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Agents and publishers get so many manuscripts that they have to screen them quickly. Anything, especially in those first few pages, that makes you seem no better than average will get you rejected. Most published books are commercial failures. I read that 90% of books for which royalties were advanced do not earn out the advance. Since publishers know they ...


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When you send your work to a publisher or agent or anyone, it should be the best that you can do. Which would you rather read: A story that is the writer's absolute best effort, or a story that he figured was "good enough" and he was too bored with to bother working on any further? Many writers crank out a first draft hurriedly as thoughts come to them, and ...


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When you submit to an agent or publisher, your writing is all they have to go on when forming an opinion of your work. You want to make the best impression that you can. Think of it this way: If they're considering two equally engaging stories, where one will need significant line-editing to fix the grammar, and the other doesn't, they'll want to buy the ...


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While I wouldn't consider "gerunds" (or even adverbs) to be mistakes, if you're worried about your grammar, hire an editor to do a line-edit. Explain (if this is the case) that you're happy with the story and don't want a content edit, but you do want to polish your grammar, structure, word choice, spelling, and so on. Publishers do have editors, but if ...


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Your grammar doesn't need to be perfect in fiction and breaking certain rules is perfectly acceptable so long as you convey the correct meaning. An agent isn't going to turn down a brilliant story because it needs to be proofread. However, if you know full well that there are lots of grammatical errors and it will require significant re-writing at some ...



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