Monday, August 07, 2006

Chewing it Over

Sitting and sipping my morning coffee, I ruminate on life and its various quirks which eventually leads to me producing this paragraph or two. For the entire process of writing starts with thinking, or ruminating, if you will.

Cows, I understand, do quite a lot of ruminating which accounts for their rather thoughtfully amiable and contented look although, as far as I’m aware, none have written a best seller as yet.

Looking at some of the manuscripts I receive, it would appear that many would-be authors miss out on the rumination part of the job.

The ancient Assyrian scribes had a motto, which roughly translated, ran: “Select brain before engaging hammer and chisel,” and a glance at The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles reveals barely a crossing out or even an ink blot. Clearly there had been some forward planning here.

Modern technology seems to have an adverse affect on writers and their ability to produce a flawless manuscript. The idea seems to be that it’s now so easy to correct all this stuff that there’s no need to bother – leave it to the editor to sort out.

But rather as an applicant for a job can easily fail to gain the position due to a sloppy and unprofessional appearance, so will your manuscript be judged by the agent or publisher who first lays eyes upon it.

And the surest way to acquire a fine collection of rejection slips is by not bothering to ensure that your manuscript is as perfect as you can make it.

So start by ruminating on that.


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