Writing Guide Part 6
Proofing And Submitting Your Story
Welcome to the final installment of our writing guide series. If you have been following along each month, you should now be ready to submit your story. Hopefully your writing experience has been rewarding and as much of a help to you as your story will be for our readers.
This month’s writing guide is focused on proof reading and making any final edits to your story. Remember, we will have our own editors take care of grammar, spelling and punctuation as well as resolving any style conflicts. We want your story to be in your own voice, so we will not change the content and overall tone. What you do need to do is to proof read for accuracy, chronology, and to be sure the content includes what you are comfortable with sharing. Once you submit your story and the book goes into print, there is no going back and no recalling details of your life that you didn’t really want to share with the world.
As you proof read, keep the reading audience clearly in mind. Remember that readers will be young people and allies who don’t yet understand the “LGBT world.” If you share any sexual experiences, please edit them so they would be appropriate for your mother to read. Have a clear point for sharing these kinds of experiences and focus on how the experience influenced your journey and less on the eroticism of the event. Please eliminate any profanity and take the time to explain any uses of police jargon or slang.
Reconsider carefully any names you use in your story. Remember that the actual names of people, agencies, and locations are less important than the circumstances of your story. We strongly recommend not using any real last names of people and to only use agency names after getting permission from the chief executive. Avoid using the real name of anyone associated with a negative experience or in a away that could ever subject you to any suspicion of slander or defamation of character.
One great way to test your story for clarity and flow is to have someone else read it from start to finish. Ask your reader to visualize and feel your story in the words you have written. Remember the goal is to take the reader into your life so that they can see reflections of their own life and experience in your story.
Finally, remember that there is no limit on the length of your story. If you’ve written it, then we intend to respect the importance of every word and will include it in the book. We do reserve the right, however, to edit out content that is not appropriate for young readers including overly sexual content and profanity.
Once you have completed proof reading your story, you are ready to submit it. Be sure to save your final version in a format that is compatible with Microsoft Word or Apple Pages. Do send your story using an image format that cannot be edited with Microsoft Word or Apple Pages. Now go to www.comingoutfrombehindthebadge.com and select Submit A Story from the menu at the top of the page. Follow the directions to upload your story. Once we receive it and confirm we can open and edit your document, we will send you a confirmation and you are good to go.
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story. You have no idea how many men and women you have already helped.