done it. You’ve
spent a goodly portion of your life writing the story that had to be told.
So now what do you do?
Are you ready to be published?
Enter a contest?
Seek an agent?
Before you share your writing with the world, make sure you have
written your story as well as you possibly can.
If you belong to an on-line writer’s group or critique exchange,
solicit opinions from other writers about what is good and what needs
if you belong to a local writer’s group, share your work and gather
Writing – and the critiquing of that writing – is subjective.
That means that unlike an Algebra problem that has only one correct
answer, writing is subject to the feelings
and opinions of the reader.
What one reader lovers, another will hate.
Which leaves you open to an onslaught of public opinion that you
will need to wade through, choosing which comments strengthen your prose
and which only confuse you.
To make matter more complex, you must put aside your pride and
protectiveness, and examine suggestions logically.
You may want to consider hiring a professional critiquing service.
If so, shop around.
Some offer critiques only, which is simply an assessment of your
offer editing only, which corrects grammar and spelling, and suggests
rewording, where appropriate.
Others are full service.
After examining the services offered, you may want to request
references or a sample critique.
Perhaps most importantly, choose one that respects you.
Choose one whose goal is to make you a better writer through
compassionate teaching, not one that gets power trips from destroying your
And remember: critiquing is subjective.
Gather professional opinions.
Consider the merit of the suggestions.
But don’t change a word unless doing so feels right to you.
Visit our sister websites...
a record as you submit your manuscript to various publishers.
do not neglect this, as it helps you objectify the Submissions process and
it can help you to avoid "taking it personal" when an editor
blinks another "no" in your direction.
do this, start a database listing in Excel, Access, a Personal Information
Manager, or even in a Word Table or Mailmerge Datalist.
to track? Here are the variables, or fields, I usually use...
Submitted (Query, if book-length)
Publisher Asked to Review (book-length only)
Accepted (sometimes this is blank!)
these for each time you submit. Then you can sort by manuscript,
publisher, or date.
reviewing the list and keep submitting manuscripts on a regular
basis. The more you do this the more the approval process (and rejection)
me, a routine rejection is nowhere near as difficult as a rejection which
hits you in the chest, when you can't help taking it personally.
in Acceptance (and Rejection),
Go Back in Time!...
our new all - immersion Life of Jesus (Part 1) from David C. Cook
III. You'll become a true believer. Visit...
is dedicated to the memory of David C. Cook III.
This month we finally get to leave the preliminaries
behind: setting, character, and conflict X 4.
This month we simply write one of the action scenes -
perhaps the one just after the conflict passage you just worked on (pick
the best of your 4).
Now this is important, as a scene (or sequence) is a
basic building block when telling a story.
Basically, a scene opens, carries the protagonist or
others through an experience, and then has an ending. A natural ending
which is called for by the rest of the action.
For example, if your hero awakens, stretches, lifts the
phone and begins to speak, we may safely expect the scene will end with a hang-up
or a situation where the hero gets up out of bed and leaves the room.
But - importantly - this month we want you to build a
"Blip" into the action scene. For our purposes, I define a
"Blip" as a foreshadowing of action to come in the following
scene. (For example, when the main character lifts the phone, we can
safely expect to stick around until the conversation terminates somehow.)
Next month we'll work on a more distant form of foreshadowing.
So get writing! We look forward to receiving your next
submission. Mail to:
If [you] can continue to
send me more useful information of any sort pertaining to writing
it would be greatly appreciated. Your March newsletter has already
been of a good deal of help to me.
Publishing New Writers,
July, 2001 (no.207)
Editor Bruce L. Cook, P.O. Box 451, Dundee, IL 60118.
Fax (847) 428-8974.
Submissions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Links are