1. Editor at a publishing house: You are fairly confident that you are getting close to being ready to publish and need confirmation of that; and specific guidance about your professional writing prospects; and information about the literary environment and publishing industry.
- Is my work ready or nearly ready to submit for consideration?
- If yes, where should I submit it?
- If no, why not? What should I do to bring it closer to being ready?
- What expectations should I have when I submit my work? When or if it is accepted?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses you see in my writing?
2. Agent: You believe you are getting close to being ready to publish and need confirmation of that and specific guidance as to your professional writing prospects and advice as to how to proceed.
- Is my work ready for agency representation?
- If yes, in what ways should my work be marketed to editors?
- What expectations should I have?
- If my work is not ready, what do I need to do and why?
- Do I even need an agent? What are my options?
- What does my sample writing demonstrate in terms of my relative development
- as a writer?
- What narrative skills should I be focusing on pertinent to my chosen genre?
- How do I continue to develop my writing and my writing life?
- What is the work of substantive revision about? What are some strategies for revision I might consider?
- What might this writing be wanting to “say” to me about, for example, latent themes or other narrative forms or structures?
- I have all these ideas but I can’t seem to get them organized.
- What are the strongest aspects to my writing?
- How can I strengthen some of the weaker aspects?
- How do I make my characters more life-like or my narrator more real?
- What images are the most immediate and present in my work?
- What should I cut? Where do I need to expand?
- How do I make the writing seem more immediate and more relevant?
- How do I create more vivid scenes?
- What should I read as a model?
- After I revise this again and again, then what do I do?
- I’m stuck. How do I get started again?
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