Showing posts with label Pub Sub. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pub Sub. Show all posts

Does Your Manuscript Pass the Quality Control Test?

Image Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards

“Does Your Manuscript Pass the Quality Control Test?" by Joan Y. Edwards

Is your manuscript a quality manuscript? Is it the/best you can do at this time? Does your manuscript pass the quality control test below?

If your answer to all of these questions is “YES,” you have a quality manuscript. It is the best you can do at this time. Your manuscript is a quality product ready for submission. 

1. Does your writing show your distinctive voice?

Two articles that explain voice are: 

2. Did you choose the best person to narrate your story - First, Second, or Third Person.

Here are two articles to help you decide.
Deanna Mascle. "Should You Write in First or Third Person?"
Ginny Wiehardt. "How to Start Writing in Third Person."

3. Does it have an Unforgettable Character with a flaw and a goal he is willing to jump off a cliff to achieve?

1.       Tell what he wants to do, what he wants to happen. Which characters keep the main character from achieving his goal? Which characters help him? Write so that the reader feels the emotions that your characters feel. Let the readers know the contradictions that go through the character’s mind. Tell the experiences that cause your character great stress, worry, anxiety, anguish, and/or sadness? What gives your main character great happiness? Make your character have to change in order to reach his goal. 
Think about the theme(s) of your story. This will help you determine the flaws of your protagonist. If you know what the character learns from his experiences, your fatal flaw is its opposite. In Liar Liar, the protagonist learns how to tell the truth. Lying was his fatal flaw. When the protagonist learns to be dependable, his fatal flaw was irresponsibility. If a protagonist finally gets up enough nerve to stand up for himself, he gains courage. Fear or cowardice was his fatal flaw.

4. Does it have a complete, compelling plot?  

1.       Does your manuscript have a beginning, middle, and a satisfying ending with each page filled with tension of inner and outer struggles of the protagonist so that reader anticipates the good and bad consequences of this character's choices. 
Ordinary Day
Inciting incident with new goal to solve a really big problem
First failure
Second failure
Third failure
What's it like on the new ordinary day

5. Does it take place in an appropriate setting? 

Choose a setting that heightens the suspense of the plot and the problems of the main character. Where does this character have these problems? Why here? Why not somewhere else? Put your character with people, circumstances, and settings that make his flaw more noticeable in the beginning and his strengths more evident at the end. Enhance your manuscript by making the setting an integral and indispensable part of the story. 

6. If your manuscript is not in quality condition yet, revise it. 

Look at it with a skillful eye. Change what you know needs revision. Then send it out for another look by your critique group, writing partner, and/or 3 beta readers. Give them three main things on which to focus.

    Does it have proper formatting and few pet words? Does it have correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure? 

    Would your high school teacher give your manuscript an A or B? Any grade lower than a B is not acceptable. It has to be above average in this area to submit it. Did you repeat pet words or phrases numerous times within the manuscript with no purpose for emphasis, such as: just, real, very,what's up, what do you know, and it's a shame. Use the search and find tools in your word processing software to find words you usually repeat.  Replace with a better word or delete it. 

    Here are examples of words or phrases that might be repeated:
    The box is very flat. The hills are very steep. Her veil is very long.
    I just don't know what I'm going to do...repeated on page 10, 13, 19, 21, 25, and 32.
    What do you know?...repeated on page 6, 7, 8, 9, 15, and 17.
    Here are hints to help you get your manuscript in quality condition:
    Go through 6-7 versions (revise all the way through the whole manuscript).
    Use critique groups, writing partners, and/or beta readers to critique your manuscript.These trained eyes and ears will find and suggest ways to improve grammar and spelling, as well as improve the story, plot, characters, setting, continuity, and believability.

    7. When you have a quality manuscript, you can honestly make the following statement: 
       "This is a quality manuscript. This is the best I can do with this manuscript with the knowledge and skills I have at the present time."  
    After your revisions get your manuscript to the quality condition and it's the best you can do stage, then it is time to submit your manuscript. You are ready to start Week 1 of my Pub Subbers plan for submission. Do all the Steps for Weeks 1, 2, and 3. They take you through submitting your manuscript.

    Week 1 Get final proofing critique. Choose an editor, agent, or contest for your submission.
    Week 2 Follow the guidelines to write necessary documents: pitch, query letter, cover letter, proposal, resume, or bio..
    Week 3 Pub Sub Friday-submission time. Not ready. It’s okay. Submit it when you’re ready.
    Week 4 Write, revise, critique, live, educate, motivate, celebrate.

    8. Did you follow the guidelines of the editor, agent, or contest?

    Don't sabotage your own success. Follow the guidelines.

    Following the directions for the guidelines is the final requirement for a quality manuscript. When you don’t follow the directions, it lowers your grade to a C or lower. If it says, email submissions only and you send it by U.S. postal service, the agent or editor may not even read your submission. It may seem heartless, however, your submission may end up in the trash can. The editor or agent may think if you can’t follow these simple directions, you won’t be able to follow suggestions to make your manuscript a top notch best-selling book.

