You may be a natural. Maybe you studied Creative Writing or English Composition in College. Don’t use that degree as a crutch or allow it to lull you into a false sense of security.
Competition is fierce. Learn how to write like a professional before you submit a mediocre manuscript. Just because it sounds good to you doesn’t mean it’s right. You should not be figuring out how to write by trial and error. That’s what I did. I completed a manuscript and prepared it for submission. At least I thought I was finished. It looked and read good to me. I even had a friend read it to make sure it was a good story.
My first feedback from a Literary Agent stated that my manuscript was full of grammatical and structural errors and the dialogue dragged. I read through the manuscript several times before submitting it and thought it was good to go. I never realized how bad it really was. I followed up on the constructive criticism I received and was appalled. How could I have missed so much?
My take from the incident-Before you even start writing seriously, you need to research and learn your craft. If you’ve already started writing a novel, consider a pause to backtrack and gather the tools necessary to complete your task in a satisfactory manner.
You don’t have to put a lot of money into writing if you have a computer and the internet. There is a world of information right at your fingertips. When I go online I stick with writers who have been published that I recognize and respect. One of my favorites as mentioned in previous blogs is Jerry Jenkins. He will also direct you to other bloggers who are in the publishing business that can help you navigate this journey.
I would also recommend taking classes and of course reading. One of the most recommended books out there for writers, new and published, is “The Element of Style” by William Shrunk and E.B. White. I was able to get this book through ebooks on Amazon for free. It’s an excellent resource providing information on how to use punctuation in novels, words and expressions commonly misused, frequently misspelled words, elementary principles of composition, and much more. There is a newer revised version available for purchase, but I don’t think that’s necessary. That would be your call.
You can also get samples of many of the books relevant to what you are doing through Amazon at no cost. These sample books range from 25-50 pages and are packed with very useful information. I have gotten several on creative writing-a weakness of mine. Last but not least, check out your local library.
Do your homework! Learn how to write then write that novel. Don’t put the cart before the horse. If it’s too late because your novel is already written, that’s ok. You got it done now get it good. Just means you are in the same boat I was in. A little more work but it will get there.
I would like to ask you to consider becoming a follower of my blog. My promise to you is that I will provide information that you can use on your journey to becoming published.
I am open to any comments that will help me to become a better blogger and would like to know what you think.