Welcome to this weeks Writing Tip Wednesday. Today I am looking at what publishers and editors want. I think it is fairly easy to find out what publishers and editors want, thanks to the internet, and it is important to find out what they want if you want to succeed. If you are like me, you are looking for as much information as you possibly can to help you get that one step closer to publication. So today I bring you five tips straight from the publishers and editors themselves, with my thoughts in-between, to help you out.
1) An original, appealing voice is essential no matter if you’re writing genre fiction, literary fiction or memoir.
*This is why it is important to write in your natural voice and not try to copy anyone else’s. You are unique and your writing voice is unique, and your best work will come from your unique style, so write the way that comes naturally to you.
2) Avoid having too many characters in your book (apparently a common mistake of novices) as readers will often get confused. Authors should know each of their characters intimately.
*Ok, I am no professional here but I have to disagree to this to an extent. I believe there is an exception to this rule. My novel is an epic fantasy, and anyone who reads epic fantasy will know that this genre is filled with lots of characters, so in my opinion if you wish to write in this genre then its okay to have a lot of characters.
I agree that an author should know each of their characters intimately no matter the number, even the minor ones.
3) Remove scenes (no matter how brilliant!) if they don’t advance your story. The same obviously goes for description and back story.
*This can be hard to do but it is necessary. Readers want fast pace and action and long descriptions can be boring. You want to avoid boring bits in your novel.
I have been doing this with my most recent draft.
4) Read publishers’ and agents’ submission guidelines and follow them to the letter. If you don’t do this you’ll stand out for all the wrong reasons.
*This is so so so important, this is one thing you will read over and over and over again when publishers and editors give advice. This is a must, there is no exception to this rule.
5) Above all, edit, edit, edit. The book you submit should be your fourth or fifth draft and, above all, the best one you can possible write.
*Or sixth or seventh or eighth draft. I am currently on my seven draft and it is my best draft yet, and I don’t believe it would have been picked up before this draft. You must not submit your manuscript until it is the best you can write because the competition is tough and you are just increasing your chances of rejection if you do not submit your best work.
There you have it, five insights into what publishers and editors want. I hope this has helped. Good luck with your future submissions.