I know a lot of authors love to hear the projects that editors and agents are looking for. When the infamous
shows up, people go crazy! Ohhhhhh, that's my story.
And yet, the interesting thing is that editors and agents also tell writers, at nearly every conference during those editor and agent panels that we want:
- GREAT STORIES
- GREAT CHARACTERS
- GREAT PLOTS
- AND GREAT WRITING
I don't care if your ticking off all of the boxes of the types of stories we would love to see, writers have to learn how to write, how to craft a story, how to find topics that truly the readers want out there.
Time and time again, I find myself reading submissions that clearly the writer is trying to push the latest trend on me. I should sign their story because it is the hottest trend, or they are an author in a unique group, or their story focuses on issues that are extremely important in today's society. And yet, the projects, are often poorly written. Plots are forced, writing is flat, characters are two dimensional, or, more often than not, the stories are just a rehashing of something we have just seen in the news.
Great storytelling is not just following a formula of having a specific type of character, or having the requisite word count. Great storytelling is about drawing the reader into a world that they can recognize as their own, to be immersed in it, and share the experiences to fully understand our world and our own life.
And to do this requires knowing how to write. These are not skills that can be picked up in a weekend workshop or reading a book.
So, when you see that #MSWL, ask yourself if you have really learned how to write first before sending out that project. I want to see people succeed, but if you are sending things out before you or that story is ready, success will not happen.