Over the last year I have received a lot of requests from aspiring writers/screenwriters to read their stuff. Especially interns at the newspaper I work for, tend to target me. I will not go into the question whether this is a case of asking the blind to lead the blind, since answering that one won’t make me happy.
I don’t mind proofreading stuff, I like it actually. On the condition that it’s a serious attempt at writing.
Here is a top five of the most annoying things I’ve heard from people who want me to read their manuscript:
5. I’m not completely happy with it yet.
-> If you don’t like it, what are you hoping I will think of it?
4. I whipped all of this up last week! Fantastic, the words just came flowing out.
-> This is probably going to stink. You need to give it some thought and rewrites. Really.
3. I still have to revise it a bit.
-> This is definitely going to stink. Why? Go back to number 5.
2. My mum always says: you want to be a writer, but you never read.
-> This is really, seriously going to stink. If you never read, it is impossible to be a decent writer, let alone a good one.
1. It’s autobiographical.
-> Unless you’re Nelson Mandela or were kidnapped when you were twelve (and not by aliens), nobody cares.