Monday, June 28, 2010

When it is ready....

Many an aspiring writer hears it all the time that the most important thing to present to an agent or editor is a perfect query letter. It is true but it is not the most important single thing in your arsenal to gain an acceptance. There is an entire package of components that make up a proposal that will shine.

But first and foremost is your manuscript. You want your beginning sentences to hook the reader. You want clear, tight writing, vivid narrative, and strong dialogue. This blog is not going to teach you writing skills. Instead I only want to encourage you to make sure before you send out your proposal with sample chapters that your manuscript is absolutely, undeniably ready.

How do you know when your manuscript it ready? I will let you make some comments in that regard. It will be interesting to see what readers of InSpire have to say. For me personally, it is when I know I have revised all I can and that the storyline flows without pause or interruption, and when all the questions readers would ask have been answered.

What about you?


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rita -

I've done one-sheets but never a query letter or proposal. All of my approaches to agents or editors have occurred at writers conferences.

Susan :)

Jan Cline said...

I'm not sure if I will ever be totally confident that my MS is ready. After you have gone over it and over it and over it. and it's been edited and critiqued by someone who knows what they're doing, there has to come a point when you stop and say "Ive done my best". Am I right?

Rita Gerlach said...

Hi Susan,
You are a step ahead with the one sheets. I just learned how to make one for my agent. At some point if you start submitting to agents and publishers, you'll need to write a query. They are pretty much a breeze.

Jan, you are so right. But there comes a point when we have to say we've done all we can and hope it lands in the hands of an editor who will polish our manuscripts to a high sheen.