1. Kirby Tails
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    Kirby Tails Member

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    What Will Stop Me From Getting My Novel Published.

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Kirby Tails, Jul 11, 2008.

    Okay...so not to sound too cocky or anything, but I think that my novel is somewhat well written. Decent characters, decentish premise (the grammar is probably pretty horrible)...I think I actually did okay (for it being my first time).

    The problem is...I think my plot is a bit too cliched. Like...it just kind of turns into a typical romance-type novel and...yeah. I don't exactly know how to explain it, let's just say the guy gets the girl in the end.

    Will that hold me back too much, or do I have a chance?
     
  2. Samswriting
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    Samswriting Senior Member

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    There are a few people here that will give you good information on getting published, but if you are already worried about your grammar, re-read it proof it and fix the mistakes. Spend a lot of time with your work polishing it.

    Farm boy turns king, is very cliche' yet publishers still publish it. If your story is well written then even cliche' can be good.

    Its your first novel? I would say write it again or write another. Keep writing till you have what you want on paper, and then when its the story you want to share with the world, go sell it.

    If you want published there is one way that is the only way to get published. Decide that is what you are going to do, and never stop. Most published offers get tons of rejections before finally getting that golden egg and finding a publisher.

    Sit down, caress your work, finalize it, make it as good as it can be, then go to the publishers, and keep going till one finally says "hrm this has potential" and then go to Barnes and nobles and buy a copy of your booK :).

    Good luck and happy writing
     
  3. Kirby Tails
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    Kirby Tails Member

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    As a matter of fact, I wrote the original, than wrote it twice. The original wasn't nearly what I had wanted it to be, but it gave me a great start.

    ...and to be fair, the guy only turned "king" because he kind of married into the money after he killed the husband of the girl. :p

    ...and the grammar? I'm just not good at grammar. I know I got most of the obvious things, though. :p
     
  4. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Kirby Tails,
    The major barrier is the competition out there. Good agents get between dozens and hundreds of queries a week. Major publishers that accept unsolicited submissions receive just as many, if not more. Small and midsized publishers often close to submissions on a regular basis because they get overwhelmed with submissions.

    Your novel has to stand out, above the rest. Your novel will be competing, not only against new authors submitting, but also against established authors for the limited number of slots in the publication schedule.

    I read your post to where you said "decent" with respect to premise, and "somewhat well written" that you were being polite, and in your heart you believe it is at least as good as what you see on the shelves out there. And that's good, because you have to believe in your work, despite the long odds and uphill battle.

    As was suggested by Samswriting, polish it. If it's rife with grammar concerns, clean those up. Have someone else read it, or maybe a couple people who are sharp and well-read. Maybe they can help with the grammar and potential plot holes and weakenesses, to get it from 'decent' to far better than decent. Securing readers that can and will provide the input needed may prove be a difficult task in itself.

    Because of the stiff competition, your novel has to be an example of the absolute best work you can produce to give you the best chance of seeing it published.

    And once you have submitted your work (or have queries out to agents) begin writing your second novel. From the experience with your first novel, your second likely will be even higher in quality, increasing your chances of success.

    Obviously, if you don't submit, you have absolutely no chance.

    Good luck and hang in there.

    Terry
     
  5. Samswriting
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    Samswriting Senior Member

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    ROFL :) I didnt know you had a peasant becoming king... was using that cliche' fantasy genre... point is it CAN work.

    The fact you have re-written it twice, makes me feel good, it means you are willing to work it, and have some real desire to do something with it.

    Your worried about grammar, go through it once more reading slowly and preferably aloud. Do the best you can with grammar and punctuation. Focus only on that and not the story. When it truly is the best you can make it. Send it out. And never stop trying...

    http://www.debbieohi.com/personal/rejections.html
     
  6. Daisy
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    Daisy New Member

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    I agree with all the suggestions here, but want to add that if you are just plain not good at grammar, ask someone to help you with it, read over it and point out obvious mistakes so you can go through the rest of it and fix those things.

