Monday, March 11, 2013

Your editor or agent probably has a list of problems to watch for as they read your work----

One, two or even five of the listed problems or errors may not make him or her reject your manuscript if it is otherwise readable because each professional reader, editor or agent is seeking an interesting, well-written, salable manuscript. Each professional reader has in his or her head a certain number of errors and omissions considered a personal limit. The number varies, but if this personal “stop” is reached, it will cause rejection of your manuscript.

As you work through your fourth, fifth or sixth revision—imagine your agent or editor sitting at a desk with this checklist and a pencil, reading your pages. You can stay under that reader’s particular error limit, whatever it may be, by eliminating as many of the problems addressed in this book as possible during the writing process. When you finish writing you can double-check to eliminate more during each revision.

Most writers find that when they revise their work the third or fourth time, they are so sick of looking at it they begin to skip—to hurry through. When that happens, put your work away for a week if possible before attempting to work on it again. It also helps to edit by reading each paragraph starting at the end of the work.

Another way to revise is to change the form of your work—make the words look different on the page. If you are revising on screen, single-space or print each chapter out. If you are working with a printed version, triple-space or single-space for the next print for revision.

Keep Writing

From Writer to Author

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