Writers are logging into FACEBOOK and other social network sites to read what the professionals are say.
At the moment of writing this blog, there are over 700 of you listening to what I say.
You attend conferences, read articles, sit in chats, attend workshops both in person and online...
And yet you aren't listening...
I was thinking about this during the last weekend. Actually, the thought popped up in my head as I was discussing the issue of the youth of today doing what they want to do even after being told to do something else. I honestly see writers doing the same thing.
Now don't get me wrong. I am not saying the agents and editors out there are the end all be all; or for that matter, that these professionals have all of the answers, but darn it, if you are paying attention to what we all say, then why aren't you doing it???
I was surfing the blogs of several other agents and found that, just today, the majority of them were saying things that one or the other of us said just last week. In fact, we have been saying many of the same things over and over again. And yet, as I look over the submissions that come in on a regular basis, I see stories from authors that apprently believe their story is the exception.
I'm not talking here about simply the guidelines we have posted on what we want. You know, the format of the query, the materials to be submitted, the genres we are accepting. While there are clearly many writers out there that don't read those, I am talking about a bigger issue here. I'm talking about the quality of the writing and what goes into a good story. I'm talking about the elements that are in stories that each one of us is really looking for. Consider...
- I say I want Contemporary romance with real people in real situations without baggage... and yet you send me stories where the heroine is not only abused in a past life, but is also being chased by a stalker, is dating an alchoholic married guy with issues of his own and now they each find they are pregnant.
- I say I want some new paranormals and not just re-worked vamps and werewoves ... and yet you send me demons who can't bear the light and angels that "shift" into human form but do so with the crunching of bones that we see with the weres.
- I say I want romances where the relationship is the cental story arc and the other elements are the tools to get them through it... and yet you send me stories where we spend the whole time watching the detective investigating the robbery of a hair styling salon, but only thinking about the sex with the heroine.
- I say I want a story with a high concept that demonstrates it is something unique and special... and yet you send me stories where the only thing unique is that the story is set in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia and no other story is set there.
Yes, this might seem to be a rant, but there is a purpose here. Yes, we want you to write the stories you want to write. This is where your unique voice shines through the most. With that said, though. If we tell you that story isn't going to sell, don't submit it to us and then complain that the editor or agent just didn't know what they were doing. We told you and you didn't listen.
Just something to think about since we are about 8 weeks out from Nationals.