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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Yes, You Can - Writing Challenge Day 9

I am not going to blog about the book today. Instead, I want to comment on a statement I just read from an agent's interview about what she looks for in an author. Here's the quote which I will keep anonymous as it is similar to what I've read in many other posts by agents.

"I want to get so excited that I call the author and say, ‘I love it! I want to take it on.’ Or I want to call an editor and say, ‘I’ve just read a fantastic manuscript—I’m sending it to you right now.’ I want that kind of excitement when I’m reading a new work.”

Don't we all! However, that's not what I find in a number books I've read by new or even established authors. So it seems like their dreams don't match their realities. While an agent is waiting to discover the next blockbuster writer are they missing out on a perfectly good niche writer who could break out a new genre? How many publishers passed on a Harry Potter type writer because it didn't fit their mold even though the book piqued their interest?

Is this the mind set of I'll know it when I see it, just don't ask me to define it? Look at TV. Producers get pitched stories everyday. They get jaded and stuck into their particular mind set. Then something hits them as a great new breakout show. It goes into production, the critics rave about it and then it flops. Did they get excited about it? Of course they did! They wouldn't have spent the time and money to produce it if they didn't feel it was right.

What I am trying to say, is that we can't always trust our initial gut instinct. There can be many things that affect it negatively. If I've had a rough day and I am frustrated, my attitude affects what I am doing. This is not the time for me to do any critiquing as I will probably shred the writing.

If an agent has had a fight with a spouse, just gotten a speeding ticket, or finished reading a lousy review of one of his or her authors; how will they respond to what they are now reviewing? Agents are human just like the rest of us. It would probably be like trying to be cheerful when you have a migraine or a hangover. So hope and pray your agent is having a good day when he or she picks up your masterpiece manuscript.

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