Three ways to prove you’re not ready to be published

By Al Kalar

There are hundreds of ways to get your manuscript rejected. Here are three:

1. Use lots of unneeded dialog tags

John stood up. “Why do we need to do that?” he asked.

  • We already know it’s John talking.
  • The question mark is a dead giveaway that it’s a question.

2. Refer to disembodied body parts

John’s eyes fixed on her cute bottom.

  • Are is eyes now stuck to her butt and no longer in his head?

Alex stepped away from the wall and raised his eyes.

  • Is this guy raising his eyes up in his hands?

Arms and hands waving by themselves with no volition from the character’s brain.

Legs running or dancing – all by themselves.

Why do so many writers do this? It may be because news anchors (talking heads) tell us that “The SUV plowed into the smaller car.” No drivers involved at all? Don’t model your writing after the illiterates of the world. You’re supposed to know better.

3. Tell us about the future

John gazed into her green eyes. He later found out they were more brown than green.

  • If it’s that important, SHOW us later on when he actually finds out.

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