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Undertaking Manuscript Appraisals

So, the last time, I talked about undertaking manuscript appraisals. It’s so cool, being given intimate access to someone’s imagination. The manuscripts reveal such diverse ways of thinking, feeling, the individual quirks and turn of phrases. It’s literally, a chocolate box selection—some which are too sweet or, too tart or, not enough or, an interesting and enjoyable experience.

Don’t think me arrogant! I will hurriedly interject here, that there is no wrong or right when you write—except of course, grammatical and spelling errors and recommended improvement to story structure to make it flow. The great thing about creative writing is that being different, is what makes you stand out, and attracts your readers.

There are many things to think about when starting a writing project. Importantly, if you are wanting your book to be read and hopefully, cover the publishing costs, you need to think about your target audience. You want your book to be read, don’t you? Well, if you don’t write in a writing style or with appropriate language tempered to that audience, how are you going to get them to engage? How are you going to sell it say to romance readers, if the language is offensive and there isn’t a counterbalance of softness to the heavy-handiness? Woe the writer who says, ‘I don’t care what people think; this is what and how I am going to write!’ How short-sighted.

Undertaking Manuscript Appraisals

An editor can assist with the aforementioned, grammar and other issues. From my brief and yet, ten-strong manuscript appraisals, it’s that authors forget about the light and shade (the long and short sentences, or paragraphs) that create impact and diversity; or, changing voices of characters, so that they are authentic; or, providing rich character descriptions (not necessarily a raft of information but insightful and distinctive descriptors). In saying that, there was one author who hardly described the characters at all. Yet, the way the characters reacted and responded to each other gave the reader a sense of whether they were tall or short, weaklings or well-endowed—you get the picture. The writer provided enough so that the reader could envisage the characters for themselves. What a skill to have—a true talent!

Marisa Parker - Author


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