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Your Revision Checklist: A Few Final Steps Before You Submit Your Manuscript

Your Revision Checklist: A Few Final Steps Before You Submit Your Manuscript

By Mary Carroll Moore

Years ago, when I began publishing books, my editors used a checklist to help writers through final revision.  We writers were expected to know our topics, produce decent manuscripts, but editors made that manuscript clean.
When the publishing world made its huge industry shift over these past years, writers had to clean up their own manuscripts (or hire a freelance editor to do it).  Writers who assumed clean-up is an agent's job were in for a surprise:  in today's super-competitive market, agents ...

December 10, 2013 | Mary Carroll Moore

Craft Advice

Testing Out First and Third Person: How to Choose the Best Point-of-View Narration for Your Book

By Mary Carroll Moore

Is it true that first manuscripts tend to be written in first person and once a writer has published, the stories naturally emerge in third?

A favorite writing teacher lay that “rule” in front of me many years ago.  I was finishing a first novel, a coming-of-age story written in first person.  Considering her advice, I tested out a few chapters in third person limited, but the shift from intimacy to distance made me change it back.  When the novel was published, still in first person narration, I was glad I made that choice.

November 11, 2013 | Mary Carroll Moore

Craft Advice

Power of Unanswered Questions: Putting Yourself on the Edge with Your Book Manuscript

By Mary Carroll Moore

Each November, I take on an insane project--National Novel Writers Month.  With thousands of other writers from around the world, I commit to writing 50,000 words in thirty days, about 1667 words or seven double-spaced pages a day.

My nanowrimo writing is not stellar.  It usually falls into what Anne Lamott calls the “shitty first draft.”  The goal is quantity, not quality.  But my first novel, Qualities of Light, began as a nanowrimo book.  And if that doesn’t impress you (it impressed me!), Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants got its start in ...

October 8, 2013 | Mary Carroll Moore

Craft Advice

Essential Tools to Organize Your Book Manuscript

by Mary Carroll Moore

That first phone call came on a busy day at work.  I was preparing 700 stuffed cherry tomatoes for a catering job that night and here was a publisher on the phone asking if I would consider authoring a book.  It would be based on my cooking school, which had just been written up in USA Today.  Of course I said yes—who wouldn’t?  I didn’t tell the publisher I knew nothing about organizing a book manuscript.

September 11, 2013 | Mary Carroll Moore

Craft Advice