Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Those Helpful Links

You will have noticed a number of helpful site links to the left. I haven't really checked any of these out at length, but they appear to be intelligently written and useful.

The reason I put them there is to stimulate you into doing your own research. The agents' links are wonderful reads, and will fill you with fresh resolve to get going, but you'll need to find some more for yourself, because you will be submitting to quite a few, and you'll want one who is absolutely right for you.

I've also heard that many Canadian publishers don't require agent involvement. I'll certainly be checking that out!

All the information you could possibly need to format your manuscript is there, as well. All those little things you thought you knew, but didn't.

There's a section on British spelling and usage vs American. I have a devil of a time with that, having lived in both worlds. Car trunk or boot? Bonnet or hood? Stuff like that. I still have to be so careful and constantly muddle them up. Perhaps it really doesn't matter; the lines seem to have blurred with the internet. Apparently the British arms of US publishers produce books with US spelling, even if the book is set in the UK. It's all a bit confusing, but, when the time comes, I'm sure some charming copy editor will make everything right.

I added a link to Post-It Digital Notes. This little program goes right into your computer as a soft version of all those little stickies you have everywhere. I thought it might be a bit late for me to use on Hafan Deg, but I know they will get me organized with the next book, which I've been incubating for a while. Think about it: You have a bunch of characters who are all chatting away. Five chapters later, if you didn't make notes in that dear little book you got for the purpose, you can't remember their names or what they did for a living, what they looked like. And you scroll back and back. It drives you crazy! Digital notes mean you can just put them right on your desktop. You would draft out your rough chapter outlines, one for each note. Get your chronology going. (I certainly had a rough time with dates with Hafan Deg, because Karen jumps all over the place.) I have all the names, ages of people, professions, etc., written in marker on a sheet of cardboard, because I was always referring to it.

On top of all of that, think how useful they will be for general stuff, unrelated to writing? I have no shares with 3-M, by the way, although for the amount of stickies I've used over the years, I should have. Anyway, I just ordered them. US$9.99. A deal for how useful they will be, I think. And that's the only piece of blatant advertising you will see on this blog site.

Amazon is set for its 2009 book contest, and I've put the link separately above the blog list. If your manuscript is more or less ready, the contest opens in February. The prize is an advance on royalties of $25,000. Not bad..

And, because you asked about it, Chapter Two of Hafan Deg appears in the link to the left. I'll probably be able to manage a chapter every two days, so figure you will be reading this over the next couple of months. Be patient with me. When you copy from Word to this blog, all the indentations and what-not change, and it takes me ages to get it into the right format. And, naturally, I continue to find all sorts of errors, despite all of my proofreading. It never ends.

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