Monday, December 1, 2008

A Very Real Writing Basic


I have been fortunate to participate in a variety of author roundtable discussions. Subject-matter has ranged from the creation of storylines to where you saw yourself in the near and distant future. One program’s table topic focused on the business side of writing. The discussion was great as were questions from callers.

There was however one caller whose queries caused concern that progressed to irritation. In a nutshell they did not want to be involved with the process beyond writing other than selling the book at personal venues. It did not take long to realize that the respect for the art was far from what they sought.

The mindset of the caller, although annoying, did cause me to revisit far too many remarks made by those in passing and in discussion. Those remembered words brought me to the realization that many an aspiring writer has no idea how involved the writing process truly is.

Each writer has their own process for writing. That process, regardless of how simplistic or involved, becomes their starting point. That starting point, basic plan, will be expanded upon in order to develop the work into a marketable product.

What many among us fail to understand is that writing basics involves far more than placing words on paper or into an electronic retrieval system. It begins with knowing the steps necessary for success.

Like any enterprise we enter into, it is imperative that you:
*Know which tools you will need
*Acquire the skills necessary
*Become well-versed in terminology of the industry
*Never stop learning

You may be asking yourself why I would go down this road. The reason is simple. I have been involved in many discussions with editing professionals whose challenge with a submission begins with the fact that the author does not have a functional grasp upon the basics of using the Word program.

The lack of how to adequately use this program can and has created problems such as:
*Improper formatting (justifications, indents, line spacing)
*Proper insertion of page numbering
*Lack of page breaks
*Inability to use tracking program for revisions
*How to attach and transmit files

This may seem elementary to most, but there are many who are not versed in the workings of this vital program. The lack of these skills is not to say that the writer is deficient. It speaks to the need to gain skills that were not previously necessary in their day-to-day function.

To that end I offer the following link: http://www.bcschools.net/staff/WordHelp.htm

This link is not offered to offend; it is offered in order to help tose in need of developing or enhancing tools necessary for the writing process. If you know someone who can benefit from the tutorials, please share. I welcome your remarks and comments.

10 comments:

ALESIA said...

Linda these were great words of wisdom and much needed words by me and am sure a few others. I thank you for taking the time to offer some assistance with information that might not be readily available to everyone. Sometimes we forget that everyone is not where we are and need a little extra push.

YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!

Cecelia Dowdy said...

Thanks for the info, Linda. Yes, some aspiring writers are unaware of the manuscript submission process. It was a great idea for you to post this link!

Kendra Norman-Bellamy said...

Great info, Linda. These simple points of interest that seem so much like "no-brainers" to some of us do, somehow, totally escape others. I've edited manuscripts that prove that fact. So, thanks for not only highlighting this problem, but for offering solutions.

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda its Kerrie. I mentioned this to a friend of mind and they thought it was a waste of time because a writer is a writer and its the editors job to catch the mistakes.

Linda Beed said...

Thank you for stopping by Alesia. I will continue to extend whatever help I can to others.

Linda!

Linda Beed said...

Hello Ms. Cecelia.

In spite of what people think there is so much more to writing a book than what meets the I.

Looking forward to that new release Sis.

Linda!

Linda Beed said...

Kendra I remember my humble beginnings. If I can help soeone else I'll definitely try.

Linda!

Linda Beed said...

Kerrie leave it to you to come up with something like this. LOL

The short answer for your friend is -- if they want their manuscript to get anywhere near an editor they need to understand and follow the rules of the game.

Linda!

shelia said...

Great advice. People ask me questions and I like to refer them to different websites so I will be adding this link to my recommended sites list for writers.

Linda Beed said...

Shelia, thank you so much for believing in what we do here.

Linda!