Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Manuscript Submissions: The Importance of Proofreading

I don't have time to blog; it's a proofreading day. Before submitting a final draft for potential publication, I read my manuscript several times to be certain its content is flawless. I don’t assume the publisher’s editor will fix my typos, poor grammar and incorrect facts. Professional editing is expensive. A publisher won’t accept a manuscript they think will cost them a fortune in repairs. Another tip about submitting manuscripts: avoid weird fonts, coloured paper and other gimmicks. They will only distract and annoy the editor. You want to make the reading of your manuscript as painless as possible for the editor. I've arranged for a crew to massage my editor's feet, play soothing music, and serve her wine while she reads.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Another Thing I Love About Writing

I love the way I’ll surprise myself in the middle of a manuscript. I’ll be writing a chapter with a specific idea in mind, and something completely unexpected and wild will happen. This can be good or bad--good if it enhances the plot; bad if it takes the story in a direction it’s not meant to go. In the latter case I will eventually run into a dead end and have to backtrack to where the story derailed. It’s important to check your roadmap (your outline) periodically to ensure your creative detour isn’t getting you hopelessly lost.

Just because your wayward idea doesn’t work with this novel doesn’t mean you have to discard it. Save it for another journey. One day you might come back this way with a new book.