    If you don't know anyone, hire someone to do it.

    You would think that content, the idea, would reign supreme, but editors are already overwhelmed with submissions and they are extremely picky. If the editor is distracted by all the grammar mistakes, he or she will never get to the heart or should I say meat of your story. They'll be thinking, "You mean I gotta edit this? I"d be here until Christmas and I've already got twenty others to do plus my own life to lead. No thank you very much!

    Good luck. I do hope it works out great for you.
     
  7. Kirby Tails
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    Kirby Tails Member

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    Yeah...I was trying to figure out how you'd said that. And he didn't exactly become king...it;s kind of complicated, actually, lol. :p

    But yeah, there are a few other problems, but I think that's the most major one...
     
  8. Daisy
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    Daisy New Member

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    Oh, KT, almost forgot,

    The romance buying public is the one of, if not the, largest out there, so no, I don't think it will hold you back at all, but I suppose it may depend on how it's marketed in the end.

    Best wishes,
     
  9. Samswriting
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    Samswriting Senior Member

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    Romance is a huge area of literature right now, although I can't say I've heard of an overly large number of them focusing on someone becoming a king. It seems they are all focused on the 1800's America's with cowboys riding in from nowhere, girl meeting guy, not liking said guy, until said guy saves them and manages to willingly force them into their seduction by their overly masculine appeal and improbably perfection in body and skill.

    I say whip out the sword, give the girl one too, and let them battle their way to the climactic end atop the shining tower of their new founded castle. And I suppose the man can have the perfect body and skills honed in his own imagination. :)
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    aside from anything else, what's in those ( ) is what will keep you from being published... why would any publisher pay for work that isn't even written with decent grammar?... who would read it that way?... if you think anyone will pay you for sloppy work and then pay more to someone to fix it all up, think again...

    most likely 'yes' to the first part and probably 'no' to the last...

    if you want to know how bad it is and what it needs done to it, to be worth submitting, you can send me a sample and i'll show you in detail...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  11. Hassan Mohammed
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    Hassan Mohammed New Member

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    first of all
    I'd like to express my happiness to be a member in this useful forum, although I'm Egyptian (Arabian) new novelist but we can't deny that the Arabic language took the novel art from the western culture. because of that there are similarities between the two novels (of course not in grammar or spelling), but the elements of the novel in any language is similar (the ideas, tension, types of characters, beginning, ending, etc). bucase of that please give me the chance to give my obinion about the art of writing and the proofreading process.

    the novelist has to concentrate on the issue that he wants to convey through his novel, the proofreading is not the job of the novelist at all. of course rewriting is a good method to improve the outer shape and the language of the novel but on the other hand, the writer should take care when he rewrites because he may change the main ideas of the work.
     
  12. Daisy
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    Daisy New Member

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    Hassan, Welcome to the forum.

    Is proofreading the same as using clear and understandable grammar? I don't think it is.

    Proofreading to me is a final once over to catch any tiny mistakes, which should be few and far between. Like "he" when it should be "she."

    I doubt any editor or publishing house would waste their time reading an entire novel with a slew of grammatical mistakes. I seriously doubt they'd get the point of the story either as they'd be too distracted by the mistakes and stop reading.

    Perhaps it is different in your part of the world and in your culture.
    But here, the competition is staggering.

    Best wishes
     
  13. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    My advice is, don't send it to the wrong type of puplisher.

    Other than that, nothing if you work hard at it.
     
