I've spent a lot of time this week shrieking about mistakes you've made and tearing out my hair about it. High entertainment value I know...for you and my colleagues who have taken to buying earplugs and vats of chamomile tea. The SharklyAssist has taken to hiding under her desk when steam starts coming out my ears.
Today however is different.
Today the shoe is on the other fin.
Today are the mistakes *I* have made...so far.
Here's the first:
As you know I hate prologues. With an almighty passion. Almost as much as I hate anachronisms. So when I read a query letter that said 1810 historical mystery and the first sentence of the manuscript had the words "plastic soldiers" I figured "prologue". Skim skim skim. Pages go by. L. Ron Hubbard makes an appearance. What the almighty font is going on here?
I start to email the author: I think you sent me the wrong manuscript.
I start a blog post: Huff! Puff! Check your work!!
I notice the name at the end of the query is NOT the name attached to the entry number.
I have pasted the WRONG query to the manuscript.
Back into the gmail archives. Aha! Yes indeed. There is the correct query.
Cut/paste/upload revised mss to Dropbox.
Delete blog post.
Here's the second:
I see "I lay in the gutter" in the first page of a manuscript.
Misuse of lie/lay/laid makes me CRAZY. I see it all the time.
I start a blog post with AIEEEEEEE and prepare to flay you all for misuse of "lay"
That is the correct use of the word lay.
I emailed the author just to share my pain and humiliation.
Look, we're all in this together. You make mistakes. I make mistakes. Nobody is going to die over lack of a doublespaced manuscript (well, not until I am Queen of the Known Universe and then WATCH OUT!) and no one is going to lose their access to the internet over a stupid email email address or signature. Reformatting manuscripts isn't going to actually kill me (if it could, I'd be dead now.)
The hard part is both behind us and ahead. Behind us in that the hard part is writing and finishing and polishing a novel. And you did that. Sure some of the formatting needs work, but you wrote, and finished and polished a novel. That ain't small potatoes.
Ahead of us is sorting out finalists. From what I'm reading here you've done some brilliant work and how to choose the winner is going to be a daunting task. Sufficient to say, it's not going to be based on whether you doublespaced or where you put your page numbers or even what you chose as a file name for your manuscript.
Unless of course it was JanetReidIsAQueryBunny.doc
Then all bets are OFF.