Category: Olive grove

Editing

Editing

In computing, it is a known phenomenon that new errors are often introduced when old errors are corrected. Also the more programmers who work on the same program, the more resultant confusion and therefore the greater the risk of introducing errors. Also if a programmer does not appreciate the whole picture of a program someone else wrote, she could add errors instead of fixing them and might even accidentally delete portions of code.

I propose that the same is true in writing and editing a portion of manuscript, a synopsis and a submission letter for a literary agent I am trying to attract.

I find the phenomenon repeatedly occurring that I will correct one error, only to find AFTER I’VE SENT THE EMAIL that I have introduced another error . This happens even when I write a tailor-made submission letter with inserts of perfectly structured prose from previous perfectly composed text. It also occurs as I construct an ever shrinking synopsis as I attempt to squash the ideas expressed on 600 pages of manuscript onto the ‘one page if possible’ synopsis that is required by most agents. I even manage to introduce errors when I copy the first 10 pages or 100,000 words or 3 chapters or 5 chapters to meet the requirements of an agent I am desperately trying to impress.

This is all very distressing especially seeing I am trying to be the most perfect little author in the whole wide world and I hate making the mistakes that all the agents say they abhor. I am so nervous of their threats that they will not consider my manuscript if they find the ‘most common’ mistakes in my submissions to them.

But I’ll keep on trying. I am encouraged to continue by the many well known and well loved authors who received thousands of rejections before getting published.

Or I could just give up and continue to look after my orchard, olive grove, vineyard and vegetable garden and go back to making jam.

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