Monday, May 22, 2006

R.T.F.M. ...

In the submission guidelines for magazines I often see the following advice:
Use standard manuscript format.

The guidelines then go on to describe aspects of the standard, which differ from one magazine to another, especially for electronic submissions.

1. Use 12 point font, or 10 point, or 12 or 10 point.

2. Single space after a period. Or not.

3. Name and page number in the header, or story title and page number, or name and story title and page number, or nothing at all.

My favorite is a magazine that refers to the SF Writers of America site for reference. The site has three different articles on manuscript format. And the magazine that references it has guidlines that depart from all three.

So, Read The Fine Manuscript guidelines.

Or perhaps you have a 'standard' understanding of RTFM.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Doh! A Dear...

It seems so confusing to me
that eBay begins little 'e'.
And that iPod's not shy
with a lowercase 'i'.
It's tough to remember these things.

Then Microsoft acts so contrary
with a big 'X' for Xbox, oh Mary!
Well things will be fine
when myself I remind
to add them to Word's dictionary.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Lucky Numbers...

To continue on a theme, if I'm lucky enough to have two hours a day to dedicate towards writing a novel, what does that mean? At 1-1.5k words per day, it should take me three months to complete a market length novel at around 90k words (I saw another source on this but it is buried somewhere in Anna Louise's prior blog entries).

I'm not so lucky to get those two hours every day, or get inspired for 1-1.5k every day, so let's say 4 months. And let's assume I get it publication ready after another 4 months. And let's say I get an agent interested at some point within the next 6 months. Who get's a publisher interested, who can get it by the house sales, marketing, and pr staff in the following 3 months. And said publisher gets the book printed and distributed after another 18 months.

So, about 3 years. If I'm lucky.

Why did I quit my day job?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Just A Minute...

So, I've determined how many hours per day, at best, I have to actually forward my writing career. On a good day, it is 5 hours. What do I do with that time?

Two hours in the morning, 5 - 7 am, butt in the chair, new words on the page. Editing doesn't count.

Two hours in the afternoon, editing, researching, reading.

An hour at night, blogging, surfing, researching.

So, 120 minutes a day, at best, putting words on the page. Considering my moderate typing and thinking speed, perhaps 1,000 - 1,500 words a day. Now I know, from a clear eyed, black and white, hard numbers, brass tacks point of view, what I can do.

Now, what do I work on?