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5 More Things to Increase Your Manuscript's Chances [Jul. 10th, 2008|06:37 pm]
Cat Rambo
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[music |Timbuk3 - Standard White Jesus]

Yesterday I skulked at Tully's for most of the day while the condo was swaddled in plastic and painters. Coming back, I had to break the tape seal on the front door as though it had been hermetically sealed off. Today, I'm not sure what they'll be doing, but I'm off to sit in on the CW classroom.

Anyhow, here's five more things:

6) Check the first paragraph and the ending. I do sometimes stop after one paragraph because I can tell right there that the writer is at the writing level that would require my reshaping all their prose, even with the best idea in the world.  Your beginning (and title) are your chance to hook me into reading all the way through.  Make sure that you begin where you should, because often stories don't get started until the 2nd, 3rd, even 4th page.  And read through that ending. Does it tie off all the loose ends and satisfy the reader? There is no room in first or last paragraphs for excessive words.
7) Make sure attachments are openable. And if they say in the guidelines not to send attachments...well then. I think we all know what your stance on attachments should be under such circumstances.
8) Remember to attach your attachment. I forget this more often than I'd like to admit.
9) Don't be afraid to query politely after a reasonable (as defined by their guidelines, usually) period of time.
10) Take rejection in stride and send them something else.

And the Ultimate Secret? Write well.

[User Picture]From: tanaise
2008-07-11 04:08 pm (UTC)
I did usually try to read past the first paragraph for exactly the same reason that I usually try to give a published novel 50 pages--It's the part that EVERYONE labors over and labors over and labors over, and by the time it's submittable, it can be polished way past what it would be like if the author was asked to scrap those pages and rewrite it. (So, really, my advice for those bits would be something like, "make sure they're tight and clean and then LEAVE THEM ALONE.")
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[User Picture]From: catrambo
2008-07-11 09:22 pm (UTC)
Excellent point.
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