I shipped my wife off to Utah for two weeks (her idea—well, the daughter's and grandkids' idea, really) and I have hopes I can get more writing done. I'm dedicating most of my writing time today to this blog, then tomorrow's and Saturday's to the fiction writing. As I wrote that, I realized I need to take care of filing the income tax forms, too.
I get a few news letters or blogs that focus on writing and serve writers. Anne R. Allen's blog is one. Others are Authors Publish, Sequestrum, Written Word Media, Inkitt Writersblog, and Duotrope.
Among other things, most of them list opportunities to submit writing. One of those had a listing from Cossmass Infinities, a digital and print sf/fantasy publication in Scotland that publishes three times a year and pays professional rates.
I have a short fantasy story of about 4600 words that I'd only submitted once or twice before (rejected) and I decided to submit it to this market. This is a one-man undertaking, so it takes about three months to consider and select all the stories. I actually have another short story I like better, but it's about 1400 words and Cossmass wanted stories of 2,000-10,000 words. There are a lot of things I needed to learn the hard way about submitting work for publication, but one I did not have to learn the hard way was that when the market sets word limits, minimum and/or maximum, submitting works that don't fit those perimeters is worse than a waste of time.
Why worse? Because if you do this more than once or twice, editors will remember your name and you'll have a black mark against you from the get-go.
On another writing-related subject, I was reading a digital publication yesterday that allows comments from readers on the story.
The specific story I read started out with an author's comment that he apologized for the errors. He'd used Word and Grammarly, but could not seem to find all his errors.
If he's really using Word, he's not using it effectively as he could. I saw an error or two that I know from experience Word will at least alert to.
I don't use Grammarly. I've heard good things about it, but it's a Google function and I just feel Google has enough fingers in our pies already. I use ProWritingAid. It's not perfect, but what is? It's also not free, but the cost is nominal and worth it to not use Grammarly, which is free. I have nothing against Google—I use Google Chrome for my primary browser, but it doesn't need to see what I'm writing.
Anyhow, I offered commentary on this story because the content was very good, and although there were errors they were not so numerous or grievous as to distract from the story. I offered two suggestions to the author, and these are suggestions I've encountered in writing blogs or newsletters from professional editors or publishers:
First, any writer should, after finishing the work, set it aside for at least a week (two or three would be even better) so that your eye and memory will be less likely to miss errors because you know what you meant to write.
Then read it aloud to yourself, being sure to read it slowly and carefully.
Second, have someone that has never seen it before read it aloud. It's very likely that most of the errors will be recognized.
And that is it for this time. I've taken up another Dean Koontz novel, and I'll mention more of that next time.
As usual, please read!