The 3 Essential Questions to Ask When Editing Your MS

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By Catherine Matthews

Pencils down, computer off—you’ve officially finished your manuscript. Hooray! Congratulations! Now you’re off to find an agent…except that there’s just one more step you need to take before pursuing representation. You, my friend, have reached the editing stage—and it’s the most crucial point in your writing journey, because without it you may just be dooming all your hard work to remain unread and under-appreciated. If query letters are the promise of brilliant work, then your manuscript needs to follow through on that promise with a story that slays from plot to punctuation. So how do you do it? How do you return to a work that you could quote in your sleep with fresh eyes and a big red pen? Continue reading “The 3 Essential Questions to Ask When Editing Your MS”

Eight Rookie Mistakes to Watch for in Your Writing

A few months ago I was digging through the boxes of my old stuff at my parents’ house looking for goodness knows what and happened upon the flash drive containing all of my high school writing endeavors. I was so excited to plug in the flash drive and start reading. But man, am I happy high school me refused to let anyone read her stories!

It seems I was a huge fan of what I can only assume was supposed to be “witty” dialogue, using Word’s built in thesaurus, and starting every story with the main character waking up. Every. Single. One.

As an editor, I wanted to delete every single story immediately. Or maybe set the flash drive on fire, run it over with a car, and figure out a way to weigh it down and drop it in the middle of the Atlantic. But as I read through and saw all of these mistakes, I was actually happy to be seeing them. It means I’ve grown, right? Continue reading “Eight Rookie Mistakes to Watch for in Your Writing”

What Are Agents Really Looking for in Partials and Fulls?

Lots of writers ask why agents bother asking for a partial manuscript. After all, what can agents really find in those fifty pages? Wouldn’t it save a lot of time if agents just asked for the full?

Short answer? No. Not at all. Aside from just saving a lot of time, agents are also looking to see if they want to read more of your work. It’s much easier to give an interesting idea a fair shot when agents know they are only going to be committed to a shorter read. You’ve piqued the interest of the agent in your original query and now they want to see what else you’ve got.

Unfortunately, this seems to lead to heated debates with writers questioning whether or not agents can glean enough of the story to decide whether it’s good or not with only fifty pages. Continue reading “What Are Agents Really Looking for in Partials and Fulls?”

Amber Mitchell Discusses Her Journey To Becoming A Published Author

Today we’re talking with Amber Mitchell about her journey to publishing her first novel, Garden of Thorns, hitting shelves on March 6, 2017. Amber graduated from the University of South Florida with a BA in Creative Writing. She currently lives in a small town in Florida with her husband Brian and their four cats. Continue reading “Amber Mitchell Discusses Her Journey To Becoming A Published Author”