STATUS: First day back in the office is always crazy, crazy. I did three phone conferences, accounting, and solved a few key issues that cropped up today.
What’s playing on the iPod right now? THE MAIN THING by Roxy Music
On the plane back from DC, I read 10 different sample pages on my Kindle.
(Sidenote: I hate the new plane seating in economy. If you are not in the premium seats, editing on a laptop is impossible if the person in front of you sets the seat back. Literally, the laptop is in your lap and I can’t prop the screen upright. I had wanted to edit a client full but just couldn’t battle the positioning so read sample pages on my Kindle instead. So much easier given the space issue.)
I passed on all 10 sample pages. Here are the reasons why.
For about six of them, the writing wasn’t there yet (2 fantasy, 1 women’s fiction, and 3 young adult). And this is only in my opinion and other agents might feel differently. For me, the writers still needed to work with a critique group to bump the writing level and complexity of the story a least a couple of notches.
For one entry, a middle grade work, I thought the writing was really quite solid but I didn’t like the main narrator much at all. The writer can’t do much about that. It either speaks to the agent or not. I mentioned that in my response because the writing was strong.
Another sample page young adult submission had a vampire element. I thought the writing was solid and this entry nicely done but not different enough to make it stand out in what I think is a pretty crowded YA vampire market. I can see another agent responding differently and I included that in my response.
Another YA submit had a paranormal element but I found I was much more interested in what was unfolding in the regular contemporary part of the story than I was in the paranormal element the writer was introducing. Once again, another agent might think differently.
The last read was a project I had looked at before and then requested revisions on the first 50 pages. The writer was resubmitting. I could tell that the writer had done significant work on the revised manuscript but I thought the revision introduced a new problem that made the manuscript still not work for me. Despite a great concept, it was time for me to pass pass.