Yesterday morning, I received my first rejection letter from a literary agent. Was I disappointed? Or course, I was. But this agent took the time to read my proposal and that was exciting. I am so very grateful to this agent for offering a constructive critique of my work. It will only make me a better writer.
You see agents or editors don’t have to respond. And they don’t have to explain their reasons, but this agent did. She used some of her valuable minutes to tell me exactly why she would have to pass on this novel idea.
- Novels set in foreign lands are hard to sell in the Christian Market. Readers have a hard time imagining themselves living in another country.
- My novel doesn’t start with my main character. (I have a prologue set in Brazil introducing the missionaries and an important event in their lives, because it happens before the start of the rest of the story.)
- She also stated that she saw some telling rather than showing.
For my non-writer friends that basically means that I tell you how a character is feeling rather than showing you.
example: The dog was happy.
The dog wagged its tail.
That’s just a tiny, tiny demonstration of what that means. Although it is a much more involved process, and probably one of the most difficult for any writer to work through.
Good writers don’t tell stories. They take you on a journey to a place you’ve never been. They introduce you to people you’ve never met. And they teach you things through the struggles of others– trials you may have faced, have yet to face, or may never face.
What do you think?
Do you like reading about characters in other countries? Or do you find it difficult to relate?
What about novels that start with someone other than the main character? Are you confused and discombobulated? Do you like prologues?
Tell me what you think. I’d like to hear from you, my readers.
Since Readers are why Writers exist.