Thursday, November 05, 2009

Avoid All These Things

If you NaNoWriMoers have a moment to do something other than write, you might check out Why Your Manuscript Can Get Rejected (Part II) at Guide to Literary Agents. Among the most interesting of agent Donna Bagdasarian's top reasons manuscripts are rejected:

"4. Not having the protagonist involved in the climax." This seems as if it would be impossible to do. However, a few years back I read a YA novel in which the protagonist was unconscious in the hospital during the climax, heard about it afterwards, and, being a first-person narrator, told us about it at that point. I was somewhat startled, and not in the good sense of the word. (Assuming there is a good sense for "startle.") However, the book did get published and bloggers and listserv people, and reviewers for that matter, loved it. So maybe no one else noticed it. Or maybe this agent and myself are the only people who care.

"8. Know how much is too much. If you can cut a scene and the story still works, you must cut it." In my experience, this is absolutely the case. It's true of business letters and blog posts, too.

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