“I can fix a bad page. I can't fix a blank one.”
Nora Roberts

author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf

actually writing blog

the meticulous and paranoid author submits a story for publication
Thu 2014-03-27 21:21:07 (in context)
  • 3,400 words (if poetry, lines) long
  • 3,100 words (if poetry, lines) long

Just because I got to the end of my story revision last night didn't mean it was ready to submit.

I mean, there's spell-checking. Which apparently can't be done in the current beta version of Scrivener for Windows. (I am very brave, to beta-test Scrivener with my precious, precious stories. Or very foolish. It's so hard to tell.) So we'll compile to RTF and spell-check that way, making sure to make any corrections in the Scrivener project and not in the RTF.

Then there's reading the story out loud to myself, stopping every few sentences to cringe at the awkwardness and try to figure out how to tidy it up, tighten it down, and make it sound like something a reasonably competent author came up with. And then thinking better of the somewhat related bit three pages ago. And then realizing that the three-pages-ago bit, having been changed, requires a small change six pages ahead.

At some point, the thought occurs to me that three thousand and some-odd words shouldn't take this long to read aloud. We'll brush that thought under the rug because it is not helping.

Then there's another Scrivener-to-RTF compile, another spell-check for the sake of all the bits that got typed anew, and finally a half-hesitant nod of approval from myself to me.

Off to the submissions guidelines web page! Create new email message! Fill in subject header exactly as specified! Fill in correct email address and check it three times! Attach manuscript!

Read the rest of the submissions guidelines. Note, with a sense of "Shouldn't I have noticed this before?" that submissions are read blind, and, as such, attached RTF or DOC manuscripts should have absolutely no identifying information inside.

Open up RTF manuscript. Remove name and contact info from upper-left corner of first page. Remove byline from beneath the title. Remove last name from the header that appears on every page after the first.

Save manuscript.

Attach manuscript to email, replacing previous attachment.

Send email. High-five self. (Tricky, but worth it.) Log submission in personal records and over at The Submissions Grinder. Check off related HabitRPG to-do item and very nearly reach Level 11 thereby.

Realize that, since [MARKET REDACTED] uses a blind submissions process, perhaps I should not be blogging so chattily about how "Anything For a Laugh," which is the story about the [IDENTIFYING CONTENT REDACTED] and whose title I have changed to [NEW TITLE REDACTED], just got sent there today.

But it did just get sent there today. I am pleased.

Now. Back to "Snowflakes" for a few minutes today, with the greatest hopes for getting all the way through it tomorrow and tidying it up over the weekend. It, too, must be submitted by March 31. Working on it tonight is how I'm going to finish my 5 hours. I am going to reach my 5 hours, darn it, even though I have to be up until 1:00 AM to do it.

*hangs head*

Look, I had ever so many good intentions for starting early today. But I didn't get much sleep last night. And no, it wasn't because I was up late playing addictive games. It was because all my roller derby playing bits were sore, with a stealth soreness that doesn't make itself usefully known until I've been tossing and turning and almost drifting away and then waking up again to wonder, "Why am I not sleeping?" and then realizing "Oh, it's because of what feels like a deep tissue bruise on my right arm that yelps when I lie on my right side, and the aching muscle of the inner left thigh that's yelping every time I roll over. And also, I have a headache." At which point I drag myself out of bed and take two ibuprofin, knowing that they won't actually start doing me any good until it's wake-up time. And then it's wake-up time, and I'm only just starting to enjoy sweet, sweet unconsciousness, so I say, "Eff it, I'm not going to stop now that I'm getting good at it." And I turn off my alarm clock.

And that's how oversleeping happened this morning. Also, my imaginary dog ate my homework.

But I did get that story submitted though. Hooray!

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