I’ve mentioned this before (or maybe I haven’t) but I think the most important thing a writer should do prior to sending out his or her manuscript to a literary agent is have a stranger or a group of strangers read it.
I can’t say how much I’ve read manuscripts chockfull of clichés. C’mon writers! If you are going to take writing seriously, take your writing seriously. Don’t half-ass it! I want every writer to find success in their own way (depending on how you measure success) but please do Everything you can to be on point!
I have my own writing that I know I need to edit and have the message/theme clear for the reading audience. I know I’m not going to send out a submission without someone that’s not related to me or even a friend read. Why? The friend (unless a writer friend that is great at providing constructive criticism) will only say good things. Let’s take this for real, even if the criticism is for your own development as a writer.
Clichés, folks? Really? I’m not an agent (yet, who knows?) but if there’s any knowledge I’d like to impart to you (coming from a writer like yours truly) is to edit, have lay people read it, and have people who read incessantly read your work because they are examples of your audience, no matter what genre they read. If the story works, great. If the writing does not work, then try again.
Writing is about creating worlds, stories, connecting to folks, and whatever you want it to mean. Editing is also a part of writing that must be included to be clear and precise about your intention.
I only want the best for everyone out there trying to make their writing career happen. I’m doing this myself.
When you read your own work, sometimes you don’t notice what’s in front of you like typos and clichés.
In short, please please please workshop your work or join a writing group (meetup.com has a lot of those) and make your writing career happen!
Happy writing to all!