Writing A Good Manuscript
And Getting Published

Therold Prudent

© Copyright 2004 by Therold Prudent


For new writers entering into the publishing world, there are many disappointments that await them. The thrill of having written an “award winning” manuscript or article can be quickly diminished once it leaves the writer’s desk.

Every new writer thinks of his or her work as having no flaws. But it is this very narrow perspective or personal bias that is sure to blow the candles off a writer’s cake. What a publisher or editor is looking for can conflict greatly with what the writer thinks they should accept. And so, as a string of rejections continues, this may well be an indication to the writer that it is time to return to the drawing board.

One can easily overcome the hassles of rejection by committing oneself to a process of research. In fact, even before the new writer decides to pen the first sentence of a manuscript or article, he should take the time to study some of the most common genres or topics that have frequently been accepted for publication, including guidelines for the acceptance of work. However, while a publisher may have limitations in terms of what genres they will accept, one thing is certain: they all expect a high quality of writing, one that even in its original form is likely to succeed.

Writing a good manuscript or article begins with a good idea. As this idea is developed further into sentences that later becomes a series of paragraphs, which then takes on the formation of the first chapter (in the case of a manuscript), the ideas assembled in this first chapter should seek to arrest the attention of the reader from the outset.

Maintaining the focus and interest of the reader is your responsibility as a writer. Therefore, as the body of ideas moves from one paragraph to another, or one chapter to another, there must be a continuous flow which ties each preceding chapter to the previous one. The selection or choice of words can also prove to be very critical throughout this whole process. As a writer, it is advisable that you convey your message in words that will stimulate the mind, convey the true meaning of what you’d like to say, and are clear and simple. An array of convoluted words will only drown your message or idea.

Bringing a conclusion to a manuscript or an article is just as important as its beginning. Therefore, it is incumbent on the writer to seize a moment that will live up to the expectations of the reader. You must always keep in mind that the body of ideas that you have chosen to develop has automatically ascribed to you the position of defendant. As judge and jury, the publisher, editor, and reading public at large will pass their judgment.

Many new writers make the mistake of thinking that it is not their responsibility to adhere to rules of proofreading, which includes checking for errors in grammar, spelling and typing. The unfortunate news is, the quality of the work presented for publication, will determine the degree of attention paid to it. While publishers and editors are responsible for making professional suggestions and to help smooth the rough edges of a manuscript or article, it is the responsibility of the writer to entice them to work with you.

A courteous attitude will also prove to be very helpful in getting your manuscript or article published. Therefore, once a contract has been awarded, and an editor has been assigned to work with you, it is very important from the outset to maintain a respectful and professional attitude. The hard work of bringing your manuscript into book form has just begun. It will be long, and will demand a full level of commitment, patience and discipline on your part in seeing it through. The amount of time you decide to put into this entire process, now and after it is published, will determine the success of your book. When you have done the hard work, and have seen it through, it will be time to proudly join the ranks of the publishing world, as a professional author.

Therold Prudent is the author of an upcoming book entitled "Glory Days And Tragedy."

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