8 Ideas to Make Your Fiction Writing Work

While I do not like posting somebody’s work without proper attribution, this is just too good to pass up.

But first a note:  My studio is a busy place.  Not always busy in action, but always busy in papers, books, notes and the like.  For over a year now I’ve had two sheets of paper clipped to a file cabinet.  I vaguely remember them being insightful, and a little scary, but I do not remember how they got there.  Today while looking for post material, I just happened to glance at these pages.  The first page, and most of the second page are all the reasons why an agent would pass by a manuscript.  At the bottom of the second page I found 8 reasons said agent would like the work.   It is these that I want to share with you: 

Image: judaica-art.com

  1. Good opening line.
  2. There was something going on beyond just the surface action.
  3. A non-average protagonist in a situation you would not expect.
  4. Action scenes that feel like they are happening in real time.
  5. The author made a point and moved on.
  6. The voice is strong and easy to relate to.
  7. Suspense seemed inherent to the story, not just how it was told.
  8. The scene was emotionally engaging.

If I can find where these came from I will attribute them properly, but in the meantime… I find these useful, and hope you do too!


5 responses to “8 Ideas to Make Your Fiction Writing Work

  1. Really good pointers on what to aim for. Thanks Richard. You’re a gold mine.

  2. Thank you, Rik. I’ll clip these somewhere, too.

  3. Those are things I look for in a good book, so it makes sense an agent would look for them, too. It’s so nice to see a previously intuitive process for me spelled out line by line. Especially number five. Failure of an author to accomplish that hits a nerve for me as a reader. As hard as eight is for me, I know it’s crucial. Two is my strength, but I have to be careful not to get carried away and get lost in the layers.
    Such a good list! Thanks Rik.

  4. Ricky,
    Great post!

  5. Excellent list.

    #5 ~ One reason I don’t care for romance novels especially by DS . . . they seem to say the same thing over and over and over and over in chapter after chapter after chapter.

    Yeah. OK. We get it. They’re attracted to each other. Their lust knows no bounds. 8)

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