Tuesday, 5/11/2021


A man walks into a bar, sits down, and orders a drink. The bartender serves him and, wanting to curry favor when it came to his tip, engages him with a friendly question: "What do you do?"
   "I'm a writer. Novels mostly," the man says.
   "I've always wanted to write a book," says the woman to his left.
   "I've got a great title for one," the man to his right chimes in, "but I just haven't gotten around to getting started."
   "I was thinking of writing a story," the bartender says, "It's about a bartender and all the funny things that happen to him."

Everyone wants to write a book. A small fraction try. Few of those complete a manuscript.

Whether IQ140 is the 1st or 101st web site you've visited, kudos to you for taking the first steps.


Just as there are conventions about which side of the road on which to drive, there are agreed upon rules for writing well and getting published. Meet those stardards, and with some talent and a little luck, you can spread your words far and wide.

A different focus: The Arc of the Manuscript
IQ140 is not another review of how to create characters, determine point of view, or develop a plot. This is not about Writing; there are hundreds of blogs and books for that and a reading list is provided on the menu.

IQ140 is about those topics briefly and inartfully mentioned in most treatments of writing:
Preparing yourself to write
Managing the production of that first—unpublishable—draft
Penetrating the fog of self-editing in practical terms
Preparing your manuscript for publication
Getting early readers to be honest with you
Dispelling misconceptions about agents and editors
Making that decision: Traditional v. Self-publishing

There are caveats:
The writing of your manuscript is the easiest part of the project.
Editing and polishing are as challenging as creating the first draft.
Few writers sell a sufficient number of books to quit their day-job.

Our mission is to provide meta-direction for how to get this job done. Most treatments of writing teach you how to drive, IQ140 provides a road map with warnings about construction zones and bad weather along the way. Enjoy the journey.
NEXT: How to Produce a Novel
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How to Produce a Novel
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Stage I: First Draft
  Stage I, page 2
  Stage I, page 3
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  Preparation for Self-Editing
Stage II: Self-Editing
  Stage II, page 2
  Stage II, page 3
Stage III: Feedback/Review
Stage IV: Publishing
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