I Brake for Research

I had to stop working on the middle grade mystery I was writing.  You see, I brake for research. Sometimes as I’m writing a story, I find I’m lacking a bit more background information. So I’ll put aside my writing for a bit so I can dig into some books or articles or whatever I can find to give me a better understanding of an incident or a time period or a fact I need to use. In this case, I need some more details about a specific time in California’s history.

How long will this “brake” last? It all depends. I’m finding a number of sources that are very useful, so it may be a brief stop before I can take up where I left off.

Don’t be afraid to put the brakes on if you find you need more info for your stories. It will make for a more accurate manuscript in the long run.

Keeping Track

I hope all of you are keeping track of your submissions. It’s vital to know what you sent, who you sent it to, and when you sent it. I used my Excel program to create submission sheets for manuscripts and articles. I even included a space for notes so I can jot down any contact I have with the publisher, like if my article is being sent on for further review. There is also a space for payment amount, which I highlight when my check is received. At the end of the year I add up the highlighted areas to tell me how much I made.

I plan on making a few new submission sheets. One for queries (including snail mail and e-mail), and sheets to track individual manuscripts so I know at a glance all the publishers I sent that one story to.

Make sure you’re keeping track of where your stories are going. You will find it a tremendous help, especially at tax time.