sallyhanan’s blog

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A novel process—getting your novel published February 21, 2010

Filed under: Editing,Writing — sallyhanan @ 12:03 am
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A novel is written. So many hours over coffee and chocolate and excuses to not do housework. It’s quite the deal, really. I should write another one. 🙂 But then . . .

First edit
Storyline—Does it make sense? Does it flow?
Characters—Are they believable? Are they likeable?
Length—Is it the required length for the genre?
Plot—Does the suspense/tension build?

Second edit
Drivel—Are there sections of pointless rambling?
Writing—Is every word necessary?
Chapters—Does every chapter end with a hook?

Third edit
Spelling—Is everything spelled correctly?
Punctuation/grammar—Are all my sentences complete, my apostrophes in the right places, and my periods frequent enough?

Fourth edit
Find a few friends who
a) are not close enough to me to care about disappointing me?
b) are kind enough to read the manuscript at all?

Fifth edit
Make almost all the changes my knowledgeable friends suggested without muttering some Hogwarts, um . . . blessing over them.

Come up with a stunning paragraph that forces the agent/editor my manuscript will be sent to to stop popping caffeine pills and gasp in excitement.

Make every word about my manuscript dazzle like a disco ball.
Send in the darn thing.

And wait
And wait

Get mail
Receive a form rejection letter
or a really nice and encouraging, but still a rejection, message.

And that’s when it’s time to rewrite my novel or start another one.

Personally, I think that’s how Amy Tan came up with the title The Joy Luck Club. It describes the writer’s life to perfection.

P.S. I wanted to insert this photo so badly but couldn’t do it in a hurry. Check out the disco ball lady here!



Every piece of writing needs to be clear and precise. With microscope in hand, Inksnatcher’s writing and editing service will hone any work until it glitters in the light of a 1,000 watt bulb.

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2 Responses to “A novel process—getting your novel published”

  1. Gina Says:

    I’ve made it through the cycle a couple of times…Multiple times for some books which I rewrote. I’m now on the first draft on my 3rd or 4th book. I’ve lost count!

  2. Fran Says:

    And then (after about thirty queries) you find an agent and joy at the same time…but it can’t last. I found mine in June, and finally had to phone them today because they haven’t been in touch AT ALL and didn’t returning my ONE email (trying not to be a nuisance, see?). The person dealing with my MS is sick, but ‘will call me back later’. This doesn’t feel at all right.

    Not all agents bring happiness.

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