Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Writing: Don't Give Up
Do Not Give Up!
You may be closer than you think to becoming a published author.
I briefed nine manuscripts this past week. The authors were rejected by one of my clients, a major publisher. Three of those manuscripts were great. So, why were they rejected? They were rejected because they were not quiet ready for publication, that's why.
As a freelance writer, I am pulling for the writers of the above mentioned three manuscripts. As a paid editor, my responsiblity to my client is to toss the manuscript and go to the next one, however, I cannot. There's trouble going on between my ears. The writer in me is a nagging moralist that makes me feel like I've betrayed all writers by supporting the rejection, but the publisher is paying my bills. So, what do I do?
I contact those writers and offer what a rejection letter does not. You guessed it: I offer advice.
Why am I writing this particular post? I want you to know that your manuscripts may be closer to publishing than you realize. In honor of my client publishers, I am not at liberty to mention names, just yet, however, many good books are turned down simply because editors do not have time to read them. If only I had more time. I would edit the good manuscripts for free. Yes, I would. I cannot help myself. I love this game.
How I love this game.
A wise person once said, "If your game in life is not worth playing, find another game."
I agree with the sage. Great manuscripts are worth saving. I'm asking other editors out there (no, I'm begging) to please, please take an otherwise rejected manuscript home this weekend and give the writer a few pointers. It will reward you. If the good manuscript is published, you'll have yourself a most loyal writer. Remember, loyalty works both ways.
Sure, you might say, but Barry are you doing what you're requesting of us?
Yes, I am. Well, to an extent, I am. I don't have time to read complete manuscripts that are already rejected, however, I will help correct what I call "bad chapters" to an otherwise good book. Some of you (editors) have good manuscripts with a couple bad chapters that turned you off, please, don't outright reject it. Contact me, I will help with it.
So, do I practice what I preach...or what?
For those aspiring novelist out there whose editors have directly pointed out bad chapters, yet you don't know what to do with them, send me an e-mail. Please be brief, as time is of the essence. Send me a summary of the problem. Summary. That's a two pager. If I agree to help you, I will request a chapter. We will work with it over a couple of days, at which time you may be ready to move to the next problem with your manuscript.
How's that for service?
Remember, I have time to review one chapter only....the bad chapter that is otherwise, inhibiting the publication of a good book. Most books have a hindering spirit....somewhere within the text, prior to publication.
Hang in there and someday soon the mail carrier will arrive with an exciting acceptance letter.
So, there it is. Don't give up. Define the chapter(s) that's hindering the progress of your book and do something about it.
So, what are you waiting for?