Friday, June 22, 2012

Author Blog Challenge # 21

What is the single best piece of advice you’ve ever received about the publishing process and/or would advice would you offer to a first-time author?

The single best piece of advice I have ever received, and this is advice offered from many sources, has been to make sure my work is at its most polished best before submitting for publication or as a competition entry. Secondary to this, and no less important, is the advice to allow other eyes to look over the finished work, not as a proof read, but to pick up errors my own eyes cannot see due to familiarity with the work.

This is advice I pass on to other beginning and emerging writers, stressing the importance of taking a break between the writing and proofing to distance themself from what they have written, and to enable them to return to the work with a fresh eye and mind.

I find many novice writers, excited at getting their story written, want to jump immediately into publishing. As a baker knows even the most perfectly formed loaf has to be set aside to rise and that it will look quite different on their return to it, so it is with writing.  With many errors made by speeding through writing and proofreading, my advice is always to take the time to look over their writing carefully to catch errors they might otherwise miss – and to read slowly, as reading at normal speed does not allow eyes sufficient time to spot errors - and to read aloud, as this encourages them to read every word.

Once this is done to their satisfaction, it is time to get others to read the work to get another perspective on the writing and to catch mistakes that might have been overlooked.

Therefore, the advice I would offer to the first-time author would be:
  • write
  • allow to sit
  • proof read
  • allow to sit
  • re-read and pass on to other readers
  • submit

~ Merlene Fawdry


  1. Good advice, now to put it into practice.

  2. I agree with you 100,000%! There is always at least three drafts of an excellent manuscript. And this: "to read aloud, as this encourages them to read every word." is something I do with all of my books :) My children are learning a lot though...



For some reason I'm yet to fathom I'm unable to reply to comments left by others so thank you for dropping by and taking the time to read and comment. Merlene