But... before I start, for those of you who have seen this and heard this before and are confident that you don't make those mistakes, here is your project for today. Make cuts in your manuscript. Too often, writers fill their writing with endless material that really is not necessary to the plot. For example. yesterday, I was editing one of my writer's stories and hacked an 8 or 9 page story down to 4 paragraphs. Time for you to do the same thing.
Now, on to the mistakes....
- Read the submission guidelines before doing anything. Follow the rules and make no exceptions.
- Do not write cover letters in verse.
- SASE must contain postage.
- Use delivery confirmation not signature confirmation. If we are not available it means we make an extra trip to the post office and all I can say is the story better be dang good.
- Follow up if you haven't heard anything via email or postcard. Give agent or editor a week or two after the time they state.
- Do not email and ask if they got the manuscript. Remember delivery confirmation.
- Never call the editor or agent at home to "discuss the manuscript"
- Properly address the letter to the right person.
- Do not cc every agent in the world with the same query when using email.
- No blackmail. I have been told God wants me to buy the manuscript and that the only way a writer can get married is if they sell the project.
- When using online forms (like I have) read. This is mostly to those of you who seem to think when I say 75,000 words your story at 40,000 will work.
That should do it.
Oh, and if you want to do the earlier writing assignment too, you should.