What agents really want

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What do agents really want? A unique voice, storytelling ability, likeable characters and believable dialogue, says Danuta Kean.

By Danuta Kean at danutakean.com:

Yesterday I taught my first Guardian Masterclass of the year on how to pitch your book. The next is on 23rd February (click Guardian Masterclass for details). A question students always ask is: what exactly do agents want? It is easier to answer than you might think.

Of course everyone in publishing would say ‘voice’, by which they mean the character and personality of the writing. Agents want a voice that is unique, fresh and engaging. If you remain unclear what that means, the best way to understand is to read, read and read contemporary books. The narration – whether first or third person – will have a unique and distinct feel. From the opening paragraph it will engage you in a way that makes you want to read on and respond to the story and characters.

Continue reading at danutakean.com.

About Author

Danuta Kean is Books Editor of Mslexia and a respected publishing expert and journalist. Her work appears regularly in national newspapers, including the Financial Times and Independent on Sunday. She is a regular speaker at festivals, interviewing authors and revealing the inner workings of a trade that seems opaque to many writers. When not writing she is invariably found at the back of gigs in small venues or looking guilty as she walks past her gym. Follow her on Twitter at @Danoosha.

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