As you walk away with practical advice for preparing your manuscript, you’ll feel full — of accomplishment, of excitement to edit, of coffee and snacks.
Think carefully about multiple and simultaneous submissions.
Let me show you how I triage inbound submissions for “The 3288 Review” — with pointers about the most common reasons we decline to accept a query package.
While it may be true that certain writing rules apply broadly, or even universally, the application of those rules can vary widely as a function of genre and story length.
One of the worst things an author can do is shop queries on the open market for material that hasn’t been substantially revised in light of feedback from competent beta readers.
We believe best practices depend less on how a document looks on the screen, and more how it’s internally structured for interoperability among the different programs that contribute to a robust editorial process flow.
Many authors rely on Word or Writer and they do just fine. But those programs weren’t designed for long-form creative writing in mind. Word and Writer are ubiquitous; people tend to have these programs and they already know how to use them, so they use them. And no one begrudges them that. But wouldn’t it be great to use the right tool for the job? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to make use of programs designed for long-form writing and optimized for use with publishing software, or to add plugins to Word to make it more useful for long-form writing?
A self-directed writer’s retreat, even if lasts just one marathon day, can help you get your bearings for the year to come and to re-acquaint you with your portfolio.
A NaNo novel that “wins” by Nov. 30 probably isn’t ready for shopping until the spring, after rounds of self-editing, beta reading and professional editing.
Going through edits for The 3288 Review and Brewed Awakenings 2, I’ve come across several trends common to several writers. Study these errors to improve your technical proficiency as a writer.
With a slush pile that, all told, now approaches a half-million words, we’ve had the opportunity to evaluate submissions from more than 80 different authors, in genres ranging from single short poems to overly long novels
Although every publisher has its own set of checks and its own standard editorial flow, it makes sense to shed some light into how the Caffeinated Press editorial process unfolds — at a minimum, to provide insight to writers about how at least one publisher prepares manuscripts for marketing.
As an author, you want a manuscript so polished that the publisher doesn’t read the first page and say: “Obviously a first draft.” You’ll be better equipped to pass that test if you have tough beta readers who make you sweat the small stuff.
Scene-setting isn’t easy. There’s no magical paint-by-numbers approach for getting it right. When done well, a perfectly described scene can make a story; when done poorly, the story collapses.
Balancing diction and tone and rhythm to generate a character’s authentic voice makes for tough work for any author. But perhaps even more important than a character’s voice is the structural framework into which that narration sits.
One of the most common structural reasons a person’s manuscript may receive the cold shoulder from an agent or publisher follows from the apparently random admixture of narrative points of view within a story.
Good writers know that the trial-by-fire from beta readers or professional editors is what brings our newborn manuscript through its long, painful adolescence known as “rewrites” until we finally have a mature product ready for the market.