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Information For Writers

Finding a publisher for fiction manuscripts

Grammar – creative or conventional?
In general, it is best for new writers to be respectful of conventional grammar: for example, just because you see published (or even successful) novels with sentence fragments or dangling modifiers doesn’t mean you can afford to be complacent about your own.

Some useful guidelines:

be circumspect about irritating or pretentious tricks with grammar – they can alienate the reader and obscure the quality of your work;

creative grammar can be useful (drawing attention, creating rhythms, suggesting suspense, breathlessness etc) but should be purposeful and conscious;

don't apply an idiosyncratic agrammatical structure to all your characters and all registers of voice and perception in your novel – it comes across as an unconscious flaw;

know the rules inside out – then you can go out and break them.

Make your style as pure as possible and as focused on the task at hand as you can.

Be independent: never model yourself on someone else’s idiosyncrasies or slip into the belief that the syntactical oddities or playfulness of a successful novel are the key to your own success. Every writer, published or not, bestseller or not, should constantly develop, hone and expand their craft. Some guidelines include:

be honest with yourself about known or possible shortcomings in your writing;

don’t find what you think is a successful formula and relax into it;

accept that there may be problems in your writing which you no longer notice but which may need stringent editing;

strive for integrity rather than modelling yourself on a perceived
success story;

be open to constructive criticism while keeping faith with yourself.

Finding a publisher


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