I would like to welcome special guest, and winner of the Best Agent Intern Site award, Cassandra Marshall to my blog. Cassandra has kindly agreed to answer some questions for me to share with you.
As a writer, what have you learnt through being an editor and an agent intern that you now apply to your writing?
Each activity helps the other. I can use what I see in the queries pile to help write my own query so it stands out (and I have four full requests in two weeks to prove it! Yay!) and if I see mistakes over and over again in a clients MS, I’ll check my own for those mistakes too. It’s like the quote, “It takes a village to raise a child” except it’s more like, “It takes a writing community to write a book.” The more you learn and then share what you learn, the better for all of us.
(GD: Congratulations on the full requests!)
As an editor, what is the most common mistake you see when editing a manuscript?
Not capturing a specific voice. Teens using outdated slang or phrases, characters that are formulaic and cliche, stuff like that. The more you read in your genre, the better you will be at distinguishing voice.
Do you have any tips for writers who might be in the process of revising their manuscripts?
Save your changes. Use “track changes” if you edit in Word. Save the bits you cut out in another file. You never know if a revision means that you could use a scene you’ve already written and you’ll be sad that you got rid of it. Or it’s also possible for those scenes inspire more books.
What is the best piece of advice you have for aspiring authors?
Read. Read as much as you can in your genre to figure out what does and does not work. Read submission guidelines for each agent/publisher and follow them exactly. Read agent and fellow writer blogs and become part of the community.
Thanks for having me Jo!
C.A. Marshall is a freelance editor, lit agent intern, YA writer, and loves to play with her dog Mollie. She dreams of one day owning a small house near the water, preferably in England, with a shelf full of books she has written and has helped others to write. She can be found in Emmett, MI and at camarshall.com
Be sure to check out the Free Edit Contest on Cassandra’s blog. One lucky person will win a FREE substantial edit for up to 100K words.
Thanks so much for being here, Cassandra!
(P.S. To all those waiting for the results of the Graceful Doe and Peevish Penman’s blogiversary contest, the winners will be announced in the next post. Not long now!)