Wherefore Art Thou, Guidelines?


Nothing will get your query, partial, or even full manuscript zipping back to you at warp speed faster than if you send it to the wrong publishing house. You sent a short story to Avon? Zzzzzip. A graphic novel to Berkley? Zzzzzzip. That hot, steamy love story to Steeple Hill Love Inspired? Zzzzzip.

But how do you discover where to send the baby you've slaved over writing, polishing, printing and packaging, without the fear of instant rejection?

In today's world of information literally at your fingertips, your first stop is online. Google is your friend. If you're familiar with the names of publishing houses, do a search for the name. If you don't know the name, why don't you? Check out who published the books you read, whether printed or electronic and start hunting.

What will you find?
Some publishers share detailed information about what sub-genres they publish, word count, type of submission they'll accept (query only, query with synopsis, full manuscript), and how they prefer to receive it, whether electronically or printed and sent through the USPS. You may learn the typical response time. Some list the name or names of the editor(s) it should be sent to. You may also learn the publishing house only accepts submissions from agents. If that's the case, you have work to do on learning about acquiring an agent.

But what if the publisher isn't online or doesn't offer guidelines online?
If you can't find the submission guidelines for a specific publishing house online, check with your local library for a copy of The Writers Market from Writers Digest Books. It comes in full version or there's a Novel and Short Story edition. It's published each year, so is relatively up to date. If the information given doesn't give you what you need to know, you can write or call the publishing house to ask for submission guidelines.

What if I still can't find what I need to know?
Ask a writer friend who you know has some experience with submitting. S/he may have more current information on what a specific house is looking for. Also, many authors offer links to publishing houses on their websites to help new writers.

Don't risk an instant rejection. Do your homework. Even better, do your homework BEFORE you write the book! Target your writing to a specific publisher.

How Long is a Chapter


Well, first, maybe I should ask what is a chapter?

According to Webster, it is a main division of a book, a specified unit, a meeting place of canons or a local branch of an organization.

For my purpose, I’ll talk about a book.

You’ll be happy, but not surprised to learn that there is no rule for how long your chapters should be. I’ve read books in which some chapters were one page or even one paragraph long. I did find that mildly disturbing. I thought, WHY? I’m sure the author had his or her reason, but I didn’t get it.

I can see it if it’s in a different point of view. Reese Mobley’s Make Me Believe, as of yet unpublished romantic fantasy about Santa’s twin sons looking for the perfect next Mrs. Clause, had one page chapters here and there that let us see what Santa and Mrs. Clause were thinking as they watched their boys look for true love. After all, Santa can see if anyone is being naughty or nice so why should his kids be exempt? I think she cut that part but I really liked it.

Books have been published that started with chapter one and that was it. The whole book was chapter one. I even know of one that started with chapter 20 and went backwards. Again, WHY? Who knows?

Me? I like symmetry in my books. I want the chapters to all be about the same length. Turns out that’s kind of how I write. I know the word count for my line is 55,000 to 60,000 words. That’s a ballpark 250 pages, broken evenly into 16 chapters gives me about 15 pages per chapter. I’ve done shorter. I think 9 pages was my shortest and 25 pages my longest chapter. It all depends on what the characters are doing. If they can get it done in 9 pages, that’s all that matters.

Some people use a quote or little poem to start each chapter. Some chapters have titles. I simply number mine.

Tell me how your chapters work themselves out? What suits you best? What’s the oddest or longest or shortest chapter you’ve read or written? And WHY?

Pat

BEGINNING AT THE BEGINNING

Today I’m blogging about the process of starting. You know, the actual sitting down in front of the computer, formatting a page, creating a header and typing CHAPTER ONE kind of starting. What’s that you say? You aren’t sure how to set up your page, paragraphs or create a header. Piece of cake. I promise. Let me be crystal clear before I go any further. This is how I DO IT. This is not the only way to do it. On that note, open your blank WORD document and let’s get busy. If this is your first time then feel free to grab a margarita or your drink of choice or, skip that and head straight for the chocolate.

