Sunday, May 31, 2009

Rules for Writing

I love to poke around on the Absolute Write Water Cooler. Mostly, I hang around the scifi/fantasy genre boards, but lately I've ventured out into the novels section. I'm not sure why I've never run across this before, but today I found some excellent posts by author, James D. MacDonald.

When I read this one, I just knew that I had to post it. So here it is, 'Uncle Jim's Twenty-five Simple Steps to Becoming an Author':


Rules for Writing

There are twenty-five simple steps to becoming a published author.

Here are the steps:

1. Black ink on white paper.

2. Place your name and address in the top left-hand corner of the first page.

3. Place the title and byline, centered, half-way down the first page.

4. Put a running head (your name, the title, and a page number) in the top right hand corner of every page.

5. Your pages should have one-inch margins.

6. Doublespace your text.

7. Use Courier 10 or Courier 12 only.

8. Type on one side of the paper only.

9. Continue until you reach "The End."

10. Rewrite.

11. Rewrite.

12.....21. Revise

22. Obtain the guidelines for a market that accepts material similar to what you have finished.

23. Follow the guidelines scrupulously when you submit your material.

24. While you are waiting for your rejection slip, start again back at step 1 for your next work.

25. When the rejection slip arrives, send the manuscript to the next market on your list, that same day.


Okay, maybe these steps aren't as simple as they sound (but what worthwhile thing ever is?). But this is heck of a good bit of advice.


I, for one, am going to do my best to follow the plan.

7 comments:

Rebecca said...

Great plan I'll need to check out that website as well.

I love the last two rules. It keeps a person grounded.

Elle Scott said...

Definitely! I've been learning a lot over at Jim MacDonald's thread at Absolute Write.

Lynn said...

Thanks for bringing clear,direct, and concise tips about writng to a broader demographic via your blog. Unpretentious, generous, timely...I have gotten so confused editing BEFORE I'd finished...what a mess...finding duplicate paragraphs scattered throughout my piece.That's just one "rule" I gleaned from your blog.

Again,Thanks From:
mochai@Writing.Com

Elle Scott said...

Thanks! I'm glad that I can be of help : )

Rebecca said...

I just looked over one of my fiction writing pieces I've done, thanks for the rules, since I found something else to fix! ( and it made it easier.)

Elle Scott said...

There's always something to fix, isn't there? Like housework, it's endless.

dwntherbbthole said...

sounds so easy in theory... Lol, "while you are waiting for your rejection slip"

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