Miss Clavel turned on the light and said, “Something is not right!” – Madeleine
You’ve written a wonderful story and identified a publisher. The next step is the most important: wait! Don’t send it off; instead, hide your story for weeks or even months. When you pick it up again it will be like turning on the light –you’ll see with fresh eyes all the lame bits glaring at you. Not waiting has been my biggest mistake as a writer – I always find things I should’ve fixed. When re-reading I often get a Miss Clavel feeling that something is not right; a scene doesn’t fit; the dream is broken and I’m jerked out of the story. A ruthless edit is needed. Illustration from the timeless Madeleine by Ludwig Bemelmans.
Nothing must be out of place. The reader must keep turning pages with no interruptions in the flow. – Darcy Pattison
Go over and over it…refusing to let anything stay if it looks awkward, phony, or forced.– John Gardner