Mistake 47: Using the Copyright Symbol and Other Subconscious Negatives

Author:
Publish date:

70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer, from The Writer's Digest Writing Kit

Why this is a mistake: Most writers have a few blind spots when it comes to their work, and these negatives tend to come out in their business dealings. Insecurities are often most obvious in submissions and proposals, as in using the copyright symbol on cover letters and cover sheets for manuscripts. Writers might be quick to point out that they need to protect their work. But what they imply by using the copyright symbol is that they fear the agent or editor they are sending their work to will steal their idea.

Image placeholder title

In the same way, many authors put subconscious negative comments in their cover letters. They will unwittingly say negative things about themselves or their writing, mentioning that this is their first article or book, for instance. Or they will slam the genre or form in which they are writing. Some of them even say negative things about the agent or editor to whom they are submitting.

The solution:
Review any written material before you send it, and examine it sentence by sentence for subconscious negatives. Give it to someone else to read and have the person look for these negatives. Examine your word choice. Examine your verbs. Do not put anything in writing that can be taken as a negative, either consciously or subconsciously.

Ask yourself how you would feel reading your material cold without any idea who the author of it was. What would be your initial impression?
(Remember that the initial impression is often the only impression.) Would it be positive or negative? Make sure it is a positive one.

John B. Thompson | Book Wars

John B. Thompson: On Researching Changes in the Book Publishing Industry

John B. Thompson, author of the new book Book Wars, shares the research that went into his account of how the digital revolution changed publishing for readers and writers.

From Script

Supporting AAPI Storytellers and Tapping into Mythical World Building (From Script)

In this week’s round-up from ScriptMag.com, meet South-East-Asian-American filmmakers and screenwriters, plus interviews with screenwriter Emma Needell and comic book writer/artist Matt Kindt, TV medical advisor Dr. Oren Gottfried, and more!

What Is a Personal Essay in Writing?

What Is a Personal Essay in Writing?

In this post, we look at what a personal essay (also known as the narrative essay) is, including what makes it different from other types of fiction and nonfiction writing, examples of effective personal essays, and more.

FightWrite™: How Do People Who Don’t Know How to Fight, Fight?

FightWrite™: How Do People Who Don’t Know How to Fight, Fight?

If your character isn't a trained fighter but the scene calls for a fight, how can you make the scene realistic? Author and trained fighter Carla Hoch has the answers for writers here.

April PAD Challenge

30 Poetry Prompts for the 2021 April PAD Challenge

Find all 30 poetry prompts for the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge in this post.

The Problem of Solving a Mystery When You're the Prime Suspect

The Problem of Solving a Mystery When You're the Prime Suspect

Mia P. Manansala, author of Arsenic & Adobo, explains how writers can help their main character solve a mystery when they're the prime suspect.

Mistakes Writers Make: Not Using Your Spare 15 Minutes

Mistakes Writers Make: Not Using Your Spare 15 Minutes

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake writers make is not using your spare 15 minutes.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unexpected Visitor

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unexpected Visitor

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, invite an unexpected visitor into your story.

7 Tips for Writing a Near Future Dystopian Novel

7 Tips for Writing a Near-Future Dystopian Novel

In this article, debut author Christina Sweeney-Baird explains how writers can expertly craft a near-future dystopian novel.