce other characters?
e. How will the story begin?
f. What will happen in the beginning?
g. What is the conflict?
h. What is the character’s goal?
i. How will the conflict prevent the character from reaching his goal?
j. What’s motivating the character?
6. Middle of the story
a. What will happen in the beginning section, of the middle of your story?
b. How will this be tied to the beginning of your story?
c. What will happen in the middle section, of the middle of your story?
d. What will happen in the end section, of the middle of your story?
e. What events are going to occur?
f. How will you show your character’s personality?
g. What problems are you going to introduce? (List each problem and how the character solves it)
h. How are you going to make things harder for your character?
i. What will happen in the climax?
7. End of the story
a. Will the character achieve his goal?
b. How will he or won’t he achieve it?
c. What’s going to happen in the end?
d. How are you going to end your story?
Or if you prefer you can plot in scenes…
First, figure out how many scenes your story will contain. Then plot each scene.
b) Introduce characters
c) Introduce conflict
d) Introduce goals
e) What will happen in the first scene?
f) How will your first scene develop the character and the story?
a) Introduce first problem
b) What does the character feel about this? What does he think?
c) Have the character solve the problem
d) Begin making things harder for him
e) How will the second scene develop the character and the story?
a) Throw another obstacle in your character’s path
b) Have him solve it
c) How will the third scene develop the character and the story?
How you plot doesn’t matter. The most important thing is To plot.
© Nick Vernon
Source: Free Guest Posting Articles from ArticlesFactory.com