Dear Editor...

S.L.
Carpenter

As you sit at your laptop, furiously tapping away on the keys, you can see the end in sight. You have been writing for a long time, and you can feel how close you are to final paragraphs of your first novel. As you type “The End”, you let out a sigh of relief and finish the cup of tea you nursed all day, in case your brain needed a boost.
Caffeine, you’ve learned, helps ignite your inner voices. Chocolate helps too. Ask yourself the next big question, “Now what?” Since I’m such an expert in this field, I’ll give you some very valuable advice.
Get an Editor.
Trust me, the last thing you want to have is something spelled incorrectly in your book, because then the whole thing is urined… whoa, I meant ruined.
See how easily mistakes can happen?
One of my many writing talents is the ability to drive editors to drink. Reading the vast quantities of twisted word salads I generate, seasoned with run-on sentences, can drive even the best editors crazy. Just ask them.
I thought I’d ask a few editors about the mistakes and issues they see most when it comes to a writer’s first manuscript. My main questions to my friends were: What are some tips you have for new writers? Do you have any helpful suggestions?
The result? Some simple tips and ideas for your masterpiece so you can avoid the dreaded red-lined document. You can read some of their answers, along with my own tips. Here are a few pitfalls to avoid:
Avoid having too much coffee when starting Chapter 1. You’re excited and writing a thousand words a minute. You feel like you’re creating the Great American Novel at a record pace, and you’ll have 100,000 words no time.
Sadly, this isn’t happening. You’re writing the equivalent of a 10,000-piece jigsaw puzzle, and all the pieces are white. Plus, you have to pee a lot, which is distracting.
Relax. Take your time, and have fun telling your story. You’re in no rush, take the time to picture your story as you write it.
The other side of the caffeine coin is not having enough. You’re not quite awake, unfocused, and still half-dreaming about relaxing on a quiet beach beside a drink with a colorful umbrella and listening to the sound of the ocean… zzzzzzz.

Read the entire article in the September 2021 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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