Monday, August 16, 2010

Tips And Tricks I've Learned

Three years ago, when I set out to be a published writer (by the way, I was published only a few short months later), I started organizing my research and papers into my "Writing Binder."

The Writing Binder:
What you'll need-
1. Large-ringed binder
2. Dividers
3. Plain paper
4. Folders

I've divided mine up into sections:
1. Payment - where I list what I made from which magazine and how much. Date paid.

2. Contests - where I list which stories I've submitted to which contests. Date submitted and response time. I also include a second piece of paper which lists date responded, story, and whether or not it was accepted. If so, what the amount was.

3. Queries - where I list which queries went to which magazines. Date submitted and response time. Here, I also include a second piece of paper which lists date responded for which magazine. And whether it as a "Yes" or a "No." If yes, the date published.

4. Contests - this is another section in which I will include listings of contests I've found either in magazines, online or in Writer's Market. I take down all the information from these sources and type them up and include them in this section. Each contest is divided into three sub-sections: Fiction, Nonfiction and Poetry.

5. Taking the same concept for contests, I apply it to magazines that I've come across. Each magazine is divided into three sub-sections: Consumer, Literary and Online.

6. When I first started out, I wrote a lot of reviews, so I put in a section for Reviews. Here I just added some college-ruled paper.

7. In the back part of the Writing Binder, I've included 3-4 folders. Each folder holds anything you want for misc stuff. My folders hold rejection letters, contest entry forms, old clippings from Opinion articles I wrote for my local paper.

Each year I update the binder. And each year you can go back and look at how you did moneywise, how successful you were with querying and your contest entries.

HOW I EDIT MY FICTION:
I'm one of those writers who still does everything longhand. I don't know, I just like to feel close to my work and be able to cross out, scribble and write off in the margins. Once I've typed something, I print it out and look at it. Now I don't want to rewrite the whole thing again while doing the edits. So I go through with the type copy and with a separate notebook, I will go through and write what I don't want to change in black ink and make all of my corrections in blue ink. So, when I go to type the edited product, I won't have to spend hours at the computer retyping the entire manuscript.




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