Thursday, September 13, 2012

Paying Attention

It's ALWAYS important to pay attention to what you're doing, even in the realm of writing.  When you're driving, distractions can kill (DON'T TEXT!).  When you're working a crane at a construction site, distractions can kill.  When you're baking a cake, distractions can kill... your cake.  And the same is true with manuscripts.

I say this because I recently received a rejection from someone whose query guidelines ask for 50 pages of the book.  That's basically a cold-query with built-in partial.  Now there are many reasons why I could've received a rejection, but if forced to guess, I would have to say that I missed some GLARING continuity errors!

How could this happen?  I wasn't paying attention.  I found these errors just this week while going through and making changes based on feedback I received at the conference.  Sure, they only commented on the first ten pages, but other people want to see more of my work.  I figured it wouldn't hurt to go through and make sure it's as clean as it possibly can be.  And I found some issues.

Missing words or misplaced commas (if they're few and far-between) may not do a lot of harm in the long run, but I felt like a complete newbie when I found sentences that pointed back to conversations I wrote out of my book.  Honestly, if I was an agent considering that work, I would've rejected it, no matter how solid the rest of the writing was.

Again, I only got a "Dear Author" response, so there could be many reasons why I didn't get a full request.  But poor writing is always a good indicator.

Now lest you think that I'm here to complain, I'm not.  I'm excited because people DO want to read my book!  And I'm laughing about the mistake I made because it was an easy fix, and I can only blame myself.  Beating myself up would be a waste of time.  I learned my lesson, and I hope to pass on a grain of wisdom to all of you.

Now I'm off to work.  I'll pay attention today because I'm probably going to be driving a truck.  Or operating a forklift.  The only deaths I plan to cause will be fictitious characters in novels that I write.

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