Go Over It and Over It

I don’t know if you’re like me, but if you’re a sharper tack, you may not need this blog. If so, more power to you. If you are like me–not an intellectual–you’re tempted to skim over submission guidelines of agent websites, magazine websites, and anthology ‘sites. Furthermore, you may be tempted to edit your blog and newsletter posts only a few times, and you may not edit your tweets on Twitter at all.

 

Laziness, the kiss of death.

 

That’s when mistakes abound. Even though it’s highly uncomfortable, you must go over and over the submission guidelines and, when it comes to agent sites, peruse every piece of information available, even if it feels redundant and it takes forever. The worst thing in the world would be that you hurried a submission to an agent that might have taken you on, because the ball game’s on in ten minutes. Forget the ball game; it’ll wait. You might get an agent’s sex wrong in the query if it’s a unisex name, and that’s a blown opportunity. Or if you just sent the query when they wanted a synopsis and the first three chapters also, you’re screwed. And with blogs, newsletters, and even tweets, you have to go over and over them when editing, for though these are small forms of writing, everything an author writes counts as serious work. Typos will make you look unprofessional.

 

Face it, false memories happen.

 

You may think you’ve got the gist of the submission guidelines, but your eyes are playing tricks on you. Only when you go over it and over it–and I mean at least five times–will you have it right and have the satisfaction of performing your author duties diligently. (I misread an agent saying she wanted “horror” when she wanted “literary horror,” and it’s because I went over it and over it that I caught it.) You’ll also feel better about your online writing.

 

As for whether you or the new Twilight gets published, that’s a whole other blog post.

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