Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day 44 of the 100 days' challenge...

I have been a bad girl. I haven't been doing my job. I haven't been doing much anything.

Of course I have my excuses, I'm not feeling well, I'm in the middle of changes, my parents are sick - daddy has prostate cancer that has spread to his bones, and mother has problems with strokes and such... But - that's life. There's always things happening in life. Life shouldn't be an excuse not to write and do your job :-D

The truth is that writers write, and if you rather do other things, you're not a writer. It's ok, it's totally ok. Not everyone needs to be a writer. And even if you are not a writer now, today, you might become a writer later. Jose Saramago's most important novel; Baltasar and Blimunda, was published when he was 60. It was his 4th novel. 15 years later he received the Nobel Prize, and 27 years later he was dead. (A little more numbers - he wrote his first book when he was 27, it was published 20 years later. All his books were published during the last 40 years of his life.)

For 20 years or so I wrote little and published nothing.
- Jose Saramago

I suppose, all I can do is do better the last 66 days :-D

P.S. Another tips from those who supposedly know what they are doing:
Learn to write in the manuscript format from your very first draft, so you don't need to think about that at least. The editors say a lot of manuscripts are discarded because they are in the wrong format.
And, before you react on that, think for a minute that you need to read 20 novels every day, to choose one of them to be recommended to your friends.
20 books A DAY!
You won't be choosing the 120K tiles, you won't keep reading anything that doesn't catch your interest the first 20 pages, probably you don't give the book even 20 pages to impress you, and you won't read books that have "bad" language. You also won't be reading books that are difficult print or in other ways uncomfortably formatted.
So, give the editors some slack, and remember that they probably need to go through hundreds of novels every day. Try to make it a bit easier for them to discover how amazing your novel is ;-)

The usual manuscript format is:

* an 8-1/2 x 11 inc page (A4)
* 1-inch margins all around
* double spacing
* a clear type font in 10 or 12 pitch
* opening chapter paragraphs that start halfway down the page
* 25 lines to a full page (could be a line or two less. Generally, a 25-line page equals 250 words. This is important information to have when, later, an editor asks you for a word count.)
* a header at the top left of every page that includes your last name and a slash mark followed by your title (in this down-and-dirty stage you can replace a working title with "Best-selling Novel" for motivation, if you wish)
* page number on the right.

- According to Garda Parker

1 comment:

PatriciaW said...

Hey Ket! I can attest to the fact that writing in manuscript format can make it easier for some. But if that doesn't work for you, don't feel obligated. I write with no tabs on my single-spaced paragraphs, double spacing between the paragraphs. Easier for me to read and edit. When I'm done, it's not big deal to put the entire document into manuscript format.

Hey, send me your email addy. I need to forward it to the drawing for the Cancer post I did recently. My email is pwriter1[at]yahoo[dot]com.