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Writing Books/first draft finished, now what


Hi Susan,
I just finished my first draft of a fiction novel after following your great advice on getting started. It is about a college girl with paranormal gifts of seeing spirits and her search for peace, them and herself. Now what, do I read through and edit for more appealing writing, than share it afterwards for insight and critique? How do I know it's ready to hit the publishing market? Help please!!


Hi Heather:

Congratulations on finishing your first draft.

First drafts are very seldom ready to send out for publication. Two or three or more rewrites may be required before a MS is actually finished. It depends on the level of your skill. Unless you have a solid background in editing, I would recommend that you not attempt to edit your own work. I would suggest that you hire a professional to do the job, or to guide you through the process if you want to do it yourself. A professional is, or should be, neutral, and will tell you the truth as they see it.

At my website -, I offer editor and mentoring service at a very reasonable price.

I hope this helps. If it does, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high scores over 1350+ questions.

And thank you for writing!  

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Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

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