I know I haven't written many Writer Wednesday posts lately. I feel like I've covered pretty well everything there is to cover and without repeating myself, there's not much left for content. I'm sad to say, my first WW post in awhile is going to be *le gasp* a bit of a semi-rant.
I am going to look like a monster, I know, but I have an important lesson that all aspiring authors should learn. Listen carefully. The Internet is Your Friend. Did I make that clear enough?
Now, let me break this down:
* There is no excuse when you sub to a publishing house and don't follow their guidelines. Every publisher I have ever looked up has a "submissions" page that explains, sometimes in great detail, exactly how they want the subs sent to them. Many publishers will auto-reject your file if you so much as name it wrong. You would think that if you were absolutely serious about being published, you would check, double check, and recheck every single aspect of your manuscript, query, and synopsis against their guidelines.
* If your manuscript is rejected, and the publishing house is kind enough to send a response with the exact reasons why you didn't make the cut, don't be an idiot. If there is a term there you don't understand, for the love of all the technological gods, perform an internet search for that shit. Bing, Google, Yahoo-- I don't care who you like. It's not that hard to type, "What is Showing versus Telling" or "What is a POV departure?" in the box. Freaking put forth the effort. Don't email the publisher back asking them to define. Feel fortunate that they gave you a bloody stepping stone in the right direction to fixing your manuscript instead of sending you a scripted rejection.
* Research, research, research. Before I ever received my first contract, I knew what showing versus telling was. Guess what? The second time I submitted a story in my life, I received an acceptance. *Dodges things thrown from raging authors* Wait! You know why I believe I achieved that dream so quickly? Because I spent a year getting my hands on every book, article, and website I could learning about the art of writing fiction and terminology. I joined critique groups and instead of arguing over every change they suggested, I looked at it as a learning experience. If you don't take your book or the desire to write seriously, the rest of the world won't either.
In this digital age, with information readily available at the stroke of a key, there's no excuse for "I don't know." There are articles for everything under the moon, websites that cost nothing but can explain everything, and unlimited possibilities. Bloody well quit expecting others to do all the work for you and take the initiative to do it yourself!