Writing Style Sheets/Punctuation & Formats

Yesterday, writing took a back seat to a task that filled in the blanks regarding some issues of punctuation, grammar and style for writing.  Instinctively, during reading or writing, the words either sounded correct, or not, but the grammar and punctuation of my school days did not resurface to explain why.

Once I climbed aboard the good ship 1st Turning Point, education began firing into my brain from the patient but powerful hands of the captains, Jacquie Rogers and Ann Charles.

One of the first requests from 1st Turning Point Captains came in the form of a question, “Are you familiar with style sheets?”

My answer? “No, but I am willing to learn.” Uh oh!

The journey began–walking through several huge style sheets from the web, picking out what might be useful. When I couldn’t find the answers in those behemoth style sheets, I climbed into two books that had heretofore been shelf decorations in my office … Grammatically Correct by Anne Stilman, and The Elements of Style, 4th Edition, by Strunk & White.

There is much teamwork by the crew still to be done, to shorten it for practical use as a tool by writers who are scheduled to submit articles on self promotion (500 to 1000 words) on the 1st Turning Point website.  When the style sheet can be held up to the light and is flawless (smile) I will share the URL with you, or put it up on my web page for you to check and see if it is something you could use to answer possible niggling questions, for example, “Now where do I put the period … inside the quotation marks or outside?”

Feel free to comment on any errors or omissions in this article! It takes a while for things to sink in. Go ahead, ‘make my day’ … teach me something!

Wishing you all a week in which you can enable calm … take a few deep breaths and stop for a moment … to feel, or to think of, or to take a quick look at  something beautiful …  while Christmas and Hanukkah, or other spiritual celebrations add to the work load of the writer.

Time Management

Time management is a priority.

Balancing interactions with people who are important in my life with the tasks surrounding writing, critiquing, revision, learning more about the writer’s social networking aspect of self promotion, enjoying my new position as a crew member on 1st Turning Point getting enough sleep, and finding time to relax away from the computer … to sit with a good book.  These days, there is no time for more than an hour of TV in the evening. And then there are the household bookkeeping tasks, and housework.

When and if I come up with a plan that works, I’ll write an article about it!  Check back next month!

In the meantime, a daily list of priorities helps.  I keep a running ‘do list’ and post future deadlines, apts. etc on calendars, one for the desk, one for my purse. I read the calendar for the next day at night before bed. I haven’t developed a computer calendar habit yet.  That’s next on the list.

The path to getting published

The Greater Seattle Romance Writers of America  held their monthly meeting Saturday at Seatac, just a little south of Seattle.   The speaker Anthea Lawson, published writer who co-writes with her husband, shared great advice … a good review for experienced writers and necessary know-how for new writers seeking publication.

In addition to what Andrea taught us, for thosewriters who are published, or are getting closer to being published, 1st Turning Point is a web site that contains a wealth of information regarding steps to take before a book is published.  Once the contract is signed to buy your book for publication, the revision of your current book and the writing of your next book, will be your priority.  It is very important to have methods in place beforehand to promote yourself and your work as an writer. Check out 1st Turning Point … this site can prepare and guide writers to be proactive in their career path.  An agent shared with me that she perks up her ears when she learns that a network is already in place for a prospective client.

My personal soap box for new writers is to encourage membership in RWA, Romance Writers’ of America.  Next, find a local chapter.  Editors and Agents working with writers outside the Romance genre comment that RWA has something to offer writers of all genres. The Romance novels of today include historical, mystery, thriller, YA, Paranormal, Fantasy, erotica, contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Comedy, and Science Fiction, sweet fiction, and spiritual.

Marion (Life is a treasure hunt)

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