Sometime a manuscript comes across the submissions desk that is written by a non-writer. By that I mean a writer who has a story to tell (usually family history) but doesn’t know how to write it. Yes, they get it down. They relay the facts and they go from page to page until they have a complete manuscript.
Unfortunately because they do not know how to write well or creatively the end story will be bland and boring. Even with fantastic events, inspirational outcomes and true happenings galore the story can fall flat.
Why? I believe it’s not only the choice of words but the rhythm and voice of the writer. A story needs to be told in an entertaining way. If it isn’t the reader will toss the book away in disgust or drop dead from boredom. Worse still they may decide never to read that writer again and your writing career is snuffed out before it even began.
How do you overcome it? Easy (or not so), learn to write well. Take classes. Join writers’ groups. Learn, learn and learn! Don’t assume just because the story in your head is a bestseller that once you put it to paper (or to computer screen) that it actually will be. You need to understand spelling, grammar, sentence structure, style and rhythm.
When should you use short choppy sentences? When should you use long descriptive narrative? When should you use dialogue? If you can’t answer these questions it’s back to the writing reference books before you submit your manuscript.
If all else fails and you still believe the story isn’t soaring, you could always resort to a ghost writer (but be prepared to pay).
Have any of you used a ghost writer? Let me know all about the experience.