Jeff Seymour - Author of Fantasy, Literary Fiction, & c.: 2011

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Writing Wednesday: Manuscripts

Okay, so it's Thursday. But "Writing Wednesday" has such a ring to it, and I meant to post this yesterday but life got busy.

Anyway, for those of you who are wondering what a 133,000 word manuscript looks like when it's printed out, I submit the following:

Soulwoven is 580 pages manuscript-formatted, which is a fancy way of saying there is a lot of space around the words. I am presently looking at my Christmas tree, wondering if it could make that much paper, and suspecting not.

Manuscript formatting is an interesting thing, because it's ugly. Very ugly. And yet I have discovered over time that my initial reaction to it ("This is an antiquated idea perpetuated by stodgy old people who wish everyone still used typewriters") has changed. One of the ideas I latched upon while learning to write was the thought that it's very important to stand (figuratively, mind you) naked before your writing--to view it without any filters or prejudices and see it for what it really is. Most times that's very uncomfortable, and it's not until it becomes comfortable that a piece is ready for the rest of the world.

Manuscript formatting helps me do that. Courier New font, possibly the most ugly, utilitarian typeface in my word processor, does not hide anything. I see every comma, every letter, every space. I notice the length of my paragraphs and sentences. There is very little between me and the language, and while that can be painful, the whole point of editing is to find the flaws in a piece, not to cover them up.

So that's enough about that. It's beautiful outside. We have about a foot of snow and it keeps falling in big, fluffy flakes that make me wish I had someone to go outside and romp around with (my girlfriend went home for the holidays yesterday). Perhaps I will content myself with doing snow angels on my deck instead.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Go Go Gadget Rocket Ship!


Well, hopefully anyway. In honor of my first short story submissions since I was a teenager, I'm launching some webpages today. There's this blog, my facebook page, and my twitter feed, all of which will be updated regularly as my writing career moves forward. If you came here, you probably like blogs, so I'll start by pointing you to my old blog, which, sadly, I am retiring as of today. It's got a lot of good information on it from my college years, including wisdom gleaned from my internships at Penguin Press and Dorchester Publishing. If you're interested in writing, it's well worth checking out.

Going forward, I plan to use this blog to discuss things that require more than 140 characters to cover, like interesting events in my writing life, ponderings about writing and publishing, and anything cool that happens to me as my career takes off. Hopefully, there will be a lot to say. I has plans, as a cat might say.

So welcome! I hope that you enjoy this place as much as I do, and that I'll see you here often as my career gets moving.