Jan 14 2010
1. Diligence. A novel manuscript usually has 70,000+ words, most of which will be rewritten many, many times. We’re talking about thousands of hours of work to complete a first manuscript that rarely earns much more than $5000. (Happily, the pay tends to improve as you accumulate readers).
2. The ability to learn and improve. Look at something you wrote 2-3 years ago. You’re much better now, right? If you’ve plateaued even before getting published, you’re probably dead in the water.
3. Voice and authorial confidence. “John shot George. George fell down. John had won.” Ick. Don’t just tell us what happened–tell us with style.