Are You Murdering Your Manuscript?


By Andrea Merrell

“Please help me,” a struggling new writer said. “I’m having so much trouble with the basics. There are too many rules and so much to learn. I sent my story to an editor, but she said I wasn’t ready. Where do I even begin?”

I’ve heard this same plea—or something very similar—many times over the years, and I can certainly relate. A little over twenty years ago, I found myself in the same position. Moving forward on my writing journey was like going to a foreign country and not speaking the language or being familiar with the customs.

What’s a new writer to do?

Fortunately, the Lord gave me a divine connection who said to me, “Find a good critique group. Go to writers’ conferences. And network, network, network.” That has been some of the best advice I’ve ever received and has served me well.

In this day and age, technology has given us a plethora of resources to choose from. We can take online courses, listen to podcasts, and participate in Zoom meetings. And let’s not forget about books. There are many on the market that will help you in every area of writing and publishing. In fact, you will find many listed on the resource page of this website.

One of those resources is Murder of a Manuscript: Writing and Editing Tips to Keep Your Book Out of the Editorial Graveyard. The first edition was published in 2014. It was only about 6,000 words and covered many of the basics. But much has changed over the years, and the book needed to be revised. I’m excited to say that the second edition is now available on Amazon for only $7.99. This expanded version is a little over 10,000 words and contains much new information along with examples. It is still a short, easy-to-read reference.

Here are a few of the great reviews:

  • This small book packs a punch! This is now my trusted manual as I edit.
  • I wish I had read this book before I started writing. It would have saved me a lot of time, money, and embarrassment.
  • This book is a needed companion for every writer to use before submitting a manuscript . It's clear, concise, and user-friendly. 

If you have the first version, you might want to replace it with this updated version and add it to your library. If you’re not familiar with the book, you can check it out at

And don't forget about reviews on Amazon. A review is the best gift you can give an author.

If you have books and other resources that have helped you along your writing journey, we would love to hear from you.


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