PAGE SETUP:
1) left click on the File tab at the top of the page
2) left click on Page Setup
margins – top 1.4" bottom 0.9"
left 1" right 1"
gutter 0" gutter position left
3) click OK

FORMATING A PARAGRAPH:
1) left click on the FORMAT tab at the top of the page
2) left click on paragraph
alignment left outline level – body text
indentation left 0" right 0" special none
spacing before 0" after 0" line spacing – exactly at – 25 pt
3) click OK

CREATING A HEADER:
1) left click the VIEW tab at the top of the page
2) left click Header/Footer and an outlined box will magically appear at the top of the page. In the upper left part of the box type the title of your current wip (work-in-process) in capital letters. Without a space type a simple slash /. Next to it type your name. Now, while the header box is still open you need to add a page number.

PAGE NUMBERS:
1) left click the INSERT tab at the top of the page
2) left click on page number. Another box will pop up with a few more options. Hang on, we’re almost done.
3) under the drop box for Position select top of page
under alignment, choose right
4)click OK and the box disappears
Your header is now finished and you can close out of it.

Type CHAPTER ONE in caps and CENTER it on the page about one third of the way down. I align it with the 2 on the ruler to the left of my page. That way every chapter begins the same way. Double space down. Click on the ALIGN LEFT option and you're ready to begin.


Whew. Doesn’t that feel good? You have something on paper. A real bona-fide start to the Great American Novel. You’re on your way, baby. Now its time to kick it in gear. Strike while the imagination iron is hot. Tell yourself, you are smokin’ and get those fingers flying over the keyboard. Every journey begins with a single step and you’ve just taken the first one.

Hugs,
Reese

PREPARE IN ADVANCE???

Before I became acquainted with WARA I had already written one and a half books. However, since joining WARA, I have discovered that I’ve done a lot of things backwards or not at all. So that “one and a half” books has become one and a half stories, with books to be forthcoming. As a friend of mine used to say, “Who’d a thunk it?”

I certainly never imagined that there were rules to be followed if you hoped to publish a book. Which necessated changes in how one wrote it. I only thought they were good or bad; either well written or indecipherable. I knew nothing about writing terms, policies, procedures or preparation. I just sat down one day and started putting my stories to paper, which I now know, makes me a pantster! Some of the things my fellow bloggers have, and will be talking about, I ended up doing out of necessity, like research. I had to delve into the facts and figure department in order to not have my characters look and sound stupid to those who knew better. I had to start charting my characters; their age, name, birth date and part in my productions. I began to keep a calendar so that the time would flow realistically, and I could keep track of it throughout the story. And since these will eventually be a trilogy, I had to figure out how to chart everything over the span of three books. (No point in doing things the easy way!)

I started making lists to go back and check this or that detail, or to fix something that I discovered didn’t quite "jive" with the overall picture I wanted to paint. I learned to keep a list of each chapter and a brief sentence of what was in it, so that I could go where I needed to much quicker. I had to brush up on my punctuation and grammar skills, (say aackk), and how to format my writing in order to somewhat resemble a book.

If I had done all these things from the get go, life would have been so much smoother and quicker. So take it from someone who learned to do things the hard way, and now has to pretty much do them all over again. Join a writer’s group, learn the craft first, and save yourself a few headaches along the way.

How Is Word Count Calculated? (Penny Rader)

Did I pick a fun topic or what?

While researching the market you want to write for, you’ve probably noticed that the publishers' guidelines include word count. What is word count, you ask? It's the maximum (and sometimes the minimum) number of words the publisher will accept for a specific line.

How do you know how many pages equal how many words? Easy. Each page equals 250 words. That’s 25 lines at 10 words per line (using 12 pt. Courier New). Even if you have short lines of dialogue, one page still equals 250 words. The first page of chapters that begin 1/3 to 1/2 of the way down the page? Yep. 250 words.

For example:

20 pages = 5000 words
100 pages = 25,000 words
200 pages = 50,000 words
240 pages = 60,000 words
280 pages = 70,000 words
300 pages = 75,000 words
320 pages = 80,000 words
360 pages = 90,000 words
400 pages = 100,000 words
500 pages = 125,000 words

For a chart broken down by Courier New and Times New Roman, check out this article on WARA’s website: http://www.warawriters.com/articles/manuscript_word_count.html

Wondering how you get 25 lines to a page? Check out Roxann’s article on templates: http://www.warawriters.com/template.html

Just for fun: Starla Kaye has a nifty link to Word Counter on her website, http://www.starlakayeromance.com/joomla/. It tells you the most frequently used words in a piece of writing. One of my favorite words seems to be “very.”

One thing to watch for: some of the e-publishers are using the computer word count, which in my experience, usually shows fewer words. For example, what is 100,000 words using the above method might be 79,932 words using your computer's word count. (If you’re using Word, you can find Word Count under Tools.) So, check those guidelines to see how the publisher counts the words.

