Wednesday, February 11, 2009

How Not to Make a Good First Impression

One of the links in my sidebar is to a blog called Flogging the Quill. It's run by a writer/editor, and he critiques the openings (the first sixteen lines, or about what would fit on the first page of a properly formatted manuscript) of novels submitted by writers. I've been following him for a while, and I think he does a good job of pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of the submissions. I decided I would submit the first chapter of Across Two Universes once I was satisfied with it.

Before I share my work with others for review, I always make it as good as I can possibly make it on my own. Although I finished Chapter One last month, I held off submitting it to Flogging the Quill so I could tweak the opening. Today during my lunch hour, I decided it was time to send the chapter. I can't access the Internet from my personal laptop at work, so that meant uploading the file to a flash drive, copying text and pasting into a new file, tweaking text again and updating all the files on two different get the picture. Making this even more fun was having Word on my laptop fail in the middle of this and losing my work from yesterday. (I thought I saved it, honest!) But finally, at the end of my lunch hour, the chapter was ready. I wrote up a short but professional e-mail telling the writer how much I liked his blog, (making sure I addressed the writer by the right name) attached the file, and sent it.

A few minutes later, I realized I had misspelled the name of the website in the subject line.

At this point, all I could do was laugh at myself. I thought about sending a follow-up e-mail to apologize, but I decided that would not only call more attention to the typo but flood the writer's Inbox with unnecessary e-mail. At least he won't be critiquing my e-mail; he'll be reviewing my novel, and that's good. I'll consider it good until he posts it and I see all sorts of issues I should have fixed.

Ah, the thrill of a writer's life never ends, does it?


Kate Karyus Quinn said...

Oh no - bad timing on the typo! Make sure to post a link when your submission goes live!

Kat Harris said...

This sounds exactly like something I would do.

The nice thing to remember is that agents and editors are people too.

Good luck.

Tara Maya said...

I live in dread of this. I once sent out a full which I had carefully edited, polished and so forth -- on to realize I had a misspelled word on page one! Egads. So humiliating. :P

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