Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I Know It When I See it!

By Darvell Hunt

Literary agents and publishing editors often say they are looking for the next great idea for a book, yet they often seem leery about taking on something that’s never been done before. What a confusing contradiction.

So what are we writers to do? Should we write something like what we currently see out there, assuming that there will still a market for it down the road, or do we try to create something new and different, and hope an agent and/or a publisher will take the chance on us?

Some of the best-selling books out there don’t fit the mold of what’s been sold before—and I don’t think even most agents and editors have any idea what the next rage will be. So how are we supposed to write for it?

At a writers conference a few years ago, I heard an agent say this: “I don’t know exactly what I’m looking for, but I know it when I see it.”

I think that's how it works for me, too. I don’t always know when my next “great idea” will come, or what form it will take, but I usually know it when I see it. You can't force inspiration, but it's fun to convert it to written form when it comes!


Angie said...

I totally agree. I know it when I see it too. When I write, I just try to do what makes me happy, passionate, etc. I'll worry about selling it later.

Wendy Swore said...

That was one of the things we learned at storymakers--that it's not such a good thing to write for the "trends" because by the time you write the book, find representation, go through the slow machine that is the publishing industry...years have gone by and the "trend" is either long gone, or swimming in a sea of copy-cats anyway.

Bottom line, write whatever story drives you and keeps you up at night.

Worry about the marketing of said book later. :)

thanks for sharing!