I love that this is my first blog here as an editor! I am so excited I can barely sit still! What shall I discuss that will make you hang on my every word? Hmmm. Plan B. Things our prospective authors need to know. Yes, that sounds like a better plan to me for this week.
Editors talk about submitting your best work. Do you wonder what they mean? A great story but riddled with errors? I doubt that. A story that is about your own style that others might not understand? I doubt that, too.
My authors should send me clean manuscripts. (Since you’ll be emailing them, I’m not referring to coffee stains and food smears.) Read carefully and make sure I can see your pride in your craft.
Take time to proof for wrong words, typos, and omitted or duplicated words. Check grammar and punctuation, even if you need to go to the websites I added at the bottom of this blog and read through rules. There ARE rules in grammar and punctuation.
Read your story and make sure you set each scene in some way. Tossing me into scenes might just confuse me. I don’t enjoy being confused. Keep in mind that I can’t read your mind, so you need to let me know stuff. If you tell me your character can’t believe a May day in Georgia could be so cold, I have ideas about where and when the scene takes place.
Be prepared to go back and edit your own work, using my suggestions, if I see big problems in the beginning. I will edit your story once we contract it, and I will do my best to make sure your story and characters shine the way we both want them to. I won’t rewrite your story for you, though.
Remember that if I take your story to our committee, I will need to love it and make the others love it. Give me the ammunition I need. If I don’t love your story and pretty much everything about it, I won’t be able to sell it, and I will either send it to an editor I think might love it or send you a rejection with an explanation.
One helpful blog with rules for grammar and punctuation for fiction writers and a helpful newsletter and website.
Words folks often misuse
|All ready means all are readyExample: We were all ready to strangle him.|
|Already refers to timeExample: Is it night already?|
|All together refers to a group; all of us or all of them togetherExample: It is important to be all together for Christmas.|
|Altogether means entirelyExample: The accident was not altogether my fault.|
|Assure||to promise or say with confidence|
|Ensure||to make sure something will/won’t happen|
|Insure||to issue an insurance policy|
About commas antecedent-pronoun agreement.
Which of the sentences below is correct? Watch comments for the answer.
The boys in my class ate the girls’ lunches, and then ran outside.
The boys in my class ate the girls’ lunch and then ran outside.
The boys on my class ate the girls’ lunches and then ran outside.