What has your experience been with the Wonderful World of Word Count? Please chime in.

Grammar...Yuck!

I chose the topic of grammar and spelling because I suck at them. Really. I have a mind that often sees what it wants to see, not what is actually on the page. My manuscripts are filled with typos and spelling errors. Anyone who has read one will tell you I speak the truth.

How then, you ask, did I get published? I wonder that myself sometimes.
The truth is that a wonderful friend who was an English major proofread my first manuscripts. With her help, I polished those pieces to within an inch of their lives. I do not believe I would have sold those stories otherwise.

Editors are busy, busy people. It’s their job to make sure a manuscript is clean and ready to be published when it leaves his or her desk for the printers office. Editors don’t want to do extra work. They want the author to make their job easier. Would they pass over your good story because it was full of typos and misspelling? If it was a choice between two good stories and yours was the one with mistakes, they might. Why take that chance?

I still have errors that slip into my work, but my editor knows I’ll fix those when I do revisions. Even with both our eyes on the manuscript, I’ve had a few slip into the actual book.

Do readers notice? YES.
Do they write and point out the page and line? YES.
Do they say they won’t buy another book by you? YES.
Is grammar and spelling important? YES.

Are you uncertain when choosing between "who" and "whom," "affect" and "effect," "lay" and "lie"? Your use of language tells people a great deal about how you think, and how you communicate. Making simple errors in writing can make you seem less sophisticated, even less intelligent, than you are.

So get a friend, co-worker or family member to read your stuff. Two is better than one. They’ll each catch different things.
Invest in a good book on self-editing and grammar and study it.
Polish that story and send it out.
Your dream is waiting to come true.
Pat

Creating A Working Title


You’ve finished your manuscript. Now the thought of that “Just Right Title,” is haunting you. This is where the research begins. Develop a great title if at all possible. An editor might be the first set of eyes to view your query or the manuscript.

The title is like making that first impression. It reflects a promise from the author to the reader. Short catchy titles will be remembered. Titles should be meaningful, giving a hint or clue which threads throughout the story. Lyrics from songs can produce great titles. Piquing the interest of the reader. Plots and subplots throughout your story might be another way of creating that title you are striving for. Characters who have a past make super titles, making it a memorable one. Comedy or funny lighthearted stories have titles with that flare of a twist to touch the funny bone.

Now that I have just said all this, a title must appear at the top of Chapter One of the manuscript for me. It gives my story a sense of purpose. Maybe it’s a mind game. But it works for me. I look at my first outline draft. Thinking of all the possibilities my story could and will develop. I know the title may change, but it helps me to begin typing the story. With excitement flowing from my fingers to the monitor screen.

I asked a few non-writer friends what was the first thing they saw when buying or looking for a book.

* First and most important was the title. With the cover art grabbing them in an emotional or exciting way.

* Blurb on the inside cover caught their eye.

* Enjoyed reading the style of writing on the first three pages.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. Never be afraid to ask others. Titles can be just as exciting as the content of the story. Don’t be hesitant to explore the possibilities. Feel free to share your methods on how you create A Working Title.

- Sharon.

The Art of Character Naming

Cornelius Cornwall stepped into the corral, tipped his Stetson low, and headed for the proud black stallion held by ropes by two of his men. From the look in the stallion’s eyes, Cornelius knew he faced a hard day of breaking ahead.

Maybe it’s just me, but the name “Cornelius” doesn’t fit with the image in my mind of a rough, tough cowboy. “Cord” would, or “Dexter,” or “Wade” would, as more fitting examples. The point is you need to really consider what all goes into choosing a proper name for your characters. Personally, I think choosing a character’s name is harder than choosing your own child’s name.

Here are some things to consider when deciding on a character’s name:
Gender
Race or ethnicity
Time period in which he/she lives
Personality traits
Ease of pronunciation for the reader
Role in the storyline: hero or heroine or villain
Possibly the meaning of the name
How the character feels about his/her name

For help with choosing a name there are dozens of baby name books available, name lists online, phone book listings, etc. The following are three of my favorite book sources for picking names, all of which are being added to the WARA library:

Dictionary of Surnames by Basil Cottle
The Name Book by Pierre Le Rouzic
The Writer’s Digest Character Naming Sourcebook by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Panster or Plotter...What Does It All Mean?

