What Not to Do Around Literary Agents: Gape, Gasp and Guffaw

Being in the same room with six literary agents is an anomaly. No, being in the same room with six literary agents that want to hear from YOU, now that’s an anomaly.

And I was lucky enough to be one of the few that spent the day talking, learning, and creating with them.

They say don’t judge a book by its cover, and I think that’s totally true. But, I have to admit my initial speculations were that agents were scary. They’re the ones that deny, deny, deny. They’re the one’s that tell you your book sucks. They’re the ones that rip your favorite scene, you know that one you worked hours and hours on, to pieces.

When I actually came face to face with the men/women behind these hopeless actions, my perception changed.

They don’t have dragon tails, claws, and breathe fire (unless provoked). They’re like you. They’re like me. And you know what they want more than anything in the world? For us to succeed.

The author-agent relationship is one built on tough love. They don’t scold you for your run-on sentences and lack of visual description because seeing you fail makes them feel warm and fuzzy inside. In fact, it’s just the opposite. They tell you these things to make you a stronger person and ultimately a better writer.

So I guess the message of this post is be bold. Be brave. Don’t let one rejection get in the way of your future of writing. Take these hits as lessons to improve your craft, and you will get better. Agents want to believe in the magic of your story, they’re just waiting for you to cast the right spell.

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