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—The Editors Dear Lucy, Yes, we too are mystified by this expression, though it does share some DNA with other fad locutions.It has a whiff of efficient purpose, yet it conjures up no precise image, making it as vague and widely applicable as other lifeless terms, such as Oct 12, 2017 Drilled Dear Geist, What makes grade 5 teachers so effective at imprinting on students their dogmatic, but incorrect, opinions on grammar and usage?—The Editors Nov 16, 2017 Conditional Weather Dear Geist, What’s the difference between weather and weather conditions?CBC Radio hosts use both, in equally solemn voices, but “weather conditions” sounds somehow more threatening than “weather.” Is it? We love CBC, but we’re guessing “weather conditions” sneaked in there to jazz up the daily drill.Dear Wannabe, In many contexts, a short, simple, direct sentence is best.Certainly when you are giving information or instructions, or writing copy to be read by people you don’t know, or writing anything to be read mainly online, the long sentence or paragraph will cause readers to skip or ignore the text.
A person who cannot even acknowledge a newer meaning like this one—which has been around for Dear Circle, Read something in a format or category you’ve never tried: a cookbook, a goofy zine, the full text of a law, a jargon-choked scientific entry in Wikipedia.
So it’s not unusual for an agent to ask for a full draft of a first novel, to ensure that the writer has a good hold on the whole works.
(The same often applies to literary non-fiction, which is marketed more like fiction.) For more on this, see our post No thanks, no details.
My contract specifies dates for different drafts of my book. My options are to call my editor and beg her for more time, which makes me look like an amateur, and what if she says no? But you aren’t the first writer to be ambushed by a manuscript.
The first one, coming up in a few weeks, is for a revised manuscript incorporating the publisher’s notes that they gave me when I signed up. In publishing, as in other life activities, honesty is the best policy.