Last summer, a writer friend suggested I sign up for an edit slot with the excellent romance writer Laurie Sanders. I’d had dinner with Laurie once, after she spoke to my RWA chapter, and thought she had a lot of smarts where romance-writing is concerned, so I took that advice.
This week I got an email saying my 7000 word submission was due. Since I’m currently in the process of drafting two different books, it took me a day to decide what to submit. I chose to send the first 7K of The Demon’s Secret Baby, which will be the fourth in my Touched by a Demon series.
Then it was time to clean it up for submission, a process I liken to straightening your house in anticipation of your cleaning lady’s arrival. Back when I was working more-than-fulltime and had a cleaning lady, my husband used to scoff at my scurrying around, tidying everything before she arrived.
“Why do we need to impress our cleaning lady?” he’d ask.
“It’s not to impress her,” I’d respond.
Full disclosure–while it wasn’t to impress her, I really didn’t want the cleaning lady to know how messy we could be. The real reason I tidied up before she got there, though, was so she wouldn’t waste her time having to move stuff around to do her job.
Prepping a manuscript for submission to a paid editor is a lot like that. I want my submission to be as clean and error-free as I can make it so she doesn’t get distracted by or waste her time correcting grammar and punctuation and that bit of backstory that, for some reason, I felt the need to restate in three different places.
How about you? Do you clean for your cleaning lady (in whatever form that takes)?