Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Don't Sabotage your MS

Another writer highly recommended “Don’t Sabotage Your Submission: Save Your Manuscript from Turning up D.O.A.” by Chris Roerden, so I had to check it out.

I was impressed that the author has been editing manuscripts for over forty years, first as a managing editor for a publisher, and then as an independent book editor. Some of her clients have had books published from St. Martin’s, Berkley Prime Crime, Midnight Ink, Viking, Intrigue, Oceanview, Rodale, Walker & Co., and many more. So, I’m assuming she knows what she’s doing.

I’m not very far into the book (page 12), but I’m enjoying it. Some craft books I’ve read are very dry. Not this one. The author’s easy-going style makes for a fun read. In fact, the whole book is set up in legal terms because of the D.O.A. theme in the title.

Here’s a list of a few of the chapters I’m looking forward to reading:

Part III: First Offenders
Clue #1: Hobbled Hook
Clue #2: Perilous Prologue
Clue #2: Bloody Backstory

Part IV: Killing Time
Clue #4: Fatal Flashback
Clue #5: Toxic Transcript
Clue #6: Deceptive Dream
Clue #7: Time Bomb

There are many more interesting chapters, but I won’t list them all now. You can take a look at the book on Amazon.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Any other craft books you’d recommend?


  1. Forgive me if you've already talked about this book, but I'm really getting a lot out of doing the exercises in Donald Maass' Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook (there is a companion book, same title, but not "workbook"). The exercises include writing down what your protagonist would never, ever say or do and then writing scenes where he/she must do them, thereby pushing them out of their comfort zones.

  2. The title and chapter headings are a great hook. This is going on my Wish List.

    Susan :)

  3. Fatal Flashback!!! Love it. I've seen a lot of these sorts of mistakes in beginner manuscripts I've judged in contests. Of course, we're all paranoid that we're messing up too!

  4. Looks like a good one! Please share more as you read it!

  5. I haven't read it but I think he's in one of my RWA groups. A very helpful guy, and knowledgeable. :-)

  6. Looks like a good one. I think I'm going to ask for an Amazon gift cert. or my birthday.

  7. This sounds like a great read! Thanks for highlighting it. :D

  8. Oh My, another book I need to buy. Thanks for the info!

  9. Haven't read it but it looks interesting. Thanks for the review.

  10. Roll on October, this is on my birthday wish list now!

  11. This sounds like a potentially worthwhile read.. Have you learned anything so far from reading it that you've found helpful?