MT McGuire Books

Wait! It is not ready yet… or is it?

OK so you’ve written something. It has a beginning a middle and an end… sort of. You’re pleased and you think it might be a winner but DO YOU KNOW… Can you be sure you are bang on the money and not deluding yourself? Are you wishing your career ahead of itself? 

Well, for what it’s worth, here are the four litmus tests my books have to pass before I can convince myself they’re ready. I hope you find them useful, too.

1. If your book uses anything other than ‘asked’, ‘said’ and possibly ‘retort’ as a conversational tag, think about whether you’re ready, if it contains ‘expostulate’ you’re definitely not ready. Conversational tags are to help and clarify, not to draw attention to themselves…

2. Are you embarrassed to show it to your Mum — OK so fair enough you should discount this one if you’ve written some porn and most horror writers will probably strike out on the Mum test, too. However, if you’ve written gentle romance or a fantasy for children and you’re embarrassed to let your mother read it, something’s wrong.

3. Is there anyone you care about who loathes the genre you write in? How do you feel about showing it to them? When it’s ready, you won’t care if they read it and loathe it becuase you’ll know it’s good. If the thought of them reading it makes you want to curl up and die from embarrassment… hmm… probably not ready.

4. Are there a lot of adverbs? Lots of words makes for lots of texture but is it varied and interesting or lumpy?

Posted April 4, 2010 and visited 2030 times, 1 so far today

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