What Happens to your story before Publication

So, ever wonder what happens to your story in-between the submitted Word document and the final output? Here is a quick overview of what I do.

  1. I copy and paste the story into plain text. This strips out all formatting, all styles, but most importantly, all of the sins of the word processor used to create it.
  2. It is Find and Replace time! Remove the Tabs, and double spaces after punctuation. Change it so ultimately it is two hard returns after a paragraph, with no hard or soft ones in-between.
  3. Quotes are straightened, single and double. Each dash and hyphen is inspected to ensure it is the correct punctuation mark.
  4. Any spacing between sections is normalized. I use either * * * or just blank space.
  5. I open up the original again, and reformat any italics in the piece. I check to make sure the paragraph breaks are correct, all the section breaks were marked.

And now I have a clean and correctly formatted version of your story in a TXT file. From here, I can convert it to DOCX or EPUB or just about anything I want without formatting worries. If there is a change to be made, I can make it in the TXT file, and it is changed everywhere.

Submittable Status Changes (a primer)

There are a few different statuses offered by Submittable to the reader as they go through the review process.

The mostly obvious ones are “withdrawn”, “accepted” and “declined”. These three are pretty clear. “Accepted” appears in green, and “declined” in red to further the point, but with each the word is sufficient.

The trouble comes with the first ones you see: “received” and “in progress”. Specifically that “in progress” one causes much confusion.

“Received” for the most part is self explanatory. The confusion comes with the how, when and why it changes to “in progress”. For the most part, this change in the status offers little to no real information to the writer, and I would prefer it to be removed all together.

Here are the things that cause that change:

  1. Voting on the submission
  2. Leaving a note
  3. Changing the editor assignment (does not require opening the submission)
  4. Opening for editing (does not require opening the submission)
  5. Adding a tag (does not require opening the submission)

Things that do NOT change the status change:

  1. Opening the submission
  2. Reading the story
  3. Forming an opinion on the story

In other words, the editors and readers can interact with your submission and the status won’t change at all. Or, in the case of changing editorial assignments, cause it to change to “in progress” without even opening it.

That means your status can go from “received” to “accepted” without ever seeing “in progress”. It also means it can go to “in progress” without anyone ever looking at it. Either way, the status is offering not much to the writer other than confusion.

The more you know…. star swoosh

WordPress Twenty Sixteen Child Theme

A quick nerdy post that may help someone in the future. I wanted to modify the WordPress Twenty Sixteen Theme for this site to change the fonts and then add some classes to handle some new features.

(like this nifty Amazon preview on the Extrospections page)

The layout of the css file isn’t the easiest to change, so I had to pull out all the classes that had the font-family properties and arrange them together.

Below is a skeleton for your child theme’s css. The first set is to change the two predominate fonts, the serif and san-serif choices. The next are the @media calls, if you’d like to add to (as I did) or alter the behavior as the site transitions from desktop to mobile.

 Theme Name:  
 Theme URI: 
 Description:  Twenty Sixteen Child Theme
 Author URI:   
 Template:     twentysixteen
 Version:      1.0.0
 License:      GNU General Public License v2 or later
 License URI:  http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-2.0.html
 Text Domain:  twenty-sixteen-child


/*Serif  */
textarea {

/* change font family here */


.tagcloud a,
.pingback .edit-link,
.comment-form label,
.widecolumn label,
.widecolumn .mu_register label  {

/* change font family here */


/* Media levels in Twenty Sixteen */

 * 14.1 - >= 710px

@media screen and (min-width: 44.375em) {

} /* media 710px */

 * 14.2 - >= 783px

@media screen and (min-width: 48.9375em) {

} /* media 738px */

 * 14.3 - >= 910px

@media screen and (min-width: 56.875em) {

} /* media 910px */

 * 14.4 - >= 985px

@media screen and (min-width: 61.5625em) {

} /* media 985px */