Wednesday, April 27, 2011

15 Reasons An Agent May Pass on Your Manuscript

If you are at the stage of looking for literary representation, as I am, you are probably familiar with the following advice. But I find reviewing it occassionally keeps me on my toes. I hope you can benefit from it as well.

1. Story starts too slow. It should start on the day that is different.
2. Story does not match your query letter.
3. You introduce too many characters too quickly.
4. There is no clear cut POV. (point of view)
5. There is no distinct main character.
6. Too much bio/background information is presented too early.
7. Flashbacks are used too often or too early.
8. Opening scenes lack enough tension to pull the reader along.
9. One or more scenes do not advance the plot.
10. Reader cannot connect emotionally with the main character.
11. There are too many seemingly unrelated plot threads.
12. Narrative is description heavy--needs more dialogue.
13. Description is loaded with purple prose.
14. Dialogue is not interactive enough/not realistic.
15. Story starts too quickly. The reader needs a little time to get to know the characters before they can care about them.

Happy agenting!

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