Letting Your Manuscript Go: Our Presentation to the California Writers Club

California Writers Club logo: sail on

Robin Martin and I present this Saturday, October 20 at Tokyo Buffet in Citrus Heights, 11am for the California Writers Club Sacramento Branch. We are representing the Editorial Freelancers Association.

Here’s a sample of what we’ll be talking about:

You had a method for writing your manuscript.

You designated certain times of day when you’d sit down to write. You arranged special care for that family member one day a week so you could commit yourself to writing. You bought tickets and traveled so you could write rich, accurate descriptions of a place. You went on a writer’s retreat.

Whatever it was you did, it probably didn’t involve waving a wand or higgledy piggledy dashing off 75,000 words, right? You’ve put in lots of hours writing, so now you owe it to yourself to apply a methodical approach and at least a few more hours finding someone to read your manuscript.

You want your first reader or readers to help you analyze your story structure–that is, the bones of the work. Style and mechanics are important, but save them for later. For the first round you want to see if others come to your desired conclusions regarding what your story is about, what the hook is, and what things will stick with the reader after putting the book down.

So who should you ask to read your work?

…At our presentation we will help you see what needs are foremost in your mind as you prepare to let your manuscript go, and how to match up those needs with the right type of reader. Once you find the right reader, what questions should you ask in order to get the best feedback (that is, specific suggestions for how to fix problems that don’t hijack your message or your unique voice)?

How do you know if you’re ready to work with an editor? What can you expect to pay an editor? What should you expect your editor to do for you?…