Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Show Me You Know Where You Are Going

One of the things I look for in submissions is whether or not the writer has a sense of their own direction in this business. In other words, does the writer know where they are now, and where they are going in the future. I want to see that, in some basic way, the writer has taken some time to determine what niche they want to carve for themself in this huge business.

Even if you are a new writer without a lot of books behind you, it is crucial that you see yourself doing something more than the book you are submitting to an agent. No, this does not mean that you have a 3 book series with these characters, but a sense of the voice you want to create for yourself and your readers. Remember, it is not the job of the agent to create that path for you. It is up to you.

One thing that always tells me I have a writer that doesn't have a clear path is when I see someone writing in a lot of different genres. This person is still trying to find themself and, unfortunately, really doesn't have that path figured out. As an agent, I want to be able to show a prospective editor that this person has a lot to offer beyond that single book. When a writer is all over the place, that leaves the agent with no where to turn.

So, what is your path? Do you know where you want to write and what your voice is? Can you clearly demonstrate that in a query? Figure that one out and you have something to really market to an agent or editor.


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