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Question
Hi, I am really shy about my writings.  My friends say I am really good, and I continue to submit online short stories that have a great following.

I submitted a few queries to a lot of publishers, and many would like to see my first three chapters.

I asked one if he could read my first chapter.  He read it but kept asking if I can send three chapters and a synopsis.  I guess I am nervous.

He told me he gets 100's of submissions a week.  Could you give me pointers on what steps I should do if I am rejected?

Thanks!

Answer
Hello Michael:

First, let me apologize for being so late with this. My email has been down for 3 days and I just got it fixed today.

If you are getting responses asking for three chapters and a synopsis, you are doing well indeed. Put aside your nervousness. Just get three chapters and a synopsis ready and submit them to those who asked. I don't know if this fellow who said he gets hundreds of submissions a week is a regular or online publisher, or an agent, but whatever he is, he can't tell much about your work from one chapter or from a query. He wants to get an overall picture of the book to see how you handled the plot, dialogue, etc.

If you are rejected, do what everyone who is rejected does: ask if he will tell you why, and if he does, do your best to fix it. Also, ask if he will look at your work again after the fix. If he will not, go on to the next one. Keep submitting until you get a bite.

If he will not tell you what's wrong and even if he does, try to get hold of a book called "The 38 Most Common Mistakes Fiction Writers Make And How to Avoid Them)
by Jack M. Bickham. You can get a used copy (most often in very good condition) for $5.90 at amazon.com.  Every fiction writer should have this book.

If you need help with the chapters or synopsis come back here with your questions. For a chapter-by-chapter critique or for help from an MS doctor, visit my website at http://www.webspawner.com/users/rand49/index.html. (You'll have to cut and paste as this site does not support hyperlinks.)

I hope this has helped. If it has, a nice rating would be appreciated. I am proud of my high score over 400+ questions. Again, I apologize for being late with this.

And good luck with your writing!  

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Susan Rand

Expertise

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 http://pygmypress.com, 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.

Experience

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.

Education/Credentials
BA degree in Written Communication

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