Pub Rants

What Agents Hate

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STATUS: A quiet day because it’s Rosh Hashanah.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? LONG HOT SUMMER by Style Council

I had completely forgotten about this interview that I did for Writer’s Digest ages ago. Chuck Sambuchino had asked a bunch of agents about stuff we hated in queries and sample pages. I whipped something off in an email and sent it right out to him.

I hadn’t thought of it since until today. An agent friend, who thought my blurb was hilarious, quoted me back to myself. Now I’m laughing too because my quote is so true; I do hate this. And I had completely forgotten about it.

If you’re dying of curiosity by now, here it is from yours truly.

“In romance, I can’t stand this scenario: A woman is awakened to find a strange man in her bedroom—and then automatically finds him attractive. I’m sorry, but if I awoke to a strange man in my bedroom, I’d be reaching for a weapon—not admiring the view.”
—Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency

And here is the link back to the WD site on what other agents hate.

Still chuckling…

15 Responses

  1. Kasie West said:

    Thank you so much for that article. I just finished reading it. In the first two pages of my novel I have three of the things mentioned (is that a bad thing?). 🙂 Luckily one of them isn’t waking up next to a total stranger. But, wow, I have some revising to do. Thanks again,

  2. Amy Nathan said:

    I wish all writers would read this – or anything like it. I’ve been a beta reader for several people who fall into the dream and/or mirror trap, also mentioned in that piece. They don’t believe me that it’s cliche. They think it’s pure genius. These are also people who don’t read agent blogs.


  3. ~Caroline said:

    Only a half-wit would be attracted to an unknown bedroom visitor. Myself, I’d reach for my skull-crusher (huge flashlight given to me as a gift) and swing away.
    Another thing that drive me crazy is a horse whinnying when it’s gotten shot, and crashing to the ground…..

  4. Big Plain V said:

    Couple things:

    1.) Not a fan of romance, but any story that involves random sexually attractive people popping up in your room at night must be written by a man.

    2.) I saw a link to this article on WritersNet today. It’s a good article and deserves to make the rounds.

    3.) In your ‘about me’ thingy, you say ‘no Irish pub unless you want one’. I like Irish pubs. Can we have one?

  5. Anonymous said:

    OK, this probably falls under the list of what you, Kristin, as an agent “hate,” but I figured it was worthwhile anyway: I’m going to try asking you a question in the comments.

    So, my question is: do you care about your client’s ages?

    I ask because I also read Jennifer Weiner’s blog, and I was surprised to read her opinion that agents prefer to take on twentysomething authors.

    I’m 34 and about to submit a manuscript to agents. Am I already “over the hill”?

    Thanks, and I love your blog- it’s extremely informative!


  6. Deaf Brown Trash Punk said:

    I REALLY want to wake up in the middle of the night and find a lime green alien standing next to my bed, cos I wanna fly in an UFO spaceship SO BAD and fly across the universe. I wouldn’t reach for my nearest pocket-knife at all.

  7. CPBlackburn said:

    I laughed hysterically when I read that. Even Brad Pitt would get pepper sprayed if I woke up and found him in my bedroom.