My emotion about agents was a direct reaction to our experience on February 20th. I dislike any opinion that paints a group with a broad stroke. That’s what I did, and I apologize. Agents have an incredible job with volume alone, culling the unacceptable first pages from the great ones; then being enthused about the genre as well as the writing style to sell it; and they are individuals making a living with their own criteria and circumstances.
With that said, facial expressions that deepen the bite for the denigrated writer are unprofessional. One agent, a a scrawny, self important, over confident twit, was appallingly rude! Sharing one’s writing is as vulnerable as standing naked in front of a group of 8th grade boys.
Agents have a library of helpful advice to share, and we are ready to listen. We pay for our individual time with them or for a conference; is it too much to expect a tidbit or two? Your attention for 10 minutes @ $30? We might be the one to make you rich. How many published authors have you turned away who made money for someone else?
The number of hoops to jump through and then land on one’s feet is larger than I ever would have guessed. Kindness goes a long way as we find our way. Thank you to those agents who offer constructive suggestions. We writers appreciate you!
Moving on: A nugget I learned about editing was to enlist editing from people who are smarter than you and avoid friends and family. I learned the hard way when my husband read a chapter and had nothing to say. His comment was, “I didn’t know what to say.” Another hint was to circle adverbs and “state of being verbs” in your draft and find stronger verbs . As we have heard many times, show not tell.
Pages to write, so off I go!