Selling Your Used Car

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Pep Talks, Warnings & Screedsby 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.

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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.