There is only one way to write a novel. Sit and write it. Whether using paper and pen, typewriter and paper, computer and disk, or chisel and rock, writing is the putting of meaningful symbols in a place by one person for another, who is absent, to read. The miracle and wonder of it is that the writer and reader may be separated by distance and centuries.

After that, writing is a personal adventure and like all adventures has some similarities as well as things that are very different. Take the two major separations of writers, pantsters and plotters. Pantsters are those who get an idea and then explore it as they write. Sometimes their stories come to them as visual pictures or movies that play in their heads and their fingers become the instrument that writes down what happens. They continue to follow the story as it unfolds letting the characters go whither they will, pretty much doing whatever they will. The plotter will be more like a person with a dollhouse. They will decide the room’s d├ęcor, select the furniture, and decide who will be where and what they will be doing while they are there.

There is a wide range of mix between the two extremes of pantsters and plotters. To go along with the different mixes there are as many methods to express that mix as there are writers or so it can seem to the beginner. The most important thing any aspiring writer can do is get the damned thing written. A writer isn’t much of a novelist if nothing is ever finished. If one keeps that one salient fact in mind, then how the story is written doesn’t really matter. Writing may be scribed on toilet paper in those odd free moments and still become a novel. But how does one begin? With all of the confusing methods that everyone has an opinion about, how do you start? That precious idea. That’s where. When? Whenever a writer has a moment. How? Ah, that’s a paragraph.

How. Three letters and we’re already stuck. But guess what? It doesn’t matter. A writer may start anywhere. Once the idea for a story has taken hold, it will build on its own. A plotter will likely begin with a type of character, say a cowboy. Where will we put him? Kansas. Why we ask? (And an answer pops up—may not be a good one, but one pops into mind.) Because his brother wants to farm and plow up the ancestral pasture. What keeps our cowboy from moving? He’s in love with his brother’s wife’s kid sister and she’s been abandoned with a newborn. How’s he gonna convince her to take another chance and leave with him for parts not explored when he wants to give her stability? A story is born. Or a title might beg a story, The Children of Easy Virtue, Texas. I refuse to write westerns so that one will probably never be written, but I can tell you it is easier to live in Easy Virtue, Texas than explain where you come from. How a story idea will play out or be changed will be up to the writer as he pantsters his way through or plots the changes or as he is writing his plot a vision comes to mind and temporarily he goes with the vision.

Editing. Pantsters tend to edit as they go because changes determine where the story wanders. They tend to depend more on their subconscious to do the writing and attending to details than do plotters. Plotters tend to be concise and edit more when they are finished. Some put a lot of detail in as they write; others get down the bare bones of the story. Then, like watercolorists, they go back through, layer in different details, and sometimes flesh out plot twists.

Whatever your method will be or mix of methods, make sure you are the one who determines it. When an idea resonates as making sense, then it may be an idea that will work for you. Be reasonably cautious about changing the way you write. Rewriting because someone tried to tell you how to write is a horrid way to waste your time. Rest assured that whatever method gets the story written and finished is a good one because that is the goal. Can you be faster or more efficient? Probably. Experience is wonderful for that, and one of the best reasons to be always working on another story while the ones before it are in the process of being sent out, marinating in dust for the final edit, or hidden judiciously for your heirs to dig up and sell for a fortune after you expire.

After the first sale, a writer may not wish to waste time completing a book whose premise isn’t promising to their editor. This is where a plotter or someone who is more used to doing some plotting has it above pantsters. I’ve been told that plotting makes it easier to sell an idea on a synopsis and I hear that plotting helps to focus thoughts and tighten up plot issues. I concede it might.

About a month after I started writing I thought I was going insane. Mind videos and stills started appearing in my head. Why was I so worried? Because other writers and well meaning non-writers but well educated people told me, I was doing it (writing) all wrong. That’s when a very good friend of mine recognized my soul-deep distress and did some research and presented it to me. Less than twenty percent of writers are truly pantsters. By this I mean, they have an idea of a beginning and know somewhat how the story will end but everything in between is completely a mystery to them when they begin. Some bestselling authors are pantsters. I have no idea what their selling methods are. As I have explored this plotting/pantsters question, I’ve been amazed at the incredible variety of ways that writers get the essence of their story.

