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Brilliant Lit. by LeftUnfinished


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Submitted on
January 30, 2013
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A Simple Guide to Submitting Written Works Effectively and Professionally

This guide is designed to help writers beautify their written work. Its sole purpose is to make these works more reader friendly in order to receive more hits. It is made up of suggestions that can be taken or left at each writer's own discretion.
  • ALWAYS EDIT BEFORE SUBMITTING. Evaluate sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, and spelling to avoid errors. Seems like a no-brainer, right? Oddly enough, this is one of the most overlooked aspects of writing for a lot of us. For many of us, editing is the most dreaded step in the creative process, but I cannot stress to you how important it is to edit thoughtfully and thoroughly. Yes, mistakes are a part of writing, and sometimes, no matter how many times you proof read, you'll still miss one or two of those nasty buggers. Still, editing now is better than editing later when the work is already uploaded for everyone to see.
    • Why is it important to edit?
      • Well, for starters, it looks extremely unprofessional to have a lot of grammatical and spelling mistakes in your work. No matter how wonderful your story or poem is, bad grammar and spelling are a distraction to your readers from everything you might be trying to say. Never sacrifice your work for something that can be easily prevented.
      • Language is the most important part of your writing. That's why we're writers! We love words! Since the foundation of our order is language, we should understand the proper usage of it.
      • Although you may understand your work inside and out, your readers don't have access to your mind. If you don't say what you mean, your readers can become lost. Keep them in mind as you write in order to avoid confusion. After all, they're one of the biggest reasons we write.
    • How do we go about editing?
      • Read your work aloud to yourself or to a friend. Be sure everything sounds correct and that your sentences flow easily, i. e., no "wordy" or "empty" sentences. This will help when evaluating dialogue as well. Ask questions about your work that you would want to know the answers to if you were the reader, then be sure the answers are clear. If you aren't sure about a grammar rule, look it up or ask someone who might know. We live in the 21st century, and the resources are endless.
      • Send your draft to a trusted friend, preferably one who understands grammar and technique, who is available to proof read and discuss the content with you.
      • Most of us are just starting out and can't afford professional editors, but there are other people out here on the wide web (and DA) who have a grasp on the dynamics of grammar. Join groups and forums; advertise that you are searching for someone to help you edit your work. Just remember that, unfortunately, art theft is a serious issue; be very choosy when selecting an editor over the internet.
  • MAKE YOUR WORK READABLE. Avoid excessive and insufficient spacing; avoid long works. Most people find it difficult to sit down at a computer and read text. It's boring, and there are plenty of distractions, which means that we have to make an even greater effort to hold the readers' attentions.
    • The way a submission simply looks may effect your hits. Most readers don't want to read a block of text without any spaces. The biggest reason for this is because it's much easier to lose their place in text without spacing than text with it. To avoid this, I usually add one space between paragraphs. It's simple but effective. Although the decision to space or not to space will vary from author to author, I think most readers prefer the former.
    • In contrast with the first point, the second most unattractive quality in a work can be too many spaces. Unless there's an actual break in the text, the rule of thumb is to use just one space.
    • This one concerns those of us with long narratives, so hang tight for a second, poetry people. Although this isn't necessarily a bad thing, sometimes the length of a work can be intimidating. Unfortunately, if it appears long, many readers will skip it for something shorter. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying to not write long works; however, I do suggest submitting long works in smaller parts.
  • DO NOT USE ELEMENTS IN YOUR WRITING THAT BREAK THE FOURTH WALL. This is to be avoided at all cost. Steer clear of emoticons, abbreviations, etc. This is an issue I rarely see, but every now and again, a deviation will crop up where someone is doing this.
    • On DA, there's a great little thing at the end of every submission designed specifically for descriptions and author's notes. Here, it is perfectly acceptable to include emoticons, abbreviations, what have you. It is also acceptable to leave this space blank. On other sites without this feature, such as fanfiction.net, it would be acceptable to denote the author's notes at the bottom of the submission.
    • The reason I say not to include any of the above is because they take the reader out of your writing completely. Even if the author's notes seem harmless sitting at the top of the submission, in reality they're very distracting.
  • ACCEPT CRITICISM AND FEEDBACK PROFESSIONALLY. Never blatantly disregard a suggestion or bash opinions. Few of us are published yet, and many of us here on DA are striving to grow as artists and expand our knowledge of our crafts. For this reason, we must never, under any circumstance, be rude to those offering us advice.
    • Most advice is given from the heart. When someone runs across your work and comments with a suggestion, they genuinely want you to improve in your writing. Take that as a compliment within itself, and consider carefully and thoughtfully whatever they have to say. Be open-minded and willing to reevaluate your work. (That doesn't mean change it to whatever someone tells you; simply consider different ideas and approaches.)
    • Sometimes situations arise when a reader will disagree with your plot devices or your form or your style no matter what. Remember to be open-minded, but defend your work! If you're passionate about what you write, and you have reasons to back up your decisions, then explain it. Advice is simply that. You aren't forced to accept everything that is suggested to you.
    • There is no situation where it is acceptable to indulge trolls. You will only fuel their fire and make yourself look unprofessional in the long run. Report them if there's a problem. Simple as that.
    • Remember to thank your audience for their comments and feedback. I don't mean for you to kiss their asses, but remember where those hits on your works come from. Be kind to your readers, and they'll be kind to you.
  • LOVE WHAT YOU WRITE! Have fun with your writing! Try something new and experiment with different elements to see what's useful and what isn't. Remember, if you don't enjoy what you do, it isn't worth doing.
I felt like doing a guide. XD

