Publishing in magazines today is much different than it used to be and the book publishing industry is a completely different animal than it was even a few years ago. If you want to write for publication in magazines or write books, here are a few basic things to remember when you start.
a) Type the title and your name at the top of the first page.
b) Use 12 point text.
c) Use Times New Roman font.
d) Use 1" margins.
e) Use 1-1/2 line spacing.
f) Justify left side.
g) Leave the right side ragged.
h) When you print a copy for someone to read, print it with plain black text on plain white paper on both sides.
i) Indent every new paragraph.
j) Set the tab at no more than 3 spaces.
k) Use an extra space at the scene changes.
L) Number the pages.
M) Learn your writing program well, it will make the job so much easier.
Remember: the object here is to make a clean, easily readable copy for your editors and test readers, the pretty stuff comes later.
Finish the first draft! This may sound obvious, but a completed first draft is the tool that you will use to build your article or book with. Once you have the basic story down it's time to shape it into a workable document. This means time to edit . . .! And edit - and edit - and edit it again! If it's a book, and you have it as good as you think is possible then it's time to let your baby leave home . . . to a professional text editor. You cannot make the final edit on your book yourself . . . I know that you like to think you can, but you can't, someone else has to do it - that's just the way it is.
If it's a short piece like a magazine article, you can ask the editor what he expects and work with him on how much editing they require.
One more thing . . . do not send in anything to anyone - ever - that is not your absolute best effort, no editor wants to see less than your best.
I suggest you do a lot of reading by other writers. I recommend "On Writing" by Stephen King. It is half biography and half about writing. It is a great read and full of valuable insight on how to build your book. When he's asked what it takes to be a good writer his answer is: "Read a lot and write a lot." That is the best tip you can get.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions, Bert
A little here about writing and publishing in general.
Chris Shivers - Denver - the ride that put him over the $1,000,000 earnings mark for the first time in PBR history.
Feature Stories My History Column
Webmaster / Bert Entwistle / Contact me at: 719-599-0475 or: firstname.lastname@example.org
A couple of pretty fair PBR bull riders
These are a few points I have learned in the writing business.
These are very generic, but I hope they might give you a good starting place.
Here are some samples of my past work.
The Feature Stories buttons have a couple of feature length pieces I did for Working Ranch Magazine: Rolling hills will take you to the story of a ranch family in central Kansas. I was fortunate enough to win the Agricultural Writers Assn. feature story award for that year; it was published by Working Ranch Magazine in 2009. The History Column buttons hold several of my recent columns. Some of the articles are in pdf form, and are the way they look when prepared for the printer. - Bert