A couple months ago, I wondered out loud what kinds of questions agents and editors ask themselves about your manuscript when they’re reading it for the first time.
As if they’ve been pondering my post for several weeks,* three agents wrote blogs this week giving insight into how they think.
Jessica from Book Ends gives a fantastic list of questions she asks her slushpile-readers to keep in mind. Back in my days as an intern in Hollywood, I read slushpiles of scripts and I had a lot less guidance than this. Not surprisingly, they consider things like style, craft and marketability.
Rachelle Gardner wrote today about being the secret agent on Authoress Anonymous. Over the weekend, Rachelle read the first 250 words of 39 manuscripts. She writes about the patterns that emerged from all that reading. Interesting to know what bad writing habits most of us share.
In an even bigger feat of endurance, Nathan Bransford read thousands of first paragraphs in a few days as part of his 3rd Sort-of-Annual Stupendously Ultimate First Paragraph Challenge. He gives his thoughts on what made the winners’ paragraphs stand out. I entered (number 1201) and, after reading the finalists’ paragraphs, I realize how badly mine sucks. Thanks to Nathan, I have a better understanding of why it sucks. Now all I need is an idea of how to fix it.
*They haven’t been. I check the stats for this blog and know almost no one reads it. Thanks to both of you who read my blog yesterday, although one of you may be me.