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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

For writers: Never stop improving your novel!

Like many of you I submitted query letter after query letter. Literally by the dozens! Its nerve wracking and depressing. After dozens of rejections what do you do? Well after twenty rejections I took a good hard look at my book and thought about why people weren't interested in it.

First, my query letter was terrible, so I had to work on improving that. Once I did agents started asking for the first few pages, but were still rejecting me. That was the point where I realized I needed to take another good, hard look at my manuscript.

This is harder than it sounds. To be completely honest with yourself is not easy. Think of how harshly you judge your appearance. Its safe to say you aren't nearly as honest with yourself about your writing as you are about your appearance. I know I wasn't. A good friend of mine was wonderful enough to wade through the mess that was my manuscript and give me some great advice. I immediately applied it and began sending it out again. I also decided to go to a writer's retreat and work even further on it. I learned so much I'm still processing it all, and every bit of it has improved my novel.

Its very important that we never stop evolving as writers. Don't finish your manuscript (especially the first draft) and then set it aside thinking your done. Truly, once the first draft is done, that's when the real work truly begins. Diamonds look like just a hunk of ugly rock before they are chipped away at and polished.

Happy writing and best of luck!

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