Selling Your Used Car

Pep Talks, Warnings & Screeds by George Singleton, with illustrations by Daniel Wallace

Before a person buys a used car, he should always circle the vehicle slowly, searching for dings and dents and Bondo. Think of an editor as a buyer of used cars. When you present your story to him, he will circle that story relentlessly and take notes as to which dents can be fixed easily.

It might be a good idea for you to circle your own stories and novels, and look at them from all angles. Ask yourself, What will my readers think of this? What ill a farmer think of this farm story, or a banker think of this banking story? What will a woman think of this story about a female character scorned? Wat will a man think of this same story?

You do not want to send out a story with a bent frame. A couple of dings, maybe. A wheel that’s about to fall off, no.

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