Monday, January 20, 2014

A Step in the Write Direction--January 20, 2014--more editing hints

A Step in the Write Direction
January 20, 2014

Update: It’s official: WinePress Publishers has closed down. They sent me the files to my Step in the Write Direction book and also the student edition, so I’m presently searching for a new publisher. I’m thankful I do have an inventory here to sell as their printer is not printing any more orders at present….

Notes from yesterday’s sermon on Zechariah 4:6-10 on repairing the temple, especially verse 10: “Who has despised the day of small things?” Don’t worry if you don’t feel qualified to write a book right now. An average book may sell 3000-5000 copies, while a magazine article may attract 50,000 or more readers. Do small things faithfully, instead of trying to do one big thing in one big swoop. Also verse 6: “Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord.” Our pastor said, “Don’t focus on the obstacles or the rubble; focus on the Power.” He also talked about people who plan and plan and plan. “Stop planning,” he said, “and start doing.” And his final thought: “You’re still alive because you haven’t finished the job God gave you to do.” (Thank you, Pastor Ira Brown, for these thoughts!)

Thought for Today: “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes" (Matthew 6:34 The Message).

Laugh for Today:
The Bathtub Test

During a visit to a mental asylum, I asked the director, “How do you determine whether or not a patient should be institutionalized.” “Well,” said the director, “we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup, and a bucket to the person and ask him or her to empty the bathtub.”

“Oh, I understand,” I said. “A normal person would use the bucket because it’s bigger than the spoon or the teacup.” “No, said the director. “A normal person would pull the plug. Do you want a bed by the window?”
Top of Form
Bottom of Form

Song for Today:
(A song that meant a lot to me the night before a scary surgery when I was a pastor’s wife and the mother of three preschoolers):
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.
                                    “In the Garden,” C. Austin Miles

Writer’s Tips:
Some other tips from a recent editing job:
·         You can use initial caps for Deity pronouns (i.e., He, Him, His, You, etc.) or lower case,  but be consistent.

·         Indent a quotation over four lines. In this case, you won’t need beginning and ending quotations marks, and use double quotation marks for any quotations within that quote.

·         Decide if you’re going to spell out numbers ten and under or ninety-nine and under, but be consistent. (Use your ABC sheet to jot down what you’re doing.) BUT spell out numbers at the beginning of a sentence (i.e., First Corinthians), and don’t change within a sentence (i.e., if you spell out a number in a sentence, then spell out the next ones—even if it doesn’t follow your selected rule).

·         You can use a comma in a series (i.e., red, white, and blue) or not, but be consistent.

·         Use a tab at the beginning of a paragraph. DON’T space over.

·         Same with centering a title. DON’T space over. To center something, simply click on Ctrl e.

·         After the last line on a space, don’t do numerous carriage returns to reach the next page. Simply click on Ctrl Enter, and this will take you automatically to the next page.

·         In days past, underlining a word indicated to the publisher that you wanted it placed in italics. This isn’t necessary anymore. Just click on Ctrl i and Word italicizes the word. (Ctrl b puts it in bold, but this isn’t used much anymore either.) E-mail me for more Microsoft Word shortcuts.

·         Don’t overuse “he said,” “she said.” Change paragraphs with each new speaker (I know; I didn’t do that in today’s joke); call the other person by name so the reader knows who’s speaking; or have the speaker perform some action. For example, instead of, “I’m going to the store,” said Janet. She picked up her purse.” Write, “I’m going to the store.” Janet picked up her purse.

Remember, the easier you can make it on the publisher, the better your finished book will look.

 Have a good week spreading the
gospel through the printed page.

Donna Clark Goodrich
"A Step in the Write Direction--the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers"

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