A little bit of advice from one who is also still learning…….
From one newish writer (of novels) to all those like her.
I started my 1st MS in October 2009, while in Paris.
I woke up with the entire novel ready, in my head. All I had to do was type.
After 10 days of straight typing and checking facts (Historical-Fantasy) I had almost completed the entire first draft. After 3 weeks the first draft was done.
I didn’t know what to do next.
I had written and had published several poems, but this was a very different animal. Luckily for me I found WN. The people on here guided, critiqued and set me straight.
After ‘rushing’ to get my MS out (before it was ready – although I didn’t know it was not), and getting countless rejections, again I turned to my WN friends.
This was the general advice:
• Read other novels
• Re-read your own MS
• Set it aside and start project 2 - give the MS time to develop before you kick it again!
• And again………….
Almost 15 months later I have a MS I am proud of. It has been plucked, teased, tweeked, cut, feed and re-written at least 20 times. I was finally happy with the end product.
But I remembered what my WN friends said so I send out 3 complete copies for various friends/family to read, word for word. I was looking to ‘pick-up’ grammar, spelling and tense errors, but to be honest, I thought I would not have so many.
Thus far, one friend has read 70 pages, one has read 30 and my dad 20 pages. And guess what? On almost every page at least one error. But better still, each of them has found different errors.
So now its time for me to ‘finally fix’ everything.
If it had not been for my WN friends teaching me and my actual friends being honest with me, I would NEVER have seen the errors.
I typed conservation, but should have typed conversation.
I read and re-read this a dozen times but as I knew what I was writing, I missed it every time. One of my friends did not. Now its fixed.
Typed property - but should have typed propriety. (so easy to do)
LISTEN! Don’t be so arrogant as to not LISTEN!
RE-WRITE! Don’t be so vain as to think your 1st, 2nd, 3rd draft it the FINAL PRODUCT.
This has been my experience and I am sure that of pretty much every writer. My message is simple, when you think you are done, ask someone else to confirm it for you. Better still, ask 2-3 someone elses!
Sometimes you get only 1 or 2 opportunities to get your work to a good lit agent; don't waste it.