Writers – Tools of the trade   Leave a comment

A quick look at some of the posts here from people who want to be published has thrown up a very obvious flaw – many do not seem to have a grasp of proper English. It is not enough to rely on editors and proof readers to pick up poor spellings and grammar. As in any business, it is necessary to arm oneself with the tools of the trade.  As writers, words and how to use them correctly  are the tools of our trade.  If you want to give yourself the best possible chance of being picked up by a reputable publisher, then you need to show from the off that you are a professional who can produce polished work.  You wouldn’t be impressed by a tradesman turning up minus his most essential tools, so why should anyone expect a literary agent or publisher to be impressed by a shoddy, ill-spelt letter of introduction, enclosing an equally shabby, ill-spelt, ungrammatical MS?  These people are busy. They are innundated with thousands of manuscripts every year.  In fact, they are only looking for an excuse to say no and free up some space on their desks. Prepare properly. Give yourself the best chance of turning that no into a yes! To put it bluntly, if you can’t be bothered, why the hell should they?  They’re not there to wave a magic wand and turn a pig’s ear into a silk purse.  The silk purse should arrive at their offices as beautifully constructed as you can make it.

This post isn’t intended to shatter anyone’s dreams  – on the contrary, it is a wake up call.  The world is full of rejected, dejected writers, many of whom with a bit of extra effort could quite feasibly go on to achieve that dream. No excuses! We have more help at our fingertips than ever before, Thesaurus, dictionaries, spellcheckers – all on line too, so you don’t even have to go to the expense of buying them.

Finally, I make no apology for not softsoaping.  The world of publishing is dog-eat-dog and the ego takes one hell of a battering. Arm yourself in whatever way you can.

Good luck!


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