Blogger: Wendy Lawton
The best part of my job is reading manuscripts. I am writing my blog post and then closing down for the afternoon to read. Sounds like the perfect job, doesn’t it? I wish I had more time to read. Unfortunately this job requires more than forty hours on the phone and on the computer so reading is usually squeezed into evenings and weekends. Or on windy days where the brain is ready for a little R & R.
Happily I don’t read many mediocre manuscripts because even if I’m reading a full manuscript from a potential new client, I’ve already weeded out the ones that won’t work early in the proposal stage. And if I’m reading a manuscript by one of my clients, well, they are already some of my favorite writers. But my process of reading manuscripts has changed since the advent of Kindle and I thought I’d talk a little about that.
I now load the manuscripts onto my Kindle and for the first read through. I read them just like I would read a published book. Because I have read so many excellent published books on my Kindle, I find I’m comparing the manuscript to the very best that’s out there. I’m tougher on the manuscript for that reason and that’s a good thing because the market is tough. When I find myself approaching my Kindle with the same enthusiasm for a manuscript as I do for a long-awaited book, I know I have a winner.
After that first read through I may go back to the computer and use Track Changes to make suggestions on the manuscript but that first e-book-like read tells me all I need to know about the story or the proposed book.
If you are a writer, have you ever tried reading your manuscript on your eReader? It might help you look at it in a whole different way. What are some other ways you can look at your story or your book with fresh eyes? Please jump in and talk. I’m going to be getting my long-awaited root canal this morning so I may be silent for a time but I’ll chime in later. (Have you ever seen anyone so happy to be scheduled for dental work?)