Then a major night of insomnia set in and today I am dragging. No wit. Very little wisdom. Just me meandering around my hollow head looking for things to write. (BTW, any typos are an offshoot of the being tired, so forgiveness is asked.)
I have a book I occasionally look at called "The Writer's Book of Checklists". It's an interesting book, but I have a problem with some of the things we are to look for. For instance:
"Use proper manuscript form."
On the surface, this seems like a trite statement. Sort of a "duh" type of thing. Of course you'd use proper manuscript form if you are submitting something. But the huge question is - what exactly is proper manuscript form? We've had this discussion so many times in several of my writer's groups and nobody has a definitive answer. It varies depending on what you are submitting and to whom. The standard used to be 1" margins, double space, Courier New 12 or Times New Roman 12 or 14 (depended on who you talked to) so that you came out close to 250 words per page. But now with many books going to e-book format first, this is no longer true. It can be single space with one space after periods (used to be two) and a totally different font.
The thing you must do before submitting is to go to the publisher and get a copy of their rules of submission and follow them. There is no longer any "standard". If you can't find a submission sheet, then fall back on the old standard, but be sure you've really checked first.
Another check list item: Observe yourself when you write. What length of time constitutes an ideal writing stint for you...
Okay, first of all, how do I observe myself as I write? Do I set up mirrors and watch what I do? Or a video camera? Or maybe a web cast that I can watch later? This seems a silly thing to say. I believe a better thing to say would be: Time yourself as you write. Jot down the time you start to write and when you end. Do this for several writing sessions and keep track of the length of time you write.
Doing this would seem to make more sense than "observe yourself as you write".
Okay, enough wit and wisdom for today.
Progress last night: 70 pages edited
Birthdays: Helen Keller, Lucille Clifton, Frank O’Hara, Ivan Vazov, Alice McDermott
Tips and Teasers: Are you a panster or a plotter? A panster is someone who writes by the seat of their pants. They don’t know who the story is about or where it is going, they just write and let the story go where it takes them. A plotter outlines everything before hand. Whichever one you are, take a stab at trying the other for one story. See what happens.
Thought for the day: "Only amateurs say that they write for their own amusement. Writing is not an amusing occupation. It is a combination of ditch-digging, mountain climbing, treadmill and childbirth. Writing may be interesting, absorbing, exhilarating, racking, relieving. But amusing? Never!" - Edna Ferber