How to Write a Manuscript That Succeeds

manuscript submission, novel success, manuscript success, successful manuscripts

How to Write a Manuscript That Succeeds

This is a survey of published authors that I did on here (mumbles) over a year ago. But now I finally have a beautiful infographic to share on how to write a manuscript that succeeds.

The key takeaway, I think, is that so many of you have written more than ten manuscripts on your journeys, and how many of you enlisted outside help in the form of online writing groups, critique partners, beta readers, and editors.

What I’m seeing here? A lot of encouragement and perseverance. While it’s true that approximately 20% ended up landing an agent or publishing their first manuscripts, between 38 and 43% of writers ended up breaking through on their 5th through 9th manuscript, or even their tenth+ manuscript! That’s the majority of responders to the survey.

These writers have also taken the time to leave some very important words of wisdom to those of you who are still struggling with how to write a manuscript that succeeds.

Please take this to heart: you may publish your current WIP, or you may not (check out examples of successful queries here). But a large determining factor of success is perseverance and self-education. That’s why you’re already ahead of the curve! You’re sitting here, learning about the writing craft, and adding tools to your toolbox.

Now all you need to do is keep going. Trust that one day you will crack the code of how to write a manuscript that succeeds, like the published authors who responded to the survey did.

If you’d like personalized advice on your manuscript, and to put rocket boosters on your learning curve, hire me as your manuscript editor. Or take every writing class I’ve ever offered on demand with the Good Story Learning membership!

10 Replies to “How to Write a Manuscript That Succeeds”

  1. Susan Drew says:

    Great article. I remember when I wrote my first manuscript and had no idea that this journey was a journey. Not a sprint. Help like this along the way keeps me from getting discouraged. Thank you!

  2. Really interesting. Thanks for that. I think it’s encouraging to see that writers need to write a manuscript (sometimes the same one) many times before it is published.

  3. A manuscript is like an octopus that is continuously growing arms. Every time I edit it grows at least one more.

    And every time I go to a conference I come back with a new beginning.

  4. This advice is also steadying and valuable when writers make the leap to getting feedback from agents or start placing in contests…and still don’t get an offer. Regular writing practice and continual self-education (especially for any areas of weakness that agents point out) have helped to keep me focused on becoming a better writer instead of getting discouraged. I’d rather be a writer fielding rejections and getting better, than not writing at all.

  5. Shelly (Michelle) Pollock says:

    Thank you Mary – Glad I’m a “normal” writer…

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