What Agents Mean When They Want “Something New”

Agents and editors are always saying they’d like something new. What they mean by new, as has been pointed out to me, might be tricky for the writer. Apparently, some writers, when hearing “something new” think cozy mysteries with alien dogs or “a book that can’t be described because it’s never been done before.”

When listening to #MSWL requests from agents and editors my best advice is not to overcomplicate things. Something new to agents and editors is no different from something new for a reader. When you finish a great book you are looking for something new, often in the same vein as something you just read, but with a twist or surprise that feels new. It’s really that simple.

Like most readers, we want really great books that keep us riveted to our seats and begging for more. A great book doesn’t need to include the kitchen sink, and it shouldn’t, it just needs to take us on an adventure that, while familiar, we’ve never really been on before.

 

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3 comments

  1. Trouble is, writing a “really great book[s] that keep[s] us riveted to our seats and begging for more” is what we all hope to do (isn’t it?).

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