Best advice? Join a writer’s group so that you can be exposed to a variety of methods and get the encouragement of writers who have entered the forest of writing before you. They have successful navigated a path and seen other paths. But what is the most important? Getting the story written. That is a constant no matter what the method or mix of methods. Don’t make your eyes bleed from the stress of figuring out how your idea fits a story arc, instead consider going forth to sit and think up some what-ifs and then scribble a bit and get your story written. Perfection is in the editing—a different process.

PS No one was more surprised than I was to finish the first novel at 467 pages. I had wondered if it would finish. It came to a natural close and took eight months to get there. Weirdly, the second novel finished at 473. I’m only 83 pages into the third and am afraid it will not make it to minimal novel length—around 250 pages. For me, only time will tell (and sitting down in front of the computer and writing it).

The Indiana Jones Method

Plotter. Pantster. Plotter or Pantster? Plotter and Pantster? Sounds sort of like a law firm, doesn’t it? “Plotter and Pantster. We can make your legal troubles disappear.” Or maybe a clown act. “At this moment in ring three, you can see the rib-tickling antics of those hilarious funnymen, Plotter and Pantster!”

Actually the terms are a lot more mundane than those examples. A plotter is a writer who prefers to write from a detailed outline. A “pantster” is a writer who writes by the seat of their pants. Other than a general story arc, a pantster doesn’t always know where the story is going when they first sit down to write it.

I’ve been a pantster for most of my writing life. It’s a relatively new term to me. When people ask me how I write, I reply, “I write by the ‘Indiana Jones Method.’ I’m making this up as I go.” This method isn’t really a choice for me. It’s just how I work best. I try filling out character charts and turning point charts. Most of the time, they remain depressingly blank, and I shut down even the thought of writing in sheer frustration.

For me, when I sit down to write, the story unfolds like I’m watching a movie in my mind. I can see the setting and the characters. Sometimes I have a specific scene that I’m working toward, and sometimes the scenes just appear. It’s the way I’ve always done it, and the other way just doesn’t seem to go for me.

The Indy style does make it hard to write and sell by synopsis. It’s also true that sometimes the story takes wild tangents, sometimes you have a character walk into the middle of the book and try to take over, and sometimes you bog down and wonder, “What the heck was I thinking when I started this story?”

I have nothing against plotting. It prevents wandering, “middle of the book” blues, and gives a writer tools to make sales. Some writers are reluctant to give up “pantsing” because they think they’ll lose the freshness of their story. They’re afraid to be penned in by what they see as a rigid structure.

For my part, I’m not worried about freshness or structure. I just get more writing done when I sit at my keyboard and say, “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!” Then I fight my way through the story from beginning to end. It may not be the best or most profitable way to write, but it’s the way that works for me.

Read, Read, Read . . . Really?



I can’t remember when I wasn’t reading. Long before I ever thought of writing I read. Remember those Reader’s Digest Condensed Books? “Condensed” now sends a chill up my spine but in the long ago days before I had access to a library I couldn’t wait for Dad’s next copy to arrive. What worlds those authors opened for me.


But I digress. Why READ when what you want to do is WRITE? There are four reasons that come to mind at once.


First, a writer needs exposure to different words, phrasings, and a variety of sentence structure. Writers never craft their words into stories in the same way, with the same voice. By reading widely you experience new words, new ways to express thoughts and ideas. We all have favorite books. Pick one up and look at the sentence structure, the verbs used. Good books share common characteristics and you can absorb some of them by reading, reading, reading.


Secondly reading widely broadens your horizons. You may think I mean read nonfiction to build your knowledge base. But it’s not just knowledge you can gain. When you combine nonfiction with fiction you learn how to ply the information you glean from both, learn how to mold it into your story. This opens new possibilities in story lines, in places you can set your story, and in complications with which you can torture you characters.


Thirdly, you can learn market trends--what editors want to buy. There is up to a year lag time between purchase and publication but you can still see what story types prevail in general. Think your story fits a certain publisher? Read, read, read their books, or the specific line you think yours would fit.


Fourth, read to experience the simple yet often profound enjoyment of the story. While rewarding in itself it will also help you learn the emotional strengths of the narrative and dialogue. Good stories touch the heartstrings in some way. Reading many authors shows you different ways to do this. It can reveal strengths and weaknesses, show the way to true poignancy and perhaps even a best seller.

I have way too many books in my house but worlds of knowledge and memories because of them. Please chime in with reasons I’ve overlooked. And, yes, as you write continue to read, read, read.

