Alpha Wolf Publishers is the most excellent publishing house I have ever seen close-at-hand. And I have befriended and worked with a veritable tidal wave of writers and editors! These people are VERY professional and in addition, the kindest, most giving people I have met. They answer questions. They help each other promote and such. It's a nice family to be in!
So today I would like to teach you a few rules I picked up along the way as I have known so many writers and editors. (They say every one has a book in them. Let's just think of how you might put your own.)
Remember that these RULES are simply suggestions or pointers, if you will.
1. Joe and Edna Beercan.... you know these people. Picture them sitting in their tiny trailer with their 5.3 kids and their 2.5 dogs. They didn't graduate. They had to quit school in order to help their families. These are people buying your book. In a school system a LOT of teachers review the reading material quickly like this....word count. If. more than 5 words per chapter are above the reading level it will quickly get your book dismissed. I am not saying to be condescending when you are writing. I am saying that the more people who understand what you are writing the more likely it is to sell to a wider audience, so keep it simple. If you don't naturally speak using those words, chances are neither does your reader.
2. It is NOT a publisher's or editor's job to fix your bad grammar! They have hundreds of submissions a day, every day. If you don't even have your spelling right, your novel is going in the trash can. So get a thesaurus, dictionary and grammer book and comb every word. Try not to rely on your spell-checker. Remember that it can't really read! LOL
3. Adverbs! I read an article once written by an editor and she was very adamant about the use of adverbs. Don't use them often. They are monotonous and rhetorical. Why say, “whispered quietly” when there isn't any other way to whisper?
4. Hooks! If you can't get me hooked right away I am putting the book down. So it is best to start with your action scene. However do not resolve the issue right away. Let that scene be resolved at the end of the next chapter. Simply, get them interested and switch scenes. This can be the last scene on the first page and not resolved until the last page or most times it is done with flashbacks to another time. The point of the book is basically to keep them reading.
5. Never assume. When you assume you make an ass out of you and me. Look at the word... ass...u...me. In other words, don't Google a fact from a website and put it down as truth. Fact check! Fact check! Fact check! When you're done with that would you mind very much fact checking please?
6. If you've only written your story down once... it isn't done. Before you submit you had better make certain it's polished. So rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.
7. Make certain your lose ends are tied up. That character that you left stranded in the beginning of the book is still there! I, as a reader want to know what happened to him. Don't leave a lead character abandoned after he was finished getting the main character out of trouble. Cameos are fine. I still require a resolution or at least an explanation!
8. Show don't tell. Don't tell me he's a villain, show him swindling an orphan or kicking a puppy.
9. I as a reader want to relate to your character. If he has no human frailties, aspirations, a sense of justice... I'm putting the book down. Remember that you as a writer are writing for an audience, not yourself.
There are a multitude of these. Writing is about self-expression and while that is true, if I don't understand what you are saying then you are pretty much talking to yourself. Aren't you? Lol
That's my side of it!