Just wanted to share this writing tip with newbie writers. If you’ve just finished your book and you’re ready to submit it…think again. Better yet, SIT ON IT!
What am I saying? I’m saying don’t you dare send it out! The fact is, it’s not ready, and NO, I don’t have to see it to know. I just know.
Here’s the deal. Writing is a very detailed and delicate process. First you get your story down, then you edit for content, then edit for continuity, then edit for flow, then edit for excitability, then edit for…well, you get the picture. A novel (or whatever you’ve written) must be edited, trimmed and buffed until it gleams like newly-polished silver. Then and only then do you…SIT ON IT. (Gotcha…you thought I was going to say “send it out,” didn’t you???).
Editors hate–and I do mean hate–when writers proudly send in their very first drafts. Why? Because first drafts typically sport every mistake in the book. From chameleon-like tense changes to mind-numbing POV changes to gaping holes in the plots. Face it, forcing a first draft on a reader is enough to make her slit her wrists.
So, be professional. Be benevolent. Be thoughtful. Edit, edit again, then edit once more, and then…SIT ON IT.
After a month or so has passed, feel free to pick it back up and READ IT ALOUD. You’ll find that reading it with fresh eyes will help you spot all the mistakes, misunderstandings, messed-up formatting and other monstrosities that make editors want to pull their hair out.
Yes, SIT ON IT, my friend.
Best wishes and happy writing,