Don't Worry, Be Happy, AND WRITE!

Written by Jeff Colburn

How long should my story be? Who should I send it to? What do I put inrepparttar cover letter?I don't have any credits, what now? Do these questions go through your mind as you sit down to write a story? If so, then read on. Asrepparttar 129737 former Grand Poobah ofrepparttar 129738 Science Fiction Forum at Inkspot, I dealt with many new, and not so new, writers. The questions they asked have revealed a common thread among them, fear. If you're one of these writers, let me give you a word of advice. Relax!

First of all, don't concern yourself about submission guidelines, story length, chapter length, precise genre typing of your story and allrepparttar 129739 other technical stuff. Especially if you haven't even started writing your story. Until your story is finished, these questions, and other related topics, are basically irrelevant. Just write your story. Stories take on a life of their own and create their own length and flow.

After writing, edit without mercy. Make each word count. Be sure your scenes and characters are clear, alive and interesting. Include at least one conflict, and have that conflict resolved byrepparttar 129740 end ofrepparttar 129741 story.

When your story is done, that's when you research markets and follow their guidelines. Even guidelines have some flexibility. Word count can be a "little" above or below what they say. If your word count is well above what they state, queryrepparttar 129742 publication to see if they ever serialize stories. After your research is done, mail off your manuscript and forget about it. Focus onrepparttar 129743 new story your working on. You're working on a new story aren't you?

If your story is rejected, just filerepparttar 129744 rejection letter, or throw it away, and submitrepparttar 129745 manuscript torepparttar 129746 next publication on your list. Don't takerepparttar 129747 rejection personally, because it's not. There are more reasons for rejection than I can count. The publication is full, a story like yours was just published or will soon be published, for some personal reasonrepparttar 129748 publisher didn't like it, your name is similar torepparttar 129749 name of someonerepparttar 129750 publisher doesn't like, he read a story like yours a year ago and didn't like it and so on. But don't let this discourage you. If your story is good, and you know it is, it will be published. Your job as a writer is not to sweatrepparttar 129751 details, but to write and get published. Stay focused onrepparttar 129752 story, and don't confuse writing withrepparttar 129753 research you must do to be published.

So focus onrepparttar 129754 joy of writing, dorepparttar 129755 job of submitting and have fun.

Following are some common questions, and their answers.

Q: What font should I use? A: Use Times New Roman set at 12 point.

Q: How long should a manuscript be? A: This varies according to each publisher, but here is a pretty accurate guideline. Short story - up to 7,000 words Novelette or Novella - 7,000 to 15,000 words Novel - over 15,000 words Graphic novel - 40 or more pages Book outline - 5 to 15 double spaced pages

Ah, Come On Baby, Stop Teasing, Show Me, Show Me, Show Me (Show, Don't Tell)

Written by Jeff Colburn

It's been a hard day. You settle into your most comfortable chair withrepparttar book you just bought. All you want to do is get lost in a good story for awhile. You openrepparttar 129736 book and begin to read. Which ofrepparttar 129737 following would let you know that you're really holding a book that you can get lost in?

"Jack was nervous as he enteredrepparttar 129738 boardroom."


"Jack enteredrepparttar 129739 boardroom. He feltrepparttar 129740 knot in his stomach tighten as thirty five sets of eyes stared at him. A downpour of sweat soaked his armpits, and shirt. Trickles of sweat even rolled down his back. He was glad to have on his heavy dark jacket. The chairman cleared his throat disapprovingly. Jack's mouth went so dry it felt like he hadn't swallowed in years. When he glanced atrepparttar 129741 chairman, his stomach rumbled. Jack prayed he wouldn't need to make a mad dash torepparttar 129742 bathroom.

Inrepparttar 129743 first example,repparttar 129744 author expectsrepparttar 129745 reader to do allrepparttar 129746 work, while inrepparttar 129747 second, he has done his job as a writer. He has describedrepparttar 129748 scene with enough detail so thatrepparttar 129749 reader can feelrepparttar 129750 man's discomfort, in all of its nasty aspects.

Telling a scene in a story instead of showing is one ofrepparttar 129751 most common mistakes that new, and not so new, writers make.

There are two techniques I use to insure that I show and don't tell. First, I imagine that I am explaining something to someone from Mars, who has not experienced anything on Earth. The next thing I do is ask myself what senses are involved. Ifrepparttar 129752 reader were inrepparttar 129753 scene, what would he or she see, hear, smell, taste and feel?

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