Google Doc Basics For INK Members

Before Submitting To The Queue
The people who edit and make comments and suggestions are doing this work for free. All of us are donating our time, and some of us are professional writers and editors. We owe it to ourselves to edit our work prior to submitting it to the queue. It’s been said the work of writing is rewriting and there is truth in that. 

If you have specific questions or concerns regarding your submission, please add a note at the top–either in plain text or italics above the title or in a comment. Information can also be added at the bottom, after the end of your text, if you have specific plans for your piece that ought to be considered in editing but that shouldn’t taint the reader’s initial reaction. For example, if you plan to market it to a specific style of publisher or to a contest where the judging expectations can impact how your piece is written. 

If your piece is part of a longer work, consider adding a blurb at the top summarizing previous story. You can also add a blurb at the bottom with where you intend to go with the story. This information might have an impact on feedback.

Formatting Submissions
Across the top of the screen you find most of the common controls expected of a word processor. Unless there is a truly compelling reason, you should be using Normal text, Arial (or Times New Roman), with a font size of either 11 or 12. (To find out if you have a compelling reason, ask a moderator at INK on discord.) There is no need to double space, since we aren’t printing them and scribbling in the spaces between the lines.

Paragraphs should be separated by a double line. If you are formatting for mainstream publication and don’t want to clutter with extra returns, please format your paragraph to add a line between paragraphs. The extra white space is easier on the eyes when editing online. Block style is preferred, but it’s okay if we indent our first line. Styles such as italics, bold, and headlines can be used.

Setting Permissions
You’ll need to create a link to use when you submit your work to the queue. Click the blue Share button at the top right of your screen to bring up the dialog box. Use the options to set the permission for anyone with the link to be able to comment. Then copy that link to post in the Review-Request room at INK.

Resolving Comments
Never Edit While In The Queue.

Comments may develop into a comment stream over time. As the original author, once we’re satisfied that we have enough comments to work with, we remove our submission from the queue. It is then that we start to address the comments and make edits/changes to our text.

Never edit our work while it is in the queue. Once it’s removed, we can get to work on it. Editing a submission that is in the queue can result in forcible removal from the queue. Repetitive issues with this can have you banned from the workshops.

Before resolving any comments, it’s often a good idea to make a copy of the document with all the comments included. Then do all your editing and comment resolution, preserving an edit trail you might want to use later. That way if something goes wrong, you can always go back to the original, unedited version, or restore certain sections.

Just under the title at the top left of the screen, click File and select “Make a copy…” to bring up the dialog box.

Tick the box that says “Copy comments and suggestions” and click OK.

There may be opposing views expressed in each comment stream. It’s up to you as the author to choose which, if any, you want to use. You can ignore all of them if you want. The work is yours. Remember, however, that if editors feel you ignore too much of their advice, they may choose not to review future submissions you make. Sometimes it is best to take some time to let any emotional reactions settle before deciding whether to ignore advice completely. Also remember that the comment probably indicates some sort of issue, even if you choose to resolve it in a far different fashion than the editor suggests. Once you’ve decided what to do about the comments, can click the Resolve button and the comment stream is gone.