Tuesday, September 26, 2006

And again...

I'm at it again. Editing the manuscript. Cover to cover edit, particularly heavy on the first five chapters. I've edited, revised, removed, rearranged, and rewritten the first five chapters. I've adjusted the pacing, making it quicker to the action. After the prologue, that is. I've rewritten the prologue somewhat, but it was pretty fast paced already. I removed some backstory from the first chapter, trimmed it down and put it back in toward the end of the second chapter, took out some paragraphs, tightened up the dialogue tags, and really made some drastic improvements to the opening chapters. I can't believe how I continue to see ways to improve it, after having edited this thing so many times. Surely I've edited this manuscript a hundred times or more. The good news about that, the way I see it, is that it means I'm learning and getting better at seeing the weaknesses in my writing. That's great. It's also discouraging to know that I had so far to go. I guess it's a good thing that my query letter was so fucked up I hadn't gotten any requests for the manuscipt. As they say, there's a reason for everything. Now, the new and improved query letter should generate some interest, and the manuscript is getting very polished and tight. I should be through it by the end of the weekend and if I have any requests for the full from these recent queries (8 in the last two days), I'll work around the clock if necessary.

I'm into the agent blogs now, big time. What I've learned about the business of getting an agent and getting a publishing contract can't be quantified. I've learned as much from the comments as from the agents, though the ass kissers can be annoying. Miss Snark's blog has an inordinate number of ass kissers. I've never cared much for ass kissers, and some agents have a following, like groupies. They grovel for attention, and when Miss Snark should deign to mention them or in some other way show them attention, they lose control of their bladders much like a delirious puppy does. They are a relatively minor annoyance and many of the people that submit posts have constructive and insightful comments. I've learned much about the professional expectations of the agents and editors from the comments, and rookie mistakes to avoid. The format, for example; I didn't know that it was a huge faux pas (pardon my French) to have hard returns between paragraphs and not indent the first line. My entire manuscript was written like this, and evidently it is the most glaring mark of a rookie, aside from starting out the story with "Once upon a time..." Imagine my relief when I realized what a stroke of luck I'd had in not getting any requests (tongue in cheek, sort of).

But the blogs, yes the blogs. Miss Snark and Evil Editor are my favorites, primarily because not only do they provide me with immediately useful information, they deliver it with such humorous precision that I sometimes find myself laughing out loud. I'm glad I found Agent Kristin's blog, and from there the Snark and EE blogs, I feel like I'm going to school for free.

And now, back to editing...


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