More ABCs for New Writers; P - T

P is for polishing.

Proofreading would work here, but that goes without saying. Polishing is just what it implies - you are making your piece shine.

Take a step away from your writing for a couple of hours or more. When you go back to it you will see it from a different angle and polish the smudges. You will rearrange a sentence that didn't feel right. A fresh ending will pop into your head. Do this a few times before submitting your article or manuscript. 

Q is for query letter.

New writers will learn new words in the writing business. Query letter is one of them.

A query letter is written to an editor or agent to consider your idea for a book or magazine article you have written (or are writing). It is a sales pitch and should be written well. 

First and foremost, personalizing your query letter goes a long way. It's not about you. It's about them. Show you care by serving the needs of who you are writing for.  

Your query letter will provide a short summary of what your book or article is about. It should hook the editor or agent so they will want more. The summary of your book will ultimately make or break your chances of landing the agent.

R is for rejection.

It is discouraging to get a rejection letter when you have invested so much time on a piece.

Rejection is common to all writers.

I get discouraged easily but I have grown through handling the defeat from rejection letters. You either work through it or you give up.

Never give up!

Do you know the number of famous authors who were rejected? When I learned the author of The Help was rejected 60 times over the course of 3 1/2 years before her book became a best seller, I realized maybe it will be the next time for me.

S is for success.

You will be successful if you don't give up and commit to follow through with your writing goals. If you get off track (and we all do), just get back on.

It is so rewarding to receive a phone call or acceptance letter for your submission. The paycheck that follows is even more rewarding.

Keep going at whatever you love to write. Learn all you can. You will be successful but it will take time.

T is for target audience.

Once you have narrowed down what you like to write and what you are good at writing, it is time to figure out target audience is.

I really like this simple description of what a target audience is:
"One of the biggest mistakes ... is trying to appeal to everyone. Think about the game of darts: You have to aim in order to hit the board. (If you let your darts go without aiming them, you probably won’t be very popular.) If you hit the board, you score. And if your aim is very good and you hit the bull’s eye, even better!"
Some questions to ask yourself: 
  • Who will be interested in what you write?
  • Who will benefit?
  • What age group will be reading your writing?
  • What problem do you have the solution for?
There is plenty of online resources to help you further research and identify your target audience. 

Next month More ABCs for New Writers U - Z.

Image courtesy of Vlado at


After raising and homeschooling her 8 children and teaching art classes for 10 years, Kathy has found time to pursue freelance writing. She enjoys writing magazine articles and more recently had her story, "One of a Kind", published in The Kids' ArkYou can find her passion to bring encouragement and hope to people of all ages at When It Hurts


Unknown said...

Love this series! Very helpful and timely to aspiring authors. Looking forward to the next set! Thanks for sharing!

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