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For Authors: November 06, 2019 Issue [#9843]

 This week: Preparing to Write
  Edited by: Vivian
                             More Newsletters By This Editor  

Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

         I attended a small writing conference in Eureka Springs, Arkansas last month. The keynote speaker Jodi Thomas gave ideas to help authors write. I read an article by Jerry B. Jenkins a few years ago that gave some of the same suggests. When deciding a topic for this newsletter, I borrowed a few ideas to develop and share with others.

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Letter from the editor

Preparing to Write


         Both Jodi Thomas and Jerry Jenkins, best selling authors in different genres, say the first step in writing is to have a special place to write. Jodi called it a writing nest. Jerry stated, "establish your writing space." We may use a couch and coffee table in one corner of our living room or a small building in the back yard. We use what we have at the time, but we need to have a spot where we can write.

         Of course, the more comfortable and private the nest or space, the better. But, real writers can write almost anywhere, especially once they have trained themselves to write.

         As with any career or hobby, a writer needs writing tools. So, we need to collect our tools. Some of us handwrite our first draft and need piles of tablets and multiple pens and/or pencils. Not having supplies where we can find them is a disaster. Everyone then types the manuscript on a computer. For some of us, we use the computer from the first draft onward. A few pay someone else to do the typing.

         Jerry Jenkins states the publishing world runs on Microsoft Word, and it does. Therefore, writers need to have a MS Word program on their computers, whether a Mac or a PC. Some other processing programs claim to have interchangeable ability between its program and MS Word, which isn't always true. I know I have run into difficulties editing documents created in a different program, strange formatting and symbols rather than letters appear when changed to Word.

          One point to remember, even if someone else does the typing after the manuscript is handwritten, an author still needs a computer for research and for communicating with potential agents, editors, and publishers. A writer needs the best computer he/she can afford, with the most capacity and speed.

         Writers need to have everything that might be needed in addition to a desk or table: a stapler, paper clips, a ruler, a pencil holder, a sharpener, notepads, printing paper, paperweights, a tape dispenser, cork or bulletin board, clock, bookends, reference works, a space heater, a fan, a lamp, a beverage mug, napkins, tissues -- anything and everything that might interrupt working on the manuscript.

         One piece of advice Jerry gives and with which I totally agree is not to try to finish a whole book in one sitting. He says, "Break the project into small pieces." Although we know our project will be at least 80,000 words, for example, we shouldn't think we must write all 80,000 words in one day.

         Jodi advises setting a time limit each day for writing. She suggests beginning with twenty minutes, using a timer, each day, even if most writers will probably pass that time limit often. However, setting that limit gives writers an opportunity to take a small bite out of the large project every day.

         Prepare and organize the main points and ideas for your book. I could write a whole book about this part of writing, but authors need to research, organize, and use some form of compiling information.

         Finally, authors should set a goal, perhaps a deadline or number of words per day or number of pages in a week. I am using NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) as my goal to finish at least 50,000 words on my current book. I will write at least 2,000 - 5,,000 words each day to meet my goal. I used that to motivate myself to finish Burnt Offering, and the idea worked.

         Jerry B. Jenkins https://blog.bookbaby.com/2017/12/20-step-plan-to-writing-a-book-part-1/
          Jodi Thomas, keynote speech, Ozark Creative Writers Conference, (October 12, 2019)

Editor's Picks

Writing from Writing.Com

 Christmas Tears  [ASR]
a NaNoWriMo novel attempt.
by The Milkman

 Shakers and Shadows  [13+]
NaNoWriMo winner 2007. Jonas loses one family and meets another.
by E. Ersatz

 NaNoNovel 2004  [18+]
My somewhat humorous "attempt" at NaNoWriMo 2004. Not to be taken seriously!
by Jessiebelle

 Chapter Entry:NANOWRIMO Novel 2007  [13+]
Entry for NANOWRIMISTS Contest Dec.2007
by Nyarlathotep November

 November Newsletter  [ASR]
Newsletter centered around NaNoWriMo.
by Diane

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Word from Writing.Com

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Ask & Answer

Words from Our Readers

         My last newsletter concerned the use of some programs to check for grammar problems. Some readers liked and some disagreed with my comments.

Good article. I think the days of good grammar has went. *Smile*

         {c: blue}Good grammar is still required for good writing.

This is an interesting issue indeed. Grammar web site reference is an interesting mean which allows a writer to improve the manuscript. Great!

         Writers need to remember, though, that no program or website can write for a person and isn't always correct with grammar checks.

Dear Vivian
         Earlier today I offered to help authors with grammar.
         If I have a forum I would also give a monthly lesson on an aspect of grammar or a lesson on spelling. The lessons would of necessity be very short, because I have to devote time to other work.
If the Storymaster or Storymistress or any senior moderator would like a sample lesson or two, I'd be happy to let them have same.
         Kind regards,

[previous post]
Dear Editor,
         I am willing to correct writers' grammar in exchange for GPs. These GPs will go to RAOK, who support my membership.
         Have you any comments on this idea? It could possibly become a forum if enough interest is shown.
         Kind regards,

         Gita, I'm not sure what I can do to help. I can't recommend any service. I am a professional editor and an expert in grammar myself, and I would expect anyone giving lessons to be the same. I guess I'm asking if you have any credentials.

bob county
I have spelling and reading problems.
I'm dyslexic.
But, I graduated U-Mass Boston with a 4.0!
It was the walkon campus at Columbia Point, Boston.
I thank my lucky stars for Grammar Check on my HP,
and books of tape.
But, sometimes the misspell slips through, like
wanting to say Jacob's ladder, but writing latter.
I'm really having fun at Writing.com!
         Bob County

         Congratulations on graduating and with such a high GPA. Spell checks don't catch homophones, unfortunately.

Interesting about these computer writing programmes. A few editors I have worked with say they can picked Grammarly users because the writing becomes a little generic and loses a unique sense of voice. Just an observation. (I do not use any, for what it's worth.)

         Grammarly is not a writing program, and therefore, writers cannot expect such a program to write nor should they depend on everything the program suggests for changes. I stated that in my editorial. I hope those editors you've worked with also helped you with your grammar. Nothing can take the place of a good editor, but the writing should be as good as possible before expecting an editor to look at it.

Thank you for joining me again. Good writing to all and especially to those participating in NaNoWriMo this month.

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