  14. Hassan Mohammed
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    Hassan Mohammed New Member

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    Hi Daisy
    thanks a lot for you
    your are completely right and I agree with you, the final draft of the novel is under responsibility of the writer alone but I meant that the novelist shouldn't pay attention to the grammar and spelling mistakes neglecting the ideas and the inspiration of his work. but it is better for the novelist to finish his work first, after that he can find a professional teacher to help him in correcting the mistakes.
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sorry, hassan, but while that is totally not true... proofing one's own work IS a most vital part of any writer's 'job'... if people can't write well enough to even find their own mistakes, or don't want to be bothered correcting them, then they have little to no chance of being successful writers who're paid for their work...

    proofreading and the editing that results is not the same as 'rewriting'... and if writers want to change the 'main ideas' of their work, who can say they shouldn't?... a simple 'revision' to correct flaws wouldn't do that, so i don't see why you'd feel that is a risk to be avoided...

    if you want to be a 'novelist' or any other breed of professional writer, you have to be able to find and correct your own mistakes, unless you are wealthy enough to be able to pay a professional to do it all for you, in which case it will no longer be completely your own work, will it?...

    you seem to be looking at writing as just the spewing out of ideas that spring to your mind, without needing to apply any skill to the doing of it...

    that's not what real writers do... real writers approach writing as the 'art' form that it indeed is... as well as a 'craft'... both of which require both talent and the development of the requisite skills... and you seem to think no skill is needed, when it's perhaps even more important than talent, since a skilled writer of little talent can succeed, while a talented one who doesn't bother honing his/her skills won't...
     
  16. Hassan Mohammed
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    Hassan Mohammed New Member

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    Hemingway

    Hi mammamaia,
    Thank you for your useful reply, and I'd like to remind you of the great writer Hemingway who was not good in grammar but he had a good ability to describe the actions, characters and nature in a few simple words. I didn't mean that the work of the novelist should be full of spelling and grammar mistakes but I meant that the novelist should give priority to the ideas, the plot, the description and the other elements after that he can check the spelling and the grammar.
     
  17. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    hemingway not good on grammar? Examples please. Not saying you're wrong, but I hadn't encountered this claim.

    If the spelling and grammar are poor, description quickly becomes ludicrous. And no matter how many passes you make over a manuscript, some spelling errors (as well as errors even more difficult to automatically locate) will remain. Your best strategy is to take SPAG seriously from the very beginning to reduce the number of errors that slip through into the final work.

    This is not to say you should ignore the other elements, by any means. But if your spelling, punctuation, grammar, and word usage are poor, you will have a tough time getting anyone to even see the other elements, through all the cruft, for what they are.
     
  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    as he does so often, cog has written my reply for me [gracias, amigo mio!]... m
     
  19. Kirby Tails
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    Kirby Tails Member

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    I sent an email, though I'm sure you'll hate it.
     
  20. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sent to whom, kirby?... if to me, i don't think i got it... m
     
  21. penhobby
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    penhobby Contributing Member

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    Have you submitted this to anyone yet?
    Check out submission guidelines to any publishing company and you will discover how important grammar really is. But you also need to recognize that by simply accepting that you are bad at grammar, you are letting yourself down as a writer. Being able to create an imaginative story is only half the battle. Good grammar will help you bring your vision to the reader in even better ways. Always be willing to learn.
    Lastly, you are your own biggest stumbling block to getting published. You will get rejections, most everyone gets rejections and I won’t lie to you, they are painful. Learn from them. Polish up your work again and again if necessary and then start the process all over again. Talent will only take you as far as your own perseverance is willing to go. Why should someone take a risk on you, when you are so unwilling take a risk on yourself? Go back and take the time to learn grammar. You won’t regret it.

    By the way, I start an English degree in August and I can't wait, because I really need it! ;)
     
  22. Kirby Tails
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    Kirby Tails Member

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    It was to you.
     
  23. mmorsepfd
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    mmorsepfd Member

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    When you have had enough dissapointment and rejection, and are ready to give up your dream, don't.
     
  24. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    well, if you didn't get a reply within 24 hours, i never got it... i'll send you an email from here and you can just hit the 'reply' button... that should work... m
     
  25. Kirby Tails
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    Kirby Tails Member

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    Yeah...well I don't think this whole writing things gonna work out anyways.
     

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