5. Perfection isn't reached when there's nothing left to add, it's when there's nothing left to take away.
(I'm not saying my manuscript is "perfect"--but I did succeed in cutting almost 9,000 words. Yay!)
4. You know that scene, the one everyone in your writers group has said, "Hey this is really great--but I think you should cut it because it doesn't add anything to the plot," but for three and a half years you've ignored them over and over again and thought, "I will only cut this scene if an editor/agent tells me too!"? Yeah, well, guess what?--you're going to have to cut it.
Kill those darlings, baby. Kill those darlings.
3. When marking pages to come back to, DO NOT absentmindedly stick Post-it-note tabs to your lips. They may actually STICK!
2. In the words of my high school drama teacher who used to stand in the back of the room shouting, "ST! ST! ST!" while we rehearsed girl+guy scenes: You must, and always can, add more sexual tension to scenes between the story's romantic leads.
(I'm NOT talking about adding sex to the story, I'm talking adding "tension"--lest anyone be confused ;)
1. If anything can go wrong--it will go wrong.
Like the laser printer will run out of ink right when you need to print your entire manuscript, and the ink cartridge you bought a few of months ago to have on hand in just such an emergency turns out to be the WRONG size. Oh and Dell refuses to let you return it for a refund because you bought it so long ago. So not only do you have to pay $120 for a new cartridge plus overnight shipping to get it asap, you also have to eat the $120 you shelled out in an effort to be prepared in the first place.
OR . . .at the very moment you finally finish the revisions for your agent and need to email them off so he can take your manuscript on a trip with him, your modem has a stroke and completely stops working. And no matter how long you are on the phone with tech support, or try to reset the $#@& modem, the thing is dead. But fortunately, on your 1000th try at hacking your neighbor's wireless all night long, it finally connects at 5:00 am and you thankfully get it off just in the nick of time. Woo Hoo! Oh btw, the modem has made a miraculous recovery and is working just fine and dandy now. I love technology.
That's enough for now. I'm anxiously waiting for the "green light" from Ted. We may actually be DONE with revisions and ready for SUBMISSIONS. Stay tuned--I'll let you know. Also, just as a teaser, I've got a great post coming soon. I'm thinking of calling it "The weekend I made a new friend, went to the wrong party, showed up at the wrong place for a conference, and had dinner with my fabulous agent--twice!" I even have pics.