Nothing in this guide is obligatory.
These are the guidelines I keep in mind when I submit my work, and they can be sifted through and picked apart at each individual author's discretion. You might like one thing in this but dislike something else. Fine by me. However, if you do find this helpful in any way, please feel free to let me know. I've never written any guides for DA, so I'd like to know if this was insightful at all.

I'm aware that there are already several guides explaining how to become popular and get more views on written works; this one really just deals with how to make written works look presentable and professional.

If something seems vague, or you want to ask me about a topic I didn't cover, leave a comment! :D

Have fun, kids! Go be famous!
Add a Comment:
 
:iconprisonbreak94:
prisonbreak94 Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014
Thanks a lot for the tips! I'd love for everyone to have a look at my literature and give me some feedback:) Will return the favour! :)
Reply
:iconbluishshimmer:
BluishShimmer Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for the tips and hints. :)
Reply
:iconmoffett1990:
Moffett1990 Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
I wish my work would get more views but no matter how good it is nobody pays attention to it :/ moffett1990.deviantart.com/art…
Reply
:iconridderkvinden:
Ridderkvinden Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013
Thank you very much for making this really easy-to-read and wonderful guide :) Even though most of us know these things, they are so easy to forget when you're in a hurry, or if you're just so engulfed in writing that your fingers are too fast (or slow) for your mind to keep up :D Thank you again for the really helpful guide, and rest assured I will do my share to recommend it to others by faving it :D
Reply
:iconmylittleprimo:
MyLittlePrimo Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2013
That last bold sentence; any tips on what those new elements are, and/or where I can find elements to experiment with?
Reply
:iconcskadoz:
cskadoz Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013   General Artist
guidelines good! *thump chest* grog feel edu-macated!
Reply
:icon4sauce4:
4sauce4 Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013  Student Writer
:icongeicocavemanplz: :iconsaysplz: sauce glad to help!
Reply
:iconloverofwolves1314:
loverofwolves1314 Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2013  Student General Artist
I posted a few chapters in my story and I think I need to use more words and stuff I guess :P
Reply
:iconbiscuitdude:
BiscuitDude Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
These are some very good guidelines. I know grammar is my weakness - but I do my best to overcome it.
Reply
:icon4sauce4:
4sauce4 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Student Writer
I've known many brilliant writers and creative minds to have some of the worst grammar. It's just another hurdle to leap.
Trust me, getting someone you trust to proofread your work is very, very helpful. Even when you proofread yourself, you're apt to miss things; generally, someone with fresh eyes will catch more than you will.
Good luck to you! :)
Reply
:iconthelegomack:
THELEGOMack Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No one pays me in criticism. :T
Reply
:icon4sauce4:
4sauce4 Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013  Student Writer
Trust me, it's something you really, really have to work at. Just keep persevering, and it will pay off.

Also, you might give this guide a look. [link]
It's pretty lengthy, but I found it very informative and extremely helpful.

