Navigating In Your Novel

Susan Gillett Domokos
You’re sitting in your chair, estranged from the rest of the household. (Not because you can’t stand the normal noise of your family, i.e. bellowing partner, screaming kids, blaring television, etc., but because they can’t stand the oddly vacant, zombie-like look that pervades your face every time you sit down to prove to the world that you’re a literary genius, and have therefore shoved you off into a nicely made up broom closet, with a single yellowed bulb swaying gently above your head, to be CREATIVE…)

Tightening Your Manuscript and Trimming the Word Count

Deanna Lilly
Now that the mechanics of achieving 250 words and 25 lines per page are out of the way, the manuscript is complete and perfect (you didn’t forget to remove the line numbers before printing and sending your “baby” to your editor) and at last the wait is over. Finally, you get the long awaited letter back. Your editor has fallen in love with your story BUT, she/he wants you to cut your 100,000-page masterpiece to 90,000 pages.

Misused Words

Deanna Lilly
Here is a list of regularly misused words and their appropriate uses. You might want to bookmark this page so you have ready access to which spelling you should be using.

Edit Easier

Megan Potter
Editing is not a lukewarm writing stage. Either it’s your favorite part about writing or you dread it. Personally, I sort of like this stage. If writing were pottery I would compare writing the rough draft to making the clay, I see editing as my opportunity to mold it into something recognizable.

High Hopes–Avoiding Common Mistakes

Margaret Terhune
Beginners are by nature inexperienced and prone to making mistakes. Part of any learning process involves working through trial and error towards achievement. Novice writers are no exception. There are, however, many common mistakes the beginner can avoid. I have grouped these into three main categories: not researching enough, not writing enough and not revising enough.

And Sammy, too? Oh, No!

Elizabeth MacDonald
You think I don’t have trouble with grammar? Everybody has trouble with grammar. But my biggest problem is with punctuation.  When I was a little tot, I was taught that when you put “too” at the end of a sentence, you put a comma in front of it. Simple. Here’s an example. “I like artichokes, too.”

Achieving 250 Words / 25 Lines Per Page

Deanna Lilly
In order to achieve the ideal format for novel submission, your must strive for 250 words per page, with margins at one inch all around (some editors want a left margin of one and one-half inch) using either Courier 12pt or Times New Roman 14pt fonts. Several editors have told me that Courier 12pt is easier to read. And, the last thing we want to do is give an editor a headache from eyestrain as he/she reads our manuscript. I am sure some of the following “tricks” can benefit even the seasoned writer.

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