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 Post subject: The Writing/Publication Thread
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:04 am 
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Here's a thread to post about writing and/or publication! Ask questions, offer advice, complain about writer's block, etc.

The biggest recommendation I could make to anyone trying to publish anything (fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, etc.) in a literary magazine would be to check out Duotrope. It costs $5/mo., but you have access to info on more than 6,000 lit mags. There's a pretty good search tool so you can find mags organized by genre, pay, acceptance rate, and a lot of other things. It's saved me hours and hours of scouring the web for journals, and it's constantly being updated. It also has a built-in submission tracker, which is nice, even though you can make a perfectly fine one in Excel. So if that's all you need, don't waste the money, but if you're really trying to find a market for your writing, Duotrope could be a huge, huge help. There are probably other, similar services, but I think Duotrope is the biggest.

I know a few other people on here write poetry and/or fiction, but is anyone else trying to publish?


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 Post subject: Re: The Writing/Publication Thread
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:07 am 
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I am writing a novel which is potentially part of a series which I hope to publish. But now the discussion in the film criticism thread and other things I have read have me thinking I inevitably have to work on smaller pieces first.


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 Post subject: Re: The Writing/Publication Thread
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:17 am 
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Well, you don't have to, but it helps. When you're querying agents, a list of previous publication credits helps them know you're not some hack who can't write for shit. Which they would discover anyway, if they were to read the manuscript, but I'm sure they'll give more time to a manuscript from an author with a solid publication history behind him/her. If your novel is good enough, it'll get published regardless, but it might take more time or you'd need to be a little bit luckier in catching an agent in the right mood before he/she throws you back into the slush pile. At least that's how it seems to me based on what I've read elsewhere.


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 Post subject: Re: The Writing/Publication Thread
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:20 am 
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Yeah. I mean, I'm in as productive a headspace for this novel as I've ever been for anything, so I want to at least finish a draft of it before I embark on anything else. But there definitely does seem to be something behind the idea of publishing shorter pieces first. The problem is that at the moment I don't really have any inspiration that agrees with a condensed sort of form like that, though I'm sure eventually something will come along.


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 Post subject: Re: The Writing/Publication Thread
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:26 am 
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Yeah, absolutely finish the novel if you've got momentum. Then when you go to revise, maybe you can pump out some shorter things in between drafts and see which catches attention first when you start sending things out.

I definitely want to write a novel at some point, but I'm in the opposite state as you - plenty of short story ideas that are itching to be written and the novel ideas I do have tend to fall apart when I think about them too hard.


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 Post subject: Re: The Writing/Publication Thread
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:27 pm 
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this is probably a silly question, but do you guys who write a lot use a particular program for it or do you just use microsoft word or pen and paper? l always wondered if there was something geared towards novelists like there is for screenwriters (final draft, celtx, etc).

anyway, recently i've gotten back into writing. i was kinda forced to, having proposed a 30 minute radio show for my final year project at college. i have to say i don't know why i stopped writing for so long. it wasn't writers block or anything, just a lack of interest. i've been enjoying writing a lot the past few weeks even though i am spending most of my time being way too hard on myself.


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 Post subject: Re: The Writing/Publication Thread
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:30 pm 
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people who write with just pen and paper are seriously gods I think. I use Word.


Last edited by Dreww on Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writing/Publication Thread
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:34 pm 
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Dreww wrote:
people who write with just pen and paper are seriously gods I think. I use word.


yeah i agree. there's a program i got recently called focus writer which is this distraction free writing program. it's pretty cool. takes over the whole screen so you can't see the taskbar or anything. i use it because i save my work in plain text files and use fountain to markup the scripts.


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 Post subject: Re: The Writing/Publication Thread
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:04 pm 
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I've taken up seriously writing poetry in the past few months. I used to write horrid nonsense in high school, had a good friend tell me I was shit (good man, that), and quit for a few years. Finally taught myself meter (using Fussell's Poetic Meter and Poetic Form) recently and have gotten back into regular writing. I've got two poems that I think are ready for publication, but I haven't seriously looked for venues yet.

I've been reading Shakespeare's sonnets and writing a lot (maybe five or six so far, up to sonnet 17 in Shakespeare) of responses to them (also in sonnet form) – quite fun. I call him the "Upbraiding Bard" in one, which I am endlessly pleased about. This also gets me over writer's block: just read Shakespeare until I have an idea for a response. (Otherwise I just restlessly revise what I have, which is productive in a sense but only intermittently satisfying.)

Dreww wrote:
people who write with just pen and paper are seriously gods I think. I use Word.

I use pen and paper – the computer distracts me. But it's easier for poetry than prose, probably. I have a two notebook system, one for writing and one for compiling. I do all drafting and revising in the writing notebook. Then, when I've got a stable-ish draft, I copy it into the compiling notebook (which has pages that can be taken out and put back in), which I use to have easy access to the latest drafts of all my poems. (I used to compile them in Word, but that led me back into the distraction problem really quickly, since then I needed my computer to revise.)


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