Almost every week I receive a letter from an aspiring author asking for advice on how to get an agent. My best advice is to have a finished manuscript. Not a first draft. Not a second draft. Not third or fourth—but a well constructed and edited manuscript.
I’ve had writers send me copies of their query letters asking for suggestions. After reading them I’ve thought…wow… these are great letters. Why were they rejected? Then I read samples of the manuscripts and I understand why they were rejected. The characters are often underdeveloped, the plot sags, grammatical errors.
I often wonder—why do some writers get into such a terrible rush? My advice is to savor your story, perfect it, and then submit it.Here is something to keep in mind....
A few years ago I did temp work at a retail store. The owner of the store was a very impatient, stressed out man. He wanted to build a huge empire overnight. One day he came into work with a new tie. Featured on the tie was a picture of ancient Rome. Apparently his wife bought him the tie as a reminder that…Rome wasn’t built in a day.
I believe the same could be said for writing and publication. Take your time, it will help to ensure a stronger manuscript and a better chance at publication.
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