Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sometimes It Is Simply A Matter Of Liking It Or Not Liking It

Sometimes, after I pass on a project, I receive a follow up letter from the author inquiring what he or she did wrong with the project. The author is really hoping that there is one or two things that "could be fixed" and, in doing so, would make the story something I would want to sign. I do wish it was that easy.

Unfortunately, there are times that I see a project that I am sure has a great deal of potential. The writing is good. The story has some potential when it comes to marketing it. The writer isn't weird (O.K. I can't see that in a submission but you get the idea). And yet, I still end up passing on it. Why? It is for one simple reason. It personally didn't click with me.

What writers need to understand is that agents really do have to completely fall for a story to want to move ahead with it and sign the author. Regardless of the state the story is in at the time of the submission (we would hope it is strong) if the premise, the writing, the voice or something really gets us hooked, we will likely take a good second look or potentially sign it.

Now, why does this subjectivity come into play here? The answer is also pretty darn simple. If we love it so much, we will really want to tell everyone about it, especially the editors! You really want some one who is equally as passionate about your story as you are.

Is there a drawback to this being a factor in reading submissions? Sure. I have indeed passed on projects that end up going on and doing great things. Some authors do like to send me an email raving about how the project I "rejected" went on to do good things. Yes, some of those authors are just excited and want to share. And yes, there are some that do this to somehow prove to me that I made the wrong decision. In reality, I didn't make a wrong decision.

The story simply wasn't for me.

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