Honest advice about agents

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For the writer who wants to market finished work, the Web offers a great blog on the world of literary agents. Writer’s Digest Books produces the Guide to Literary Agents, which has a free corresponding blog:


There’s good writing advice on the blog, too. The latest article is by an writer who gives advice about the ratio of scene to sequel in your book (if it’s fiction). Remember, scene is action and dialogue between characters, while sequel is the writing that follows or precedes, where the characters consider and deal with what has just happened, then make a choice on how to continue the pursuit of what they want.

The advice on ratio is from Candy Davis, who’s got an article in the 2008 edition, soon to hit bookshelves and Amazon:

” … Your book’s unique proportion of scenes and sequels should produce a characteristic rhythm an agent can easily recognize as the perfect pulse for the work: staccato for quick-paced action genre, more legato for a genre that focuses on internal process. Running too many scenes together allows no space for the character to evaluate his progress.

Each scene should begin and end with a hook, and should capture a complete and meaningful ‘story event.’ Keep scene length appropriate to your genre, and never longer than necessary to cover the episode. Cut mundane interactions, placeholder dialogue and extraneous background information. A sequel generally follows a major plot point, steps up the stakes and turns the story in a new direction. Allow the character a moment to evaluate past mistakes, realize a previously overlooked or rejected option, and take the first step toward a new and more desperate plan.

The blog also has an article near the top (as of today, July 9) that gives a few suggestions on how to locate the agent who sold a book you admire or just finished.

I’ve had something to say about scene and sequel myself on this blog, last year.

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