Friday, 30 January 2009

How not to #10

Continuing with our 'How not to' guest blogs, bestselling author and former literary agent Orna Ross explains what NOT to say to an Agent or Editor:

“You turned this down some time ago but I’ve done a lot of work on it since. Would you look at it again?”

If your work has been considered and rejected, then that decision is final — even if you significantly improve the work subsequently. This is why it is so important not to submit too soon.

Most writers do. It’s understandable. The amount of work it takes to complete even a passable first draft is herculean and at that point, we think we’re finished. We’re not.

Hold off submitting until you have had chance to leave the work aside for a while, and get an evaluation of it elsewhere. Then be prepared to go back in and edit.

Repeat as necessary.

And again.

Only submit when you are sure you cannot do another THING to it.

Then, if you receive a no, repeat as above when you get it back — especially if you get any feedback. Once you’re happy, try it out there again — but not with anyone who has seen its earlier incarnations.