Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Your Writing IQ

At yesterday's meeting of the NJCWG we took this brief Writing IQ test. Now its your turn!

Each sentence is either True or False. If you check the blog at the end of this week, I will offer the answers along with some explanations.
  1. Writing is more art than it is craft.
  2. If no one else believes in your writing, maybe it is time to give up.
  3. Practicing your craft will increase the likelihood that you will be published.
  4. There are many good reasons for writing.
  5. Writers are artists and they must wait until the ‘muse strikes’ before they write.
  6. You should not submit manuscripts to publishers who are not willing to pay for your work.
  7. Your first draft must encompass all that you previously learned.
  8. It is OK to “borrow” quotes from other writers – so long as you give them credit.
  9. Writing a quality manuscript is only a small part of getting publsihed.
  10. Unless you write a book, you are not really a writer.
  11. When you receive a rejection it indicates that your work is of poor quality.
  12. Always SHOW, rather than TELL in your writing.
  13. It is good for a writer to ‘play’ with words.
  14. Every sentence must carry the story forward in some way.
  15. It is good to start a manuscript with a long section of narrative.
  16. Every writer should own and use a dictionary and an extensive thesaurus.
  17. They should not depend on the spell check & thesaurus in MSWord.
  18. Spelling and grammar don’t count when you write a creative piece.
  19. The word said is the best choice for a tag in dialog.
  20. It is not important to know how you want to end a story before you begin to write.
  21. A writer should concentrate on their main characters. Minor characters do not need to be three dimensional.
  22. Send your manuscript out as soon as you are done writing it. Never let it sit for more than a few hours.
  23. Each manuscript deserves a minimum of three to five revisions.
  24. To an editor, the story is more important than the writing.
  25. Editors like when you call them to check on the status of your manuscript.
  26. It is not good to read while you are working on your own manuscript.
  27. When it comes to books, marketing is at least (if not more) important than the writing.
  28. Selling your manuscript all about who you know.
  29. It is easier to sell a manuscript with fair writing and a good story, than it is to sell a manuscript with excellent writing and tired story.
  30. The number one rule of writing is – KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
  31. If a sentence is beautifully written, leave it in your manuscript even if it has little to do with the story.
  32. Only new writers need to attend yearly writers conferences.
  33. One of the best ways to improve your overall writing is read good writing.
  34. Nonfiction sells better than fiction.
  35. An established writer should attend a writers conference only to pitch his or her manuscript to a publisher or agent.
  36. Finding a title that expresses the essence of the book is important .
  37. Once you’ve established your place in the writing community you can skip attending writing seminars, classes, conferences and critique groups.
  38. A good writer varies sentence length to create interest, emphasis and flow.
  39. Reading magazines, contemporary novels and other “fluff” is a waste of time.
  40. Editors are impressed with long manuscripts, complex ideology and a college level vocabulary.
  41. The most important sentence in each manuscript is the first one.
  42. Sentences are like jokes, the punch line should be at the end.
  43. Within a manuscript, a writer should change their POV (point of view) often.
  44. Good writers often uses the Golden Triangle when writing.
  45. Established writers don’t get many rejection slips.
  46. Writers Write. They don’t just talk about writing and read about how to write.
  47. Good writers seek out other writers for information, inspiration and affirmation.
  48. Writers should devoid themselves of anything that is not connected with writing. This helps them to concentrate and be productive.
  49. Every writer should carry a pen and notebook to jot down character descriptions, story ideas, important contacts, interesting words, fascinating facts, or ANYTHING that encourages that writer to write.
  50. If God calls you to write something, it will be published.
  51. Your query letter is often more important than your manuscript.
  52. Editors enjoy rejecting manuscripts – its a power thing.
  53. Writing for the web is not really writing.
  54. Writers need other writers.
  55. If God calls you to write, He provides the tools & the talent. You provide the sweat and the tears.

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