karen_w_newton (karen_w_newton) wrote,
karen_w_newton
karen_w_newton

The Not-to-Do List

Kristin Nelson's blog Pub Rants tipped me off to a Writer's Digest post on things that agents hate to see in submissions.

Kristin's entry is pretty funny: “In romance, I can’t stand this scenario: A woman is awakened to find a strange man in her bedroom—and then automatically finds him attractive. I’m sorry, but if I awoke to a strange man in my bedroom, I’d be reaching for a weapon—not admiring the view.”

Certainly a logical objection! Some of the other suggestions of things to avoid are more generic (agents dislike prologues, too much description, and an opening chapter in which nothing happens). Some particularly good advice, I thought was to avoid trying to get the character’s backstory on the page before the plot gets to it on its own. Agent Rachelle Gardner, of WordServe Literary, summed it up this way:

"Getting to know characters in a story is like getting to know people in real life. You find out their personality and details of their life over time.”

Good advice!






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