There’s a great warm feeling that rushes through your veins when ‘finish’ your first draft. You type “The End”, print it out, get the satisfaction as you rap all the pages so they are all aligned and you clip it together to …

What comes next?

Lots of work. Lots.

Sadly, if you intend to publish, writing the book is actually the beginning!

You now need to have your work reviewed BEFORE submitting it to a publisher or agent, to see what’s working, what’s not and how to make it better.

Here’s a list of just some of the things you’ll need to cover off before you get it on sale.

  • What are the books strengths and weaknesses?
  • How marketable is it?
  • How solid is your plot, characterisation, pacing, structure?
  • How appropriate is it for your target market?
  • Where are the errors – grammar, mechanics, spelling, style?
  • What method and process will you use to revise the work?

What about proofreading? Sure, you’re careful, but then… grammatical errors, punctuation, capitalization, verb tense, spelling, sentence structure… Get things proofread – there are tons of people who will help you for a fee or, do it yourself – http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2013/02/10-proofreading-tips-for-self-publishers-058/

Got a short story that needs critiquing? Know how? Try this.

Know how to write a query letter? Research that.  For example – http://www.agentquery.com/writer_hq.aspx

Know how to write a good synopsis? Look it up. For example – http://www.marissameyer.com/blogtype/6-steps-for-writing-a-book-synopsis/

Want to do your own line editing? Find out how. For example – http://www.deepgenre.com/wordpress/craft/line-editing/

Once you’ve actually written the work, the rubber starts to hit the road. How committed are you to getting it properly prepared for sale or for enjoyment by friends and family without distractions of poor style etc.

If you believe in what you’ve written, isn’t the extra work worthwhile?

How many people will read a 1st draft that collects dust in your drawer?

Don’t be THAT person. Finish the thing! Stay the course and produce your work.