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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Overview Markets: Part Four: Manuscript Preparation

Workshop: An Introduction to Writing for Children and Young Adults

My apologies for the delay on Part Four.

Are you ready to send your article out? Have you lined up a list of potential markets? If one magazine says no thanks, get ready to send it to the next and keep going down your list.

At this point you’ve revised the content, done a spell check, made sure your computer program used the right word such as from and not form, checked for extra space breaks, had an impartial reader give you feedback and have followed all the submission requirements re word count, font size, and margins if required. Now take a close look at overall clarity.

In his book, The First Five Pages, Noah Lukeman divides the primary reasons that manuscripts get rejected by editors into three main categories: Preliminary Problems, Dialogue, and The Bigger Picture.

Preliminary problems include the normal spelling, grammar and punctuation but go beyond to include word choice, weak sentences, presentation, style and Lukeman also adds sound, style, adjectives and adverbs. 

Basically look at your language to make sure it said what you want it to say. Make your words count. Make your sentences active with strong verbs.

            Does your opening include a clear topic plus your position/attitude? Is it interesting? Create curiosity? Attract a reader’s attention? Indicate a plan of development or a preview of points to be covered? Why will your readers want to read more?
Paragraph Clarity

Unity: Is there a clear opening statement of the main point?
            Is the material on target in support?

Support: Is there specific evidence to support the opening point?
               Is there enough specific evidence?

Clarity: Are they distinct, easily and correctly understood, not only grammatically but also in concept?


 Does the article have a clear method of organization? Are transitions and other connecting words used to tie the material together easily?

Is the conclusion satisfying? Did it tie up the article topic without restating or summarizing the main points? Did it reach out to make personal or universal observations about the implications of the theme? For the age audience do you have next steps to suggest to build upon their curiosity?

Action Steps:

                        1. Send out your article. :) 

Share: What is your topic and age category you chose? Or share your opening sentence.

Read deep, marcy

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