As writers we’re charged with the responsibility of drawing the reader in, making him care about the character and identify with the characters. To do that, we must create and maintain the fictional dream. There’s an article on that on the website in the Writers’ Aids section, but let me say here that it is through the fictional dream that a reader is transported from reading words on a page to living the events of the novel. – Vicki Hinze
I quoted the above text from Vicki Hinze’s article, The Reason Editors Reject Manuscripts. Since I am pursuing the e-book/self publishing route, I ignored the opening paragraphs that dealt with agent or publisher mismatch and maximizing your chances of finding a fit. Some of what she mentions is pretty obvious if you do your homework. Considering that a lot of editors complain about that still, a lot of writers must not be doing their homework.
Maybe it’s the grief talking. Maybe it’s fear. I don’t know. My course is chosen. I’m going to attack my sister’s last request in manageable chunks. One day I will approach a traditional publishing house but not right now. I need to perfect my weaving of this fictional dream. To that end, I found the last two-thirds of Vicki’s article very enlightening.
Vicki points out the kind of mechanical/technical errors that turn off editors and agents. If those items tick off the pros, then you can bet they will disrupt the fictional dream for the reader. I want no interruptions, no psychic distance of any kind. So I’ve opened my copyeditor’s toolkit and added all the points she mentioned to the box. Most of the mistakes she points out are easy to fix once you identify the mistake.
Go ahead and check out her advice: The Reason Editors Reject Manuscripts