Short Saturday: A Literary Agent Rants a Little

I love a good rant. I’ve done a bit of it myself, as you know.* Those of us who work in the book-writin’-and -sellin’ biz are given to the occasional rant because, well, sometimes we run out of Nice. Sometimes we’ve just got to let off steam. There is nothing new under the sun, friends, and we get tired of seeing the embodiment of that. Over and over.

Amanda Luedeke, an agent at MacGregor Literary, is doing the ranting today. Here are ten things she’s seen enough of to make her want to scream. Here’s one I’ve seen several times myself:

Books that are a mashup of what’s already out there. You get this a lot with the genetically engineered teens (X-men) who must train at a distant, magical academy (Harry Potter) before being pitted against one another in a deadly game of hide and seek (Hunger Games). I want to see something original!

Have a look at this list. Several of the story-types Luedeke cites are ones I’ve seen too. So take another look at the manuscript you’re working on. If it reflects anything that’s written here, you might consider setting it aside for awhile and starting something new. Something really new.

* This one about word use gets a lot of attention, as does this one. I’ve also had little rants about amazing and smirk, about pronoun abuse, and many others.


Tweet: Here are 10 things this agent’s seen enough of to make her want to scream.
Tweet: A literary agent’s list of 10 manuscript submission issues she’s seen too often.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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  1. Ellen says:

    Can’t disagree with anything in this post. And as far as I’m concerned, just say NO to the singular they. Gets on my nerves, and it’s jarring. (Okay, my little rant is over).

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