Saturday, April 19, 2008


I regularly read Nathan Bransford's blog - particularly his Friday wrap up. Today doing my catch up read through his offerings this week and I hit gold here. He ends up the post with this nugget:

"But most importantly, your command of words is what you're banking on. It's like musical ability to a musician, athletic ability to an athlete, swinging on trees to a monkey. If you got it you got it. "

However I gained so much from his link in the post to Lee Lofland's interview with Benjamin Leroy, founder of Bleak House Books. There is sooooooooooooooooo much to take away from this interview so please read it all. Here the points that hit me over the head:

"An author’s job is to write something undeniably great from Word One. There are no excuses. There is no wait-and-see policy for things that cross my desk. Either the book has it from the opening Once Upon a Time or it doesn’t. And in seven years of reading submissions I’ve learned that if I don’t get moved on page one, I’m not going to get moved on page one hundred."

"As soon as I see awkward prose on page one, I reject a book. You wouldn’t trust a clumsy surgeon with a scalpel. I don’t trust authors who aren’t in complete control of their environment. Sloppy work is sloppy work. Doesn’t matter the profession, I don’t want it."

"An editor is like a Building Inspector. An author is like a general contractor. The author’s job is to make the best possible use out of the tools accumulated and experience gained to build a sturdy, up to code building. When the author is done with the construction and the clean up, the inspector is brought in to check the big things-is the foundation level? Does the plumbing work the way it’s supposed to? The electricity? After the inspection is over the author receives a checklist of things that need to be fixed before the structure is ready for occupancy. The building inspector doesn’t pound nails or rework the wiring, that’s the contractor’s job."

There's some food for thought! Back to revisions.