Sunday, August 8, 2010

How to create a good Manuscript

To some this may seem easy. Think again. Writing a proper manuscript takes work, dedication, and some perspiration.

There are submission guidelines to follow, and proper formatting to consider. Anyone can put down words on paper; but do they tell a story? Is there a plot, setting, believable characters, and do the words make the reader want to read it?
These are only a few things to think about as you write your story. Some other things to think about are the basics like grammar, spelling, punctuation, verb subject agreement, tense, point-of-view, and more.

When writing your story, do not rely on the spell-check and grammar checker that comes in your word processing program. They are not good or precise enough to aid you in your writing to the degree necessary to create a quality manuscript.
The spell checker only tells you if spelled a word correctly, but not if it is the right word. As Mark Twain put it, “The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter–it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.

Creative writing is much different from business writing or writing a letter to someone. In Creative writing requires to break a rule at times, but you must know the rules before you can break them. If you are unsure of the rules, learn them before you break one.

As Nathaniel Hawthorne said, “Easy reading is damn hard writing.” He got it right. There is much more to writing than just putting down some words. Using another quote to illustrate a point, “They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But let me tell you, a story is worth a million pictures.” — Randall Ingermanson. This is what every story needs to do. You must take the reader on a journey and your words are the magic carpet upon which the reader sits while taking the journey the writer has prepared for them.

If a writer is not emotionally into the story, the reader won’t be either. As a writer “You’ve got to love libraries. You’ve got to love books. You’ve got to love poetry. You’ve got to love everything about literature. Then, you can pick the one thing you love most and write about it.” — Ray Bradbury

Create a good manuscript that tells a story someone wants to read.