Monday, March 12, 2012
The Little Foxes Spoil The Writing Vine
Like Red Riding Hood, we think the big, bad wolf presents the most danger to arriving at grandma's publishing house in one piece. Unfortunately, the little foxes can destroy our writing dreams.
As writers, we spazz over big stuff like getting an agent or editor. Does our story have the big emotional reaction, lots of tension, and multi-faceted characters? All of those things are important, but there are small things that can spoil our writing vine. Let's look at a few of them:
1) Writers Guidelines - ignore them and pay a hefty price. Agents and editors are looking for reasons to hand out rejections. When they receive material that doesn't meet their requirements, it's easy to send it to the circular file (wastebasket).
2) Grammar & Spelling - If we don't have the basics down, publishing pros will assume our storytelling ability is also lacking.
3) A Half-Baked Idea - Like a cake that's not quite done, this idea needs further development.
4) Copying Other Writers - I once heard an author say, "God made you an original. Don't end life as a copy." It's one thing to admire the talents of others, but we need to develop our own voice.
5) The Publishing Industry - It works in its own peculiar way. The more we know about how a book gets into print, the better the chances are we'll succeed.
Paying attention to the details will produce big dividends. It may mean the difference between an editor or agent tossing our manuscript aside or turning the page.
Writers: Can you think of other small things that can spoil your writing vine? Let's talk. :)
Readers: Does it drive you batty when authors produce awkward sentences or misuse words? Please give an example.