Discussion in 'Writers Forum' started by hillbillyhippy, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. as far as contents go, my writing is spot on. I have been published before but that was a poem. What gets me is the advanced rules of punctuation. Mostly commas, and when to start a new paragraph. I am considering writing short stories through a few online magazines, but I don't know if they have editors.

    How it worked in my English class was one would write their rough draft, and then the teacher would circle anything that needed changing , and you would then correct, and make a final draft, and that was where you got your grade.

    Does anyone know if when you submit to a publisher, whether it be for a magazine, or to make it a book, if they have editors for you. Do they car if there is punctuation that needs to be corrected, or is all they care about it being a good story/book with good content, plot, and character development?

    I can not afford to hire my own personal editor, so does anyone know of any programs that I could use to do it for me? I am talking more then your basic microsoft word. I want it to be able to fix any punctuation mistakes, including when I should start a new paragraph, etc etc.
  2. drumminmama

    drumminmama Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    Crickey, was that a university English course, or high school?

    I'm a professional editor, among other things, since journalism is such a healthy profession.

    No such thing as a program that edits content. Too subtle to be programmed.
    It would likely make your prose sound like some of the spam out of India!

    When I took columns for various newspapers, we had an expectation that the pieces would need minimal editing. A bit of style changes, some formatting, and we would likely have to cut the text to fit.
    If a columnist consistently submitted dirty copy, we would drop them.

    A magazine or book publisher will be more strict, as their copy editors and proofreaders get paid better than reporters.

    So, pick up a copy of Strunk and White's Elements of Style.
  3. High school. Maybe i could take a course at the community college?

    Oh and to be fair, my writings contained usually less then ten mistakes per page.
  4. odonII

    odonII O

    Why don't you write something properly, and then somebody can go through it, and make some suggestions. You'll probably find practice makes perfect, or atleast greatly increases your confidence in writing. I did an English course about 5 years ago, and it greatly improved my confidence. I'm no expert, but you don't seem to be doing too badly. I just spotted a few awkward parts (imo). I appreciate you may say this is 'just for a forum'.

    'as far as contents go' 'I am talking more then your' - a little painful to read, imho.
    'was one would write' - who do you think you are - the queen?
    'How it worked in my' - I'd, personally, write this instead: In my English class we would...
    'don't' 'can not' - use contractions or don't use contractions!

    As far as paragraphs are concerned, I was told it's when you are changing subjects. But they should (not always) be connected in some way -

    It is a good idea to occasionally use linking words and phrases at the start of a new paragraph. They can help to link what you have said in the previous paragraph to what you are about to say in your new paragraph.

    These link words and phrases are often referred to as signposts. This is because they help to indicate to the reader when one point ends and other begins, as well as the relationship between each point.

    Used with care, they can help to guide examiners and tutors through your essay. As well as bolster the impression of a coherent, flowing and logical piece of work.

    As a consequence, …

    As a result, …

    As we have seen

    (I hardly ever bother doing that, it can come across as slightly pretentious)
  5. Thanks Odon, and I do apologize if my choice of words annoyed you , I'm just a huge vocabulary nerd, and its how I've always spoken when writing, depending on the genre, I have a love for the classics.
  6. odonII

    odonII O

    It didn't annoy me, it just was a little awkward, imho. I was only joking when I said: 'who do you think you are - the queen?'
  7. I know, I'm pulling your leg. That did make me laugh lol of course your from england so i imagined it in a cockney slang sort of way in my head

    so i imagined who as, ooo

    Of course this is all in good fun, and I know that not everyone from England sounds like that
  8. odonII

    odonII O


    Leicester is in the middle of the country. I think the accent is neutral.


    I don't think I sound like this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZQQ5FJXJaY"]Lee Mack (Cockney) Live 2007 - YouTube

    Back on topic.

    My favourite grammatical device is - and :

    Sam - even though she fears clinics terribly - went to the doctor with me today. She said: 'I'm here for you, but I hope we do not have to come here often.'

    Somebody here pointed out when and when not to use ' and " - but I can't remember.
  9. And is one of my favorites to.
  10. drumminmama

    drumminmama Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    "As far as content goes,"
  11. A short story magazine has told me how I can submit my short story you guys. I will read that book that you suggested drumming mama, and let you all know what happens. The magazine does have editors. The bad thing is I have to submit it through snail mail only

    hmm perhaps I could go old school and type it on a type writer
  12. drumminmama

    drumminmama Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    Just print your computer file.
    Don't make it difficult.
  13. I don't have a printer though, and printing it at the library would be too expensive. I do however , have a bunch of typewriter paper, and my grandfather can get me a typewriter.
  14. usedtobehoney

    usedtobehoney Senior Member

    There's tons of places you can submit electronically.

    If you're submitting your stuff to magazines you should really have a workshop group you're a part of. If you're taking this seriously you need other people to see your work and you need to be able to spot issues with other people's work. You need to get to the point where you can do basic edits on your own stuff, but you'll still need to show and workshop you're stuff. Get it to a really good place before you submit.

    A tiny few errors are unlikely to bother an editor, but try to make it as good as you possibly can, they don't have a ton of patience for things that are obvious or distracting to them.

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