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Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Six reasons an agent/publisher will stop reading your submission.

1. Dull openings - Novels that open with the weather or description don’t inspire an imagination. Also, be aware that scene building can be equally dull. Build your world in between action, and throughout your novel; you DON'T need to get it all in in the first chapter.

2. Trying to be clever - Novels that use humungous words and long cryptic paragraphs makes the writer appear arrogant, and nobody likes arrogance.

3. Too Much Info - Trying to describe something as you see it is hard. Better to describe a little, and let your readers’ imagination do the rest otherwise your MS is going to be tossed to one side in favour of another because it's OVER WRITTEN.

4. Clichés - "Her hair was jet black.” “She looked as white as a ghost!” Yes, the meaning is there, but it doesn’t stand out. Clichés dulls writing, so think of your own descriptions.

5. POV - Whose story is it? If point of view is all mixed up, it’s difficult to form a connection with the main character.

6. Unlikely narrative - Don’t make your characters talk the reader through something. If your character is injured he wouldn’t be talking about the pain, but living it out in agony.


  1. Nice reminder's Louise. Hope it sinks in!

    Have a good week!

  2. Thanks Jacqueline, sometimes I think writers believe it doesn't apply to them by the amount of editing I've done and cried into my hands over. lol

    Mind you, my early submissions way back when were dire!

  3. Great reminder!! I think a lot of writers are too close to their writing to see it's flaws....that's why everyone needs critique partners!!

  4. Good tips. I find that after some time passes, I can better see the things need to go.

  5. Great tips presented succinctly. Thank you for putting this here.

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  7. good , salient comments and points. it takes a fresh pair of eyes to give your pitch the punch. my mate helped me out over a pint in the pub. he sorted out my synopsis and made it far more exciting.