Literary Agents The Agony of Genre

The Agony of Genre

I check agents’ sites occasionally, and yesterday I saw a note that a person had incorrectly classified her book as a ‘thriller’ in a query letter.  The agent said (quite correctly, I think from the query) that the book is suspense, not a thriller … but that’s okay, she said, because “thrillers are hard to …

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Fiction Reorganizing

Reorganizing

I’ve changed the site around a bit. I am approaching completion on novel number three (Fail Deadly) and am sketching out number four.  There’s a new page on this site (Novels) with the blurbs for the first three stories.  Those of you who have had to go through the difficult process of creating a blurbs, …

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Literary Agents Evolution of Agency?

Evolution of Agency?

I just had an interesting and hopeful experience.  At least one literary agency is wrestling with the issue all have been struggling with:  the tsunami of queries made possible by the Internet. And this one, Bookends, seems to have cracked the code of how to deal with the flood in what people from other industries …

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Writing No Genres!

No Genres!

Louise Penny, quoted in the New York Times book review, August 24th:  “I don’t buy into the notion of genres, perhaps for obvious reasons. I think that’s an effective marketing tool, but nothing more. Good storytelling is good storytelling. There are no borders or boundaries in literature and to try to define is to limit. …

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Fiction Genre, Storytelling, Literary Fiction

Genre, Storytelling, Literary Fiction

I recently applied to a contest that asked, as part of the upload, what the genre of my novel is.  I answered dutifully, Thriller. Yes, I know that the judges have to have some way to classify submissions, and I have just read a bit about plot, timing of events, when backstory is best introduced, …

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Mechanics Wearing a Suit and The Oxford Comma

Wearing a Suit and The Oxford Comma

I went to a shiva yesterday for a friend’s mother.  It was in the evening.  A bit uncertain about dress, I wore a conservative suit and a tie.  When I arrived, I realized most of the people were more casually dressed.  A bit embarrassed, I mentioned to a friend that I felt overdressed.  He said, …

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Mechanics Pitch Conference

Pitch Conference

Ahh, the pitch conference.  Three minutes to explain your darling child of a novel to a polite but dubious agent.  Three minutes for her to ask probing questions that tear it apart. I enjoyed most of the Writers Digest pitch conference in St. Paul, Minnesota last Saturday.  The classes were more reminders of ideas we …

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Technology Overhead

Overhead

Overhead:  That concept they lay on you at the auto dealership when you wonder why it costs $70 per hour to fix your car. Overhead:  A life concept I too often ignore. I digress today from writing about writing per se to talk about the real-world business of writing. Specifically, is this new age better? …

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Writing The Novel and Budweiser

The Novel and Budweiser

Word has it that Amazon has taken yet another step in the value chain that is writing. They have the distribution part down pat, and the production part? Well, they have that, too. So where does a restless creative force go next? Pretty obvious: The making of the product, which is to say, the writing. …

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Uncategorized No Jealousy

No Jealousy

Surely, if there are two professions in which there should be no professional jealousy, they are prostitution and literature. WIlliam Faulkner said this.  Not sure why.  Are both providing similar stimulation, although typically in different locations? Every time I read a phrase I would really have liked to write, there is that little twinge.  But …

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