THE IDEA STORE--BEST TO GET 'EM WHILE THEY'RE ON SALE

From the moment you let the cat out of the bag and tell anyone you’re a writer and actively writing to pursue publication, everyone and their brother will either offer you their fascinating life story to write or they’ll boldly ask where you get your ideas.

You can answer them honestly or you can tell them about this great place called The Idea Store where if you go on the right days, you can get two-for-one ideas. If they pursue this further you can even give them directions, show them the super secret handshake and present them with the key to the store’s back door. Hey, we’re writers—make something up.

The honest answer, of course, would be that we get inspired from life. Writers are curious by nature. Everything we see or do touches us in some way. Who can honestly say they weren’t affected by the tragedies on 9-11 or, even closer to us, the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building? Who among us hasn’t cried over the death of a loved one or shed a tear at the sight of human injustice? Events like these have a way of connecting us forever like a human quilt of emotion to be spread over our shoulders in times of need. We draw on that comfort and at the same time we are able to use those feelings to enrich our manuscripts.

But we don’t get all our inspiration from the sadder side of life. Writers are people watchers. We see things differently. Colors, shapes, sounds all trigger something in our brains. Next time you’re at the mall, the airport, the park or even the grocery story, listen to the stories around you. Notice the smells. Describe the colors, the moods, the musical way a mother talks to her child or the funny way some couples communicate.

Writing exercises are another way to get ideas. Play the what if game. Imagine a woman (romance writer) then put her on a mission to save her sister. Put her on a bus to a remote location. Now, what if she’s on the wrong bus? What if the bus crashes into a jeep on the side of the road? What if everyone files off the bus and starts walking to the nearest town? What if a stranger suggests she wait for the next bus? What if he starts shooting at her? What if a tall, good looking hero comes to her rescue? What if this man resembles the hero’s in her books? Get the idea? Always challenge your characters by asking what if.

Years ago when I first started writing I heard a writer suggest that you should always put your characters in a situation and then make it worse. So the next time someone asks you where you get your ideas, you can tell them the truth or you can show them the handshake.

Hugs,
Reese

Getting started. Research!


The story occurs to me when I least expect it. Normally about 2/3 way through the one I’m working on and would give my right arm not to have to finish. A character, usually the hero, walks full blown into my mind. I need to write the story. So where to begin? For me, it usually with research.

Research? Isn’t this fiction? Can’t you just make it up?

Sure you can.

Okay, maybe not all of it. There are some parts of fiction that must ring true to the reader or they’ll toss your book down in disgust, or worse yet, write you a detailed letter about where you went wrong. Ask me someday about getting military rank correct. Or how to use, y’all.

For me, research is more fun than writing the story. I love to learn weird facts and I love to share the wealth. Problem one with research. You can’t let it take over the story.

Say you are sending your heroine across the plains in a covered wagon in a western historical. You can find hundreds of books written about the era. You can list what she packed, what she wore, what she ate, how she did dishes, what plants she saw, the information you can share is endless. How do you pare it down?

Try to remember that what’s important is how your character feels about what’s going on. Why did she pack the things she wanted? How were they important to her? How does she feel when she loses them? What was she wearing? How does it make her feel to be dirty or to wear the same skirt over and over until it’s frayed? What does the hero give her to eat? How does she feel about him as a provider if the meal is a buffalo or a skinny sage hen?

Do you see where I’m going? Research is important, but we are writing romance after all. Sprinkle in fact lightly and make them relevant to your characters emotions.

And FYI. Keep those research files handy even after the book is done. It could be that someone will want a sequel.

Happy writing to all.
My first Amish book is done and I’m doing the happy dance.
Pat

PREPARING TO WRITE: Doing the Advance Work

Today we celebrate the beginning of Bits & Bytes' third month. We've covered several different topics in the past two months and hope we have been able to help writers, even in some small way. We've certainly been learning a lot!

To make things easier to understand, we wanted to start with the basic information a writer would need to begin the journey of writing a book and having it published. That journey is, for most, a long one, but it can be made easier and shorter when information is available, and that's what we hope we're doing in some small way. Some things we've discussed may be revisited in the near future, but if there's anything special a blog visitor or a member would like to discuss, please let us know in the comments section!

For the first half of this month, we'll be discussing some of the things that can be done before the actual writing and even story planning of a book, novella, or short story. Some topics fall under several labels, so over the next two weeks, we plan to only begin to present an abundance of topics and will continue with more in the future, so stop back often!