This post is brought to you by
the one and only, Lisha Cauthen.
Been a long while since we talked about the nuts and bolts of query-letter writing. Today, let’s discuss a very simple step that if skipped, will sink your chances of getting an agent:
CHECKING YOUR SPELLING, PUNCTUATION, AND SYNTAX
- First, use Spellcheck. But sweet holy Moses, don’t depend on it. Spellcheck is well-known for missing grammar mistakes, capitalizing words that do not need it, and confusing homonyms.
- Run your letter through an alternate program. There are many free ones online, and software that is free to download. (Google: “free online grammar and spell checkers”)
- Then, take your letter to a critique group. Or ask a friend to proofread. Or join Sub It Club, go to the private Facebook page and ask for feedback.
- Put the letter away for as long as possible, then look with fresh eyes.
I don’t know about you, but when I slave over a couple of paragraphs for days and days, I start to lose perspective. Also, I have a set of spelling mistakes that I’ve made since the age of, oh, seven. And no matter how many times I try to drill the correct spelling in my brain, I make the same stoopid mistakes.