Turning Off Literary Agents From Reading Your Manuscript

Werewolves and Shotglasses

Pulling an article from Writer’s Digest, we are privy to another window into the minds of literary agents – that behind-closed-doors transparency that seems, at times, so difficult to obtain.

I don’t want to take away from the article, written by Livia Blackburne – which sounds like the real name of a X-Men – but I want to point out a few major pitfalls that turned off literary agents.

2. Slow beginnings: Some manuscripts started with too much pedestrian detail (characters washing dishes, etc) or unnecessary background information.

5. Clichés: “The buildings were ramrod straight.” “The morning air was raw.” “Character X blossomed into Y.” “A young woman looks into the mirror and tells us what she sees.” Clichés are hard to avoid, but when you revise, go through and try to remove them.

These two examples seem like no-brainers, but they must obviously be overused enough that literary…

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About akinbowale

Africa's most influential literary blogger

Posted on November 3, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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