#MSWL: Agents And Editors Calling Out Requests — To Authors

Thought Catalog

iStockephoto: igorr1iStockephoto: igorr1

‘Play It Again, Sam’

For a long time, most author-agent communications on the front end have gone just that way — author to agent: the query letter.

The query letter is so daunting for many writers that there are whole courses offered simply on how to write a good query letter, never mind the damned book: what to say to an agent, what not to say, how to intrigue without hype. (You can start by getting that agent’s name right. You think I’m kidding? You’d be amazed.)

And even if you do lots of research on agents and work hard to understand what agents and editors want and study their track records and look up their deals and ask a few of their authors what it’s like to work with them, well, that first salvo can still be a complete shot in the dark. And agents do know…

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The Difference Between “Flawed” Characters and “Too Dumb to Live”

The “too dumb to live” made me giggle. I love your style.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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Which is more important? Plot or character? Though an interesting discussion—sort of like, Could Ronda Rousey take a Klingon with only her bare hands?—it isn’t really a useful discussion for anything other than fun. To write great fiction, we need both. Plot and characters work together. One arc drives the other much like one cog serves to turn another, thus generating momentum in the overall engine we call “STORY”.

If we goof up plot? Readers/Audiences get confused or call FOUL. Watch the movie Ouija for what I am talking about *shakes head*.

Goof up characters? No one cares about the plot.

New writers are particularly vulnerable to messing up characters. We drift too far to one end of the spectrum or the other—Super-Duper-Perfect versus Too Dumb to Live—and this can make a story fizzle because there is no way to create true dramatic tension. This leaves us (the frustrated…

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