Tag Archives: manuscripts

Deep editing: Make each word count

onewildword

In July, I took Margie Lawson’s Immersion Master Class, an intensive three and a half day workshop on deep editing. My brain is still teeming with all the tips we learned to turn our manuscripts into bestsellers.

One day, as we reviewed one of my first-draft chapters in my current project, we came across a short paragraph about a character’s driving skills.

In the scene, my character is driving along a dark, windy road in the mountains at night when he comes across my protagonist walking along the side of the road after she’d just seen her maybe-boyfriend sucking face with another woman. (Every time I hear the words “sucking face,” I think of the 1981 movie “On Golden Pond,” where I first heard the term. The power of fresh writing!)

Anyway, the driver of the car offers my protagonist a ride home (she knows him—he’s the new man…

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Character development: God is in the details

onewildword

In her blog post, “Revealing Character Through Details,” Julie Eshbaugh quotes Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969,) who famously said, “God is in the details.”

A German-born, American architect, van der Rohe did not mean the more details the better. He meant it’s the small, subtle details that can give a building (and per Eshbaugh a book) the power to transcend the common.

In other words, look for telling-details that will relay worlds of information about your character to the reader. My character may have red hair, green cat eyes, freckles and a stand-out bosom but what makes her unique and memorable isn’t her outer description it’s the fact that she used to be a kleptomaniac and her eye is still drawn to bright, shiny objects, even when she’s having a serious conversation with somebody. Her eyes are greedy.

Reader Eshbaugh’s post for some fantastic examples and help in finding your…

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What Silence in Publishing Really Means

Carly Watters, Literary Agent

calendar_agenda The dreaded silence. Everyone who has submitted a project to an agent, or works in the business knows about silence.

Here’s my guide to what silence from agents and editors really means and why you shouldn’t jump to conclusions:

1. We haven’t read it

This is the most common reason. If you’re nudging an agent after 4 weeks and you think, “4 weeks! They’ve had it forever! They must have read it by now.” Honestly, for an agent, 4 weeks is not a lot of time. Depending on the time of year those can be a busy 4 weeks of client deals, conferences, editor lunches, proposal writing, pitch writing, and client manuscript editing. I’ve talked about this before–that client work comes first–but if you think about it: reading a manuscript takes 4-6 hours for me. That means if multiple clients send me their work AND I have multiple unsolicited manuscripts…

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