Dramaquill's All Things Writing

August 16, 2013

Writing Advice: Questions From My Readers Part Three

Question:  With all the time it takes to write a book, then submit it and survive all the rejections, why makes you not want to give up?

I would imagine that this is definitely something that rings close to home with every writer in some way.  Even the most famous writers have plenty of rejection stories.

So, I’m just going to answer this question according to how I feel about the writing biz and its process.

This may sound corny or perhaps even trite to some of you but I’ll risk it because what I’m about to say is 100% the truth.

I was born to write!   Plain and simple.

Yes, it’s a lot of work to write a book.  I think I had about six drafts before I felt that my manuscript was ready to submit to publishers.

Do your homework.  Find out which publishers are the absolute best fit for what you write.  Go to conferences (or if you can’t afford the travel, participate in online conferences) where you can meet editors or at least listen to them speak about what they look for when choosing new works.

Make sure you’re pitching your absolute best work!!!!!  This bears repeating.
Make sure you’re pitching your absolute best work!

Learn to craft an enticing query letter and a killer synopsis.  These are the tools that will get an editor to ask to see your manuscript.

Learn from the rejections.  Did you get any feedback?

What is your ultimate goal with your writing?

If you are writing with the goal of getting published, research the traditional markets carefully and follow submission instructions to the letter.  If you decide to self-publish, you’ll have to be even more steadfast about putting your best foot forward.  Get a professional critique.  Join a critique group.  Pay someone to design your cover.  Don’t let your book look amateur.

The writing biz is hard.  The process can be very slow.  You will get rejections – probably more than acceptances.

I can’t imagine letting any of this stop me from pursuing my writing career.

 

January 6, 2009

FINAL REVISIONS – When is enough, enough?

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I submitted my final chapters of my adult suspense novel to my online critique group on Monday and am now waiting for the critiques to come in.  I’m excited about the entire process because it pushes me one step closer to my finished, polished, manuscript.

What I submitted to them was my fifth revision.  I truly believe that my manuscript has grown and my writer’s voice has become stronger with each re-write.  I’ve especially noticed a difference in my characters, implementing “showing” instead of “telling” and in my ability to write POV.

We’ve all read comments from agents and editors regarding bad writing.  If we truly want a shot at getting our book published, we know that we have to submit our very best work. 

But at some point, the time must come when we set down our critical eye and stop revising and re-writing and start querying.  I believe I’m now at that point.

I do believe that some amateur writers  sub out manuscripts that are not ready.  I can’t say enough how important it is to get feedback from others (and this doesn’t mean your friends and your family).  Join a critique group!

But I also know that it would be quite easy to continue to revise, re-write and tweak this manuscript forever and never consider it finished.

As writers, what we sub out should always be our best work.  But when is enough, enough?

When you’re positive this is your best work.  You’ve checked and double checked for typos, grammar, puctuation and proper formatting.  You’ve read and re-read the submission guidelines for your target agents and/or publishers.  You feel pumped about sending out this project that has consumed you for so long.

So I’m going out today to stock up on ink for my printer and packages of paper.  I will print out this final draft and begin the task of reading it backwards, to find any mistakes I may have missed.  I will give it to my critique partner for one last look.  I will begin drafting my query letter, which I will also sub to my critique group.

And finally, I will search through the agents and publishers I’ve been collecting throughout this entire project and begin with my first round of queries.

How are you doing with your revisions?  Do you know when enough is enough?

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