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Duct Tape and Spackle

Ever hear of putting your green tomatoes in a brown paper bag to let them ripen? Works every time. Here's one for your manuscript. Place it in a drawer for a few months and let it marinate. You might be surprised at what you read when you take it out of hibernation and look at it with fresh eyes.

My YA novel sat dormant for nearly two years. Its time had come for a total makeover. Upon opening the sleeping document, I immediately experienced pangs of longing and was delighted to visit my old friend. Oh, how I've missed you, my intuitive protagonist. I've let you and your cohorts float around in the back of my head long enough. The time has come to let you all blossom.

I pulled out duct tape and spackle to repair cracks and patch holes in a story I once thought was finished. I grabbed the scissors to snip, snip, snip. Chucking out backstory improved the novel significantly and scrapping every busy word I stumbled on reduced the word count in the best way possible. Trimming and rewriting was invigorating after such a long hiatus. I spruced up lagging dialogue and pruned the hell out of overlong conversations. I made each chapter pop with something unexpected to keep readers interested and turning the page. To my astonishment, I breathed new life into my story until it sang.

Rewrites are a bitch and I had plenty to do. I started by remodeling my query to fit the new and improved version of the book. I demolished and spackled the intro, hook, summary, and bio until I whipped that query into mint condition. Next on the agenda, dusting off the synopsis and scrubbing it clean.

Ah, I’m ready to query!


Hi. I'm Liz Ambrico, freelance proofreader and aspiring author. I too am querying agents, editors, and publishers in hopes of becoming a published author.



Wordy is the get-in-the-know hotspot for writers. From grammar to publishing find info, tips, and inspiration to take your WIP (Work In Progress) to the next level.


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I co-founded and managed a successful author and writer group on Long Island for five years. During events with publishers and authors I learned what matters, what agents are looking for, and the benefits and pitfalls of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing.

I've gained a lot of tips and tidings on my writing journey and want to share what I know.

Besides my passion for writing, I'm a fitness enthusiast, and I love coffee, chocolate, and animals. I'm mom to two amazing young men, and I live on Long Island with my husband, four zany cats, and the sweetest dog ever.

Whether you're new to writing, ready to query, or about to submit your manuscript,  welcome, you've come to the right place.

About Me


Alyssa is Wordy's website administrator and tech guru. She holds a degree in Communication and has always enjoyed writing and marketing, both of which are highly useful skills for aspiring authors. 

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