Apparently, I am not the only writer who employs the “What Not To Do” construct. Apparently, Chuck Sambuchino thought it was a fine idea as well. He used it over at Writer Unboxed (where he’s one of the monthly contributors) to present his article, What NOT To Do When Beginning Your Novel: Advice From Literary Agents.
Okay, fine. I suppose great minds think alike and all that. And it’s a fine article, too, that also proves that many agents think alike when it comes to novel beginnings. Certain openings come up again and again–and that, my writer friends, is not a good thing. You want an agent to read page one and find something different and engaging. So if your novel opens with an agent’s pet peeve, I’d strongly recommend that you revise.
Of course, there are exceptions. And maybe you’ve written the exceptional trite beginning that works. Submit at your own risk, friends.
Which brings me to my next topic. When I read Lovely Lisa’s post today about romance, it reminded me that I’d come across a romance opportunity that might appeal to my readers/writers who haven’t written novels but who have (or could whip out) a romantic short story.
Crimson Romance (an imprint from F & W Media) is looking for stories in the 5,000 to 10,000 word range on holiday themes and sports themes. I know a couple writers who were published in the romance anthology, Fifty Shades of Santa. But for those of you whose stories weren’t accepted, here’s a great opportunity to try again for publication.
Or maybe you want to try your hand at romance-writing for the very first time. A short story is a good place to start. Just don’t start with one of those bad beginnings that agents don’t like.
I mean, it’s not called Wednesday’s What NOT To Do for nothing.
Gosh, Cathy…My NaNoWriNoMore begins with “The golden sun rose over the tan plains and the gray-blue hills. And my name is Eeeshmel.”
Should I re-examine that as an opener?
Well, Sioux, it’s a risk, but if anyone can pull it off, it’s you. (And P.S. I wish I’d thought of NanoWriNoMore. That is all.)
Thanks for all the links and info, Cathy. I agree with the agent who wrote that prologues are a lazy writer’s way to avoid weaving in back story.
I’m not a big fan of prologues, either–I always skip ’em. 🙂
How did I not know about Crimson? Thanks for the link — and for the other link (I’m embarrassed to say I saw myself in some of the grumbles). And the other one, too, that led straight to me! 🙂
I don’t know how you didn’t know about Crimson–but I’m pretty sure I’m going to see your name in one of their books. 😉
Thanks Cathy, I got all crimson thinking about my Santa story, then I read the guidelines which state they are only seeking full novel of 40,000 words or more. I’m thinking about writing MORE!
Keep reading further down, Linda. They’re looking for stories just like yours. *blushes* 🙂
I don’t write romance, but those business tips from the published professionals is priceless! Thanks for sharing that!