Is Your Manuscript Ready For the Reader’s Wrath?

Readers figure out quickly if a book has been well crafted and thoroughly edited. If it fails to ignite their imagination fires, rightfully so they will be lethal in their review comments – if they even finish the read and take the time to express their disappointment. If the author didn’t make the effort to create a believable story, why should a reader waste his/her time reading the damn thing!Many writers have asked me to critique their manuscript. They enthusiastically declared it was ready for publishing. If refused by publishers, they intend to self-publish. Alarm bells ring.

With some trepidation, I take on the task. It’s possible I may have to burst the writer’s bubble and try to find a way to let them down kindly. Every writer is passionate about their manuscript. It’s not easy for them to accept their ‘baby’ is flawed. And, it usually is terribly disfigured on the first draft.

Years ago I went through the same painful exercise as students in a writing class picked apart my precious three page submissions. So it is with the memory of those blows to my ego that I know to be kind with my constructive criticism.

And yet, I also remember that I wanted my manuscript to be a killer story, shake the reader to his or her core. Honest and precise feedback would be required to meet the reader’s demands. An equal amount of intense time at the keyboard doing rewrites after rewrites resulted in a novel I’m proud of.

If the author digs deep enough into their well of talent and training, he/she can create a story that rivals reality.

Every writer needs to understand that readers want to become a prisoner, immersed into a scene that merges into their three dimensional reality. Emotions kick in to vehemently hate a character and hope for his demise – perhaps sadistically.

If those emotions evaporate as soon as the book is closed, the author has not reached the epitome of creating something worthy of the reader’s attention and money. My goal in writing is to cause the reader to remain connected on a visceral level with the characters, even weeks after finish reading the novel. 

In essence, the story must be believable to the point it feels real and continues to be part of the reader’s world. What a beautiful gift to give.

The Guardian’s Wildchild, $2.74 available at

Also available at Amazon,ca, Barnes and Noble, and Omnific Publishing.