Good luck to you!
:)
Reply
:iconorganblower:
organblower Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Well written, to the point, concise, easy to read -- all good advice!
Reply
:icon4sauce4:
4sauce4 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013  Student Writer
Here's hoping that it helps! :D
Reply
:iconstark-23:
Stark-23 Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks! This was really helpful :D
Reply
:icon4sauce4:
4sauce4 Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013  Student Writer
Absolutely :D
Happy to be of service!
Reply
:iconkerriaa1:
Kerriaa1 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013
Thank you very much for the guidelines, it is very much appreciated. Especially not only for beginners, but those who have been writing for quite a while, sometimes, forgetting that the basics can be so important, when you are lost within the realm of your own imagination.
Reply
:icon4sauce4:
4sauce4 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013  Student Writer
It's my pleasure! I'm glad to know you find them helpful. :D

I think we all get lost in our own worlds and stories so much that we overlook simple things from time to time. It's no biggie, but knowing how to correct those things is super important. :)
Reply
:iconkerriaa1:
Kerriaa1 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013
I totally agree ^.^
Reply
:iconpseudinymous:
Pseudinymous Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
... Y'know, I'm actually the founder of TheScribblists, and this is SO going on the front page. :love:

In other words, YE LORDE, THANK-YOU!
Reply
:icon4sauce4:
4sauce4 Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013  Student Writer
I'm honored :D
Thanks you!
Reply
:iconpseudinymous:
Pseudinymous Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Welcome! ^^
Reply
:iconmasako12:
masako12 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much for submitting this guide! I've been dying to find a simple and yet understandable guide for me OwO. When I read it, I understand what my mistakes was and it helped me alot to improve my writing to my stories! So again, I want to thank you >W< :tighthug: :la: :nod: :thumbsup:
Reply
:icon4sauce4:
4sauce4 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Student Writer
I'm so glad it was helpful :D
Good luck to you!
Reply
:iconmasako12:
masako12 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! :nod: :la: :tighthug:
Reply
:iconclockchat:
Clockchat Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013
Hahaha, AMAZING! I definitely will be taking this in mind in the future!
Writing as a whole gets way less hits than visual arts here at DeviantArt, so these are much appreciated, I'd say!
Reply
:icon4sauce4:
4sauce4 Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013  Student Writer
Oh yes. Very right about that. Unless you indulge in Hetalia fanfics, it's incredibly hard to get ahead on DA just in writing. :XD:

I'm still trying to get my foot in the door! ^^;

The best thing to do to showcase ANY work on here is to submit to all kinds of different groups. Along with being actively involved in the writing community, this helps considerably.
Reply
:iconclockchat:
Clockchat Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013
...Woah, I hadn't considered that angle. You know? As expressed in my Journal, I'm just beginning to actually take my account seriously as someone who uploads his own creations instead of just watching others'. So with that in mind, I figured I had to meet people who

1) Were mainly writers
2) Were active deviants

But I have yet to find a most effective way to do it...I was thinking about checking the latest literature submitted and meeting up with people there (That's how I met ya, in fact!) but submitting to different groups does sound like a much more sensitive way to go about it!

This Journal is Greatness, learning so much from it so quickly, hahaha
Reply
:icon4sauce4:
4sauce4 Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013  Student Writer
I'm so pleased I can be of some help to you :)

I've found many great submission simply by checking the latest uploads, but being a part of a group is very effective in meeting other writers and in becoming more well-known yourself. There are plenty of really fantastic lit groups here with very active and talented admins and members. You should definitely check them out. :D
Reply
:iconclockchat:
Clockchat Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013
Will do so! If there's any you'd like to recommend, go right ahead! :D

Just uploaded a new deviation yesterday, so hopefully that can get some views! I do think it's one that will leave people with a smile on their face...
Reply
:icon4sauce4:
4sauce4 Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013  Student Writer
That isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'll be sure to check it out :)

:iconthescribblists: :iconauthors-club: :iconliterallyunknown:
These are a few of my favorites. When you get to their pages, check out their affiliates and find some others from there that sound interesting to you :)
Reply
:iconclockchat:
Clockchat Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013
Thanks a bunch! Lookin' forward to it!...and thanks for the Watch! I see Llamas in your future!

(...Even if I still got no idea of what they're for, haha)

'Literally Unknown', wotta title, seriously. Thanks a lot for these! I'll be sure to check it out :)

(Woah, dejavķ)
Reply
:iconsteamland:
Steamland Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013  Student General Artist
I LOVE IT! Thank you Morgana! ^^
Reply
:icon4sauce4:
4sauce4 Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013  Student Writer
Thank you. Glad you like it!

:D
Reply
:iconsteamland:
Steamland Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013  Student General Artist
welcome your majestciy :bows:
Reply
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