From Notes to Publisher: 5 Steps

Most writers share the characteristics of taking notes and make idea list.  There are some (I have heard) who might even have a notebook for those catchy lines that pop into your head while driving down the freeway at 75 miles per hour. Not advisable but, you know who you are.   All the while dreaming these potential “best sellers” will magically write themselves into a story.

Here are five ways to move from notes to a publisher’s desk.

1. Establish a time devoted to writing in your daily schedule.

You are worth the time to hone your craft.  Writers write better by…. writing.

2.  Organize your story line and characters.

Use a spreadsheet or other organizational tool to keep up with descriptions, characteristics, ages, quirks of your characters. It is very easy to lose track of time with a character and end up having them graduating 4 years of college, married 7 years and write they are 22 years old, generally not plausible.  Map out the basic outline of your story to create a path of where you want your characters to go and how they will get to the end of your book. This idea can be fluid and change, still you need a beginning, middle and ending to the story.

3. Write first; fix later.

Too much time can be spent rewriting and changing words. This process never allows the story to progress or move to completion.  You can not publish what is not written.

4. Join a writer’s group.

The information gleaned by listening to other writers is invaluable, it can prompt you to work on your own pieces. If nothing else, jealousy can be a strong motivator.

5.Do not give up, keep writing.

Even if you know in your heart what you have written today is not publishable; keep writing. Set the piece or ideas aside and look at it again later with fresh eyes.   A little work and help from a muse the piece may fit into a contest, morph into a longer piece or fit perfectly into what you are working on presently.

Best wishes and keep writing!


Dr. Rebecca FosterDr. Rebecca Foster lives in Austin AR with her husband John. They have 3 married daughters, 6 grandsons and 1 granddaughter. Dr. Foster’s published work includes contributions to Vault of Terror: Tales to Tell Volume I and Volume II, White County Creative Writers Anthology 2018.

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