> Rules. It’s a part of life. Especially when it comes to writing. I know if were to list all the rules we could literally write a book (hey, good idea).  I thought I’d share some basic ones that apparently run a ‘red’ flag for most agents.

  • Don’t start your novel off with dialogue. Now I know there are different theories out there right now, but the general consensus (especially from what I read on twitter) is that agent’s don’t like this. Why? Not exactly sure, since one would think a good line of dialogue may just grab a readers’ attention, but hey, since I’m not agented yet, I’ll listen to what the experts have to say 🙂

  • Watch your grammar and punctuation!  Like, really, as if we if need to know how excited you are, all, the, time!!!!!  Seriously!  

  • Voice – figure out what it is. Submitting a query without voice will get you as far as your ‘sent’ box. That’s it. Agent’s want to get a feel for your character, who they are – they need to be sold. Sell them your character by being your character when you write your query. If you write YA – get your teens in there!  If you write MG – same. Now I know it’s harder with adult, but it can be done. 

  • Get the names right.  Seriously – we’ve all done it – but let’s not do it anymore, okay? Know which agent you are submitting to and make sure their name is not only spelled correctly, but that it’s the correct name!
  • Get rid of those cliches. You know the ones – especially in queries – ‘will risk it all’, ‘more at stake than she knew’, ‘but it’s not as she thought’ … be original. You are creative. So use that creativity!

 So tell me, you don’t use these, right?  Can you add anything more?