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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Is your novel ready to publish?

We all feel the urge to join other like souls and launch our tome into cyber space. But is it ready?
 What steps have you taken to ensure that it's not filled with missing commas, full stops, annoying misspellings and the like.

You can't rely in Microsoft Word to pick up all the misused words e.g. affect and effect. What about that character that you named Flower and changed your mind, then called her Daffodil. Did you use control + F to find and replace all the old names with the new?

Here's a checklist:
* Chapter one concentrates on filling in the reader on the back story -
   - The why the MC is like she/he is. What event in the past sent her/him on the journey to this point?
   - What event preceded the story, whether it's relevant or not?

* No balance of dialogue and thoughts.

* No incorporation of at least three of the five senses - smell, sound, sight, taste, touch.

* Info dumps which stop the story which have nothing to do with the story. And if they do they should be     incorporated gradually.
   His mother always made apple pie from overripe apples on Sundays and he hated that. Whenever he walked past a pie shop on Sundays, he felt nauseated. He used to scream at her that she should use fresh apples but she always laughed in his face.

* Telling instead of showing.
   She told her husband that she didn't like him going away all the time. That she was left alone in the house with two screaming kids. He told her that it was expected of him.

* Your MC is boring and perfect. - mine was until someone pointed this out.

* Flowery descriptions with too many adjectives.

* No plot - Its a series of scenes that don't go anywhere.

We are all blind to our own mistakes. Me included. When I started writing I did most of the above.
Just keep writing and you'll eventually learn the craft of writing. A brain surgeon didn't learn his skill in a day and neither will you. I'm told it takes at least two books before you get there.




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