Wednesday, September 20, 2006

But I Wear Size Eight...


So happy to find agents and editors who blog.
Lit Agent X, mentioned earlier, is running a workshop on queries and first pages.
While not as intensive and high-powered as Miss Snark's Crapometer - she's spreading out the entries over a couple of weeks - her comments are clear and constructive, honest and helpful.
Another charming and capable blogging agent is Jennifer Jackson of the Maass Agency.
Beyond the obvious intelligence-gathering/educational value of these blogs, another virtue is the opportunity for the writer to assess the agent's style, approach, personality and attitudes. Each blog gives one an over-view difficult to absorb any other way.
The "good fit" they talk about. A chance to determine over time and beforehand if one could work long and productively with any particular agent, should you be so lucky as to be asked.
Sometimes, these blogs help refine the generalities of genre and personal taste: perhaps they are tired of vampires or irritated by time travel. Perhaps they have an absolute, rigid intolerance for certain forms or styles and consider them"wrong." Perhaps their approach is generous and open.
These small clues help writers determine if they should sully any particular in-box or gather their courage and hit "send."
The same thing applies in a lesser degree to agency websites: the tone, the style, the attitude, "the voice." You may note minor keys that raise or lower an agency to or from your "A" list.
Fascinating.

19 comments:

Scott said...

I find it too distracting to think about what publishers are actually looking for. At least at my stage. It's my humble opinion that a well crafted story of any genre is going to sell, and that is where my focus is right now.

Bernita said...

Some of the sites I occasionally mention, Scott, have excellent, horse's mouth advice on craft, not just trends.
Yesterday, Rachel mentioned "saidisms," "as" actions and logic errors in the use of a foreign language.
But it is wise to write first and edit after.

Flood said...

Confession: when I started writing seriously, I had no idea I needed an agent. I thought I woulda submitted to the house directly.

I was so cute.

But, yes, researching an agent is just helpful as looking into markets or how-to-query blogs/sites. Thanks for the links.

Bernita said...

They often discuss writing, not just the industry, Flood.
Helps one get a feel for a whole new culture too.

Ric said...

Blogging agents are fascinating. LitAgentX lets us glance over her shoulder while she does the slush pile - her comments are highly instructive. It's one thing to have Miss Snark say, "There better be a body on page 1." but Rachel's first impressions are refreshing.

There is also the added benefit of blogging - example is Kristin Nelson's entry today. Sometimes a topic comes up during the workday, and she uses it. Something most of us wouldn't have had any reason to ask, but it highly important.

Only problem is we should all be writing.............

Bernita said...

Exactly, Ric!
A lot of nuggets in the riffles of the sluice.

Patry Francis said...

LitAgentx is a new one to me, but I just may have to check her out...and I, too, really should be writing.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I'll have to go check her out...I like to gather as much good advice as possible!

Jaye Wells said...

Another example of the value of these blogs, is that yesterday on Kristin Nelson's blog she discussed a clause in many agency contracts that can screw the writer. It was eye opening because we focus so much on the legalities int he publishing contract that it's easy to forget that the agency contract needs a thorough review as well.

Bernita said...

You might find her worthwhile, Patry.

She projects a pleasant, helpful, non-accusative personality too, Bonnie.

I imagine your eyes opened wide at the mention of that little clause much like mine did, Jaye, and you made a "note to self."

anna said...

I might just wander over and check these links out - thanks Bernita, but I think what I need to be doin is the doin. First and foremost I have to get it written.

Bernita said...

If your prose matches your beautiful poetry, Anna...

Cynthia Bronco said...

Thanks Bernita,
I'm keeping this entry on my favorite list!
Also, I listed you as one of my favoriets on my Mysapce blog, which is no new I don't know my url yet.

EA Monroe said...

Thanks, Bernita!

Shesawriter said...

"Beyond the obvious intelligence-gathering/educational value of these blogs, another virtue is the opportunity for the writer to assess the agent's style, approach, personality and attitudes."

THIS is key, Bernita. Great post!

Tanya

Marcail said...

Thanks for the links Bernita, but They're not opening. Is anyone else having this problem.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Cynthia,EA, Tanya.

They did work, Marcail.
They are both livejournal accounts. Have I screwed up?

Marcail said...

Still not opening--anyone else?

Bernita said...

See if they work now, Marcail.