Six Tips For Creating The Perfect Book Title

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By Ryan Byrnes

Very often, a literary agent reads a great query that meet all the requirements – marketability, high quality of writing, an author with a following – and then the agent arrives at the manuscript’s title and goes, huh? This “huh?” can be boiled down to a few main functions in a title that we sometimes forget to consider. Continue reading “Six Tips For Creating The Perfect Book Title”

What The Movies Can Teach Us About Texture In Writing

By Ryan Byrnes

Writing fiction is a democratic art—a market art. Directly speaking to newbies and hopefuls, this is your saving grace. In that twilight where writers aren’t famous enough to snag movie deals, but still good enough to attract the notice of literary agents—at that level, degrees and resumes are useless—all that readers can use to differentiate between two same-genre books are the subtle elements of style that give each book a vague sense of “flavor.” Continue reading “What The Movies Can Teach Us About Texture In Writing”

Five Questions to Ask When Your Characters Are Too Good To Be True

by Catherine Matthews

It happens every day at every literary agency. A promising proposal comes in, agents start to read, and after a chapter or two there’s a huge problem staring them in the face. That problem has a name—the name of a main character who seems to have no problems of his or her own. It’s understandable. You’ve plotted and planned and written and revised. You’ve spent hundreds of pages with this character and thousands of hours thinking about them. By this point, they’re the coolest people you know (it’s okay, this secret will stay between you and us) and the thought of diminishing them in any way is genuinely upsetting. Why shouldn’t they be the smartest, the funniest, the sexiest, the most “together”—they’re the main character! Continue reading “Five Questions to Ask When Your Characters Are Too Good To Be True”

10 Things Every Writer Should Be Doing

By Rachel Beck

They say you’re a writer if you write. But anyone chasing a book deal, who has put words on the page, enough to meet a goal word count, may constantly doubt those words are worth anything. Going from a writer to an author is the goal of anyone submitting their work to agents. As an agent, and former editor, I have received countless submissions and exchanged numerous email communications with aspiring authors, offering advice and as much helpful feedback and thoughts as I can.

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I constantly wonder how helpful I’m being, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to spell out ten simple things that I may not be able to communicate individually to each writer I interact with. If you want to go from a writer to an author, with a book deal and an editor and the whole she-bang, your chances of making that happen will be a lot greater if you can check off each of these things: Continue reading “10 Things Every Writer Should Be Doing”