Tip 10:Make sure your draft is the best it can be before you show it to a publisher or an agent

by richard on June 3, 2011

r litter 5 300x200 Tip 10:Make sure your draft is the best it can be before you show it to a publisher or an agent

This post relates to my blog series on the top ten tips to writing a novel. Visit my archives to see the full list, and other relevant postings.

This could be the most important tip of all. Everyone in this industry would agree you only get one shot with an agent or a publisher. They have too many manuscripts / ideas / proposals to get through to be able to come back to one of them after they have already knocked it back. So when you show it to a professional that you hope will want to take it on, make sure it is the absolute best that you can do.

After having partners, family members, friends, and teachers read your work for grammar, spelling, continuity, thought flow, etc, look into finding a manuscript assessor that has experience with your genre. This is good for two reasons. Being well versed in your style of writing, they will have some excellent tips on how to make it better for the paying customer, and as importantly, a publishing house’s editor. If they are well connected (and like your work), they may even be able to recommend particular agents or publishers who might have a fit with your work.

Bear in mind, that if your manuscript is accepted by someone, you can expect a publisher’s editor to suggest what you might consider to be dramatic changes. It might be re writing sections, deleting others, changing the narrative, etc. After all you have done, this might feel like starting from scratch, but it’s advice you have to take. And hey, isn’t it nice to have someone offering that advice?

Richard Jagger formerly worked in the biotechnology industry, and has completed his first novel “The Cure”. Apart from writing his second novel, he works as a professional photographer. He has had two solo photographic exhibitions and one joint painting exhibition. Further information can be found at www.richardjagger.com

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