I was watching to a webinar recently, given by agent Scott Eagan of Greyhaus Literary Agency (it accepts romance, and women’s fiction), and I heard something that I thought I would pass along.
He was talking about the balance of narrative and dialogue, and talked about how he was once reading a novel, and he felt as if he was learning an enormous amount, but the information was presented so transparently he hardly notice it.
How did the author do it?
She wedged little pieces of information into the dialogue, like a sandwich. So there was dialogue, then the info dump, then dialogue.
I’m going to try out this technique myself, but thought I would pass it along to all of you.
Do you have any craft tips you’d like to share? Feel free to drop a comment in the box below.
Have a great week!
This piece first appeared in the June newsletter. If you would like to read more such tips, or hear about how my progress on THWARTED QUEEN is going, please sign up for the newsletter by clicking on the appropriate link to the right.
As you know, I am seeking representation for my novel ONE SEED SOWN, TWO MURDERS REAPED. I’ve been sending it to agents, and haven’t had much luck, when I noticed that Writers Digest was giving a webinar about how to attract an agent, given by a widely-respected agent who has a reputation for looking after her authors.
So I decided to participate in this webinar to see if there was anything I could learn from it. There were several things that the agent advised us all to do:
- Be yourself. Don’t do a hard sell, because unless you are very good at doing it, it will come across as a hard sell.
- Don’t talk about all the writing you did in a corporation, or as an academic, because that isn’t relevant. In your query letter you really want to focus on writing you have done that is relevant to the novel you are trying to pitch.
- It sounds obvious, but DON’T pitch an agent a novel that is exactly the same as one they have sold, because it will be competition for that novel. Instead, find an agent who has sold something that is similar, but that won’t compete.
- Try to get a feel of where your novel will sit on a bookshelf in a bookshop.
- Lastly, be prepared to do a lot of heavy lifting when it comes time to sell your novel. You may have to hire a publicist. You definitely want to have a following. Agents will be asking you these questions, so if you are not comfortable marketing yourself, then find someone to help you.
Next: I get a free critique of my first 300 words.
–Cynthia Haggard writes novels. She is currently seeking representation for ONE SEED SOWN, TWO MURDERS REAPED, the Richard III story told from the point of view of his mother. For more on her creative writing, go to spunstories. (c) 2011. All rights reserved.