So, there is this website that is offering something free and you want it. Let’s face it, free things are always good — well, most of the time they’re good. However, the moment you sign up for that free thing, handing over your email, you know you’re going to be giving the owners of that email list permission to send you spam. You don’t want that. So, what is a girl to do?
Easy. Use an email specifically intended for nothing but spam.
But for writers, it’s not a simple matter of spam versus general communications. You also have administration details, submissions and blog subscriptions. The email inbox of a writer can quickly become a nightmare. Important emails can become buried without you even realizing it.
Do you want to fight the email crazies? Well, here’s how.
There was a time when it was standard to put two space characters after each sentence before beginning the next. This was how I was taught to type, and I’m only in my early-40s. However, this is no longer the practice. The introduction of modern typesetting and justification algorithms mean that two spaces can result in gaps that are too large between sentences. Industry professionals now specify that we use only one space between sentences.
Retraining the brain to do this has taken me many long years, but there is a simple solution that will work every time, even when you forget. Run a search-and-replace, hunting out all the places where you use two space characters, and replace them with only one space character. All word-processing programs have the search-and-replace feature, so why not use it. (I do this as a matter of habit before I send a manuscript out the door.)
Every time you take a little break from your writing, even a toileting break, when you sit down again, reread what you had just written (at least the last paragraph). If there are any obvious, glaring errors that you can’t resist the urge to edit, then do so, but don’t dwell on them. Rereading your work during initial drafting is not for editing purposes, but rather to help you get back into the train of thought so you can carry on writing.
Writing takes a community, sharing ideas, and supporting one another. So, when we get approached with an article that shares hard-earned knowledge, we couldn’t be happier to pass that information.
Today’s post is written by Jessica Sanders — host of Jessie’s Coffee Shop on KLRNRadio. You might want to take note of some of the tips that Jessie give writers on how to prepare for author interviews on radio and podcasts.
There are days when we fell so run down that we can hardly focus. There are days when our minds keep drifting to the latest episode of our favorite TV show. Sometimes we want to curl up in a nice, warm blanket and just read. That’s okay. Just because you didn’t write doesn’t mean that you weren’t working on your stories. Sometimes, you need to do something else while your brain mulls around with the pieces, trying to make up the puzzle. Give yourself permission to not write occasionally. Remember that just because you’re not typing new words into that computer file doesn’t mean that you’re not writing. Inspiration can strike in odd ways.
The first step of editing a new manuscript is to walk away from your manuscript. Seriously. If you have just finished writing that manuscript, you need to give yourself some distance so you can look at it objectively. The more time you have up your sleeve to put that manuscript in that metaphorical drawer the better. Distance is the key to good editing.
As writers, we carefully craft our sentences to use the perfect word to say what is it that we want to say, creating the exact image in a reader’s mind. There are times when writers have been known to spend days to find those perfect words. Yet, there is one aspect of our writing lives where many writers don’t take the same care with words as they do their stories.
I’m talking about the posts that writers put on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. The rush to get the post out there can sometimes land us in situations where the words cut like knifes.
Many writers are now using email lists. It’s a great way to spread the word about your work, simply because you get into the inbox of your fans. However, there are legal requirements involved with using an email list. In the US, you have CAN-SPAM. In Canada, you have CASL. In Australia, you have the Spam Act of 2003. You are subject to the laws in your home country, hence, you need to ensure that you know exactly what your legal requirements are.
Not everyone can find local writers who are willing to critique their work for a variety of different reasons. Some struggle to get critiques back within a timely fashion. One possible solution is to join a critiquing site such as Scribophile or Critique Circle. Both sites have literally thousands of writers on the sites, all willing to look at different manuscripts at the various stages of development. Critiques will range from extremely helpful to the vague, depending on the skill of the critiquer, but when you are in desperate need of feedback of that scene not working, this is just one option.