The writer’s manifesto

I fell asleep for 15 minutes, and woke up with this in my head. 

The Writer’s Manifesto

I, the undersigned writer, understand and accept the following ten conditions:

  • I will never be completely happy with my manuscript, because it always could have been just that little bit better.
  • Even though I write something great, it may never find a publisher, its due audience, or sell well.
  • It may not get the cover it deserves, or even one I like.
  • I may have to do most, if not all of my marketing, and spend large sums of money and inexhaustible time on social media with little sales impact.

When is a novel finished?

This is a kind of zen koan – a mind-bending unanswerable question – for many authors. But as I’m getting ready to send off my next manuscript, these are the ten questions I ask myself:

  1. Prose – is it fresh, evocative, vivid, agile? Is it clean, with the occasional sparkle? Are the first five pages as good as they can possible be? Does it have a killer first line? Does the reader get a feel (or at least a hint) for the upcoming conflict in the first few pages?

Is it worth paying for a copy-edit?

First, I’m an author, not a copy-editor, and I’m not selling any services. For my first four books I didn’t use a copy-edit as it would have cost me around a thousand pounds to do so per book, and I didn’t think it was worth it. Now I have a large publisher behind me, and have just had a copy-edit done for me (for free), I’ve basically changed my mind. 

The last stage before your words are locked in forever
When your manuscript is heading for publication, after you’ve done all you can to polish it, there are always two remaining items to consider.