    1. Alfonso Coley. “Common Writing Problems New Writers Can Face:”
    2. Amanda Patterson. “The Five Most Common Problems First Time Writers Share:”
    3. Dara Marks.  The Writer’s Store. ”The Fatal Flaw, The Most Essential Element for Bringing Characters to Life:”
    4. Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, Illinois State “Common Mistakes of English Grammar, Mechanics, and Punctuation:”
    5. E.H. Williams, Hamilton, Biology Department, “Common Writing Mistakes:”
    6. Gordon Silverstein, editor. University of “Humorous Reminders of Common Writing Mistakes: Advice from generations of Teaching Fellows at Harvard University:”
    7. Judy Rose.  Writing “Ten Common Writing Mistakes Your Spell Checker Won’t Find:”
    8. Laura Spencer.  Free Lance “20 Writing Mistakes That Make Any Freelancer Look Bad:”
    9. Pat Holt. “Ten Mistakes Writers Don’t See (But Can Easily Fix When They Do):”
    10. Tom Walker. Get Paid to Write “Ten Most Common Writing Mistakes:”

    I hope these ideas help you keep going, even when you feel like giving up.
    Good luck with the publication of your best quality manuscripts!

    Never Give Up
    Joan Y. Edwards

    My Books:
    Flip Flap Floodle, even mean ole Mr. Fox can't stop this little duck
    Paperback, Kindle and Nook
    Joan’s Elder Care Guide, Release date June 2014 by 4RV Publishing

    To Increase Your Chances for Publication, Submit Your Manuscript

    Guest Post by Joan Y. Edwards

    You finished writing your story or article. You revised it 3 times.

    How many manuscripts did you send off for critique this year?

    You say you’ve done that once a month. I’m proud that you did that. You sent it off for critique. You revised it 4 more times, making a total of 7 revisions. Now that your work is in quality condition, it’s time to market your work. Let's talk submissions.

    How many quality manuscripts did you submit this year to a publisher, agent, or contest?

    What? You tell me that you have three quality manuscripts at the marketing stage and you only submitted once this year. On the bright side, that’s better than not submitting at all. It probably was the best you could do. However, I want to inspire and motivate you to make at least 4 more submissions this year. That's one for each month: September, October, November, and December.

    Do you want to increase your odds and have a better chance at publication? 

    Here are three ways to increase your odds:
    1.    Submit one quality manuscript to 3 well-matched publishers. (3/12-25% )
    2.    Submit three different quality manuscripts to 3 different publishers. (6/12-50%)
    3.    Submit one quality manuscript to 6 different agents. (6/12-50%)

    If you don’t submit to editors, agents, or contests, perhaps you are not convinced that your story is good enough for publication. You need encouragement. You need confidence. You need a plan. You need Pub Subbers.

    Perhaps you’re like Dr. Seuss or Colonel Sanders, you’ve been rejected so many times you’re about to give up. I’m sure there were days when both Dr. Seuss and Colonel Sanders said to themselves, “Nobody is interested in my ideas.”

    But somewhere from deep inside, came a little voice that said to them, “It’s a great idea. You have great ideas. You just haven’t met the right person to buy it yet. Keep on trying. Don’t give up.” Dr. Seuss got published after 27 rejections. After 1009 rejections and 2 years of traipsing across America, Colonel Sanders got the first restaurant to purchase a license to use his Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe.

    Even if you submit 100 times, I can’t guarantee that a publisher will give you a contract and publish your work. But, I can guarantee that if the rejections you receive stop you in your tracks and if you never submit again, you will never get published.

    Keep submitting. If you receive a rejection, hit the reset button on the “Bowling Alley of Submissions.” Brainstorm enthusiasm and change your inner goals. Make changes in your manuscript to make it better and better. Keep submitting no matter how many rejections you get. The more you submit, the better chance you will have to be published.

    A publisher is looking for you while you are looking for a publisher. Do not give up. Keep submitting on a regular basis. Submitting is action that shows your faith in yourself and your writing. Believe in yourself and your writing, be a Pub Subber. Submit your quality work often.

    Are you a Pub Subber? Pub Subbers have three stages: The Writing Stage; The Revising Stage; The Marketing Stage.

    I invite you to follow the Pub Subber plan for writing, revising, and submitting to an editor, agent, or contest.

    Here is a short explanation of Pub Subber stages for four weeks of the month.

    Pub Subbers believe that submitting quality work on a regular basis leads to publication.

    •    Writing Stage - Pub Subbers write new drafts - new stories, poems, songs, etc..
    •    Revising Stage - Pub Subbers send their draft manuscripts to a critique person or group 1-3 times and revise manuscripts at least 7 times before submitting to an agent, editor, or contest. This revision process takes a manuscript from a draft in the writing stage to a quality manuscript in the Marketing Stage.
    •    Marketing Stage - Pub Subbers submit a quality manuscript at least once a month to an editor, agent, or contest.

    Writing Stage and Revising Stage

    Live, Read, Write, Revise, Get Critiques, Educate and Motivate the Muse within You. This could be a week, a month, or a year or even longer.

    Week 4

    Marketing Stage

    Begins on a new month after your manuscript is in quality condition and has been critiqued 1-3 times and revised at least 7 times.

    Week 1

    Find Three Possible Publishers, Agents, or Contests. Choose one. Send manuscript for one last critique.

    Week 2

    Write draft query, cover letter, and/or proposal. Follow the guidelines of the editor, agent, or contest.

    Week 3

    Final Edit, Print, Proof. Pub Sub Friday It’s time to submit to an agent, editor, contest of your choice.

    Submit your manuscript! You’ll be glad you did.

    Pub Subbers Yahoo Group has automated weekly reminders each month to help you get published and won’t let you give up on yourself or your writing goals. To join Pub Subbers, send a blank email to

    Joan Y. Edwards
    Blog: Never Give Up blog  
    Website: Joan Y. Edwards

    Flip Flap Floodle, a happy little duck who Never Gives Up
    Hear Flip’s Song
    Joan's Elder Care Guide 4RV Publishing Coming in June 2014.



    Considering Both the Downsides and Upsides of Writing Reviews

    Dear Writers on the Move Readers,   I am busily rewriting my  How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically  for a second edition fro...