Sunday, 14 May 2017

Your full manuscript? You're dreamin' darlin'!

How I wish writers were asked to send in their whole manuscript. It would be so nice if an agent or publisher actually read (or attempted to read) a writer's entire piece before judging. Fair enough it they get up to page 50 and think it's really poor, and don't bother to continue reading. When I read a book, I give it at least 100 pages before making such a decision. Just on principle. To give it a fair chance. It takes no time at all to read 100 pages. And even then, I will often make a second attempt before throwing a book away. When I am asked to send in just the first few pages I feel slightly disappointed. Don't get me wrong, the first pages of my books are great! Time and time again I hear “couldn’t stop reading, couldn’t put it down” which makes my heart sing. But to get truly immersed in a fantasy saga... To read enough to fall in love with the characters, to become part of their world, to care desperately about what happens to them, to vindictively abhor the villain, to feel bereft when the book ends. To be seized by the need to read and re-read the parts that are hilarious, grievous, heart-rending, poignant, disturbing, victorious. That takes more than the first 1000 words of your manuscript. I know that publishers and agents are incredibly well educated to glean so very much from the start of a manuscript, and to be able to judge whether the work is desirable, but oh how I wish a writer was judged only on their full manuscript, their true work, not on their introduction letter (which is more often written by someone else) or by their blurb (also written by someone else) or by the synopsis of their book (once again written by someone else). One day, I will find a site where the agent/publisher says, “Please send in your entire manuscript and we will start reading it. If we like it, we will continue reading it. If we finish it and still like it a lot, we will contact you.” Sigh. Dreaming again? Yep.

Get Dan O'Sullivan's Trilogy on Amazon

Book 1 - The Fallen
Book 2 - The Guardians
Book 3 - Child of a Guardian and of the Free

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