I hear many authors bemoaning the fact that they are collecting nothing but piles of form rejections. They wonder why this could be. Sometimes they blame the publishing industry.
So I thought I’d share with you my three point checklist – three elements your submission has to have if it’s going to stand out from the slushpile. Of course there’s more to it than just these – but it’s a starting point.
And be honest with yourself, you may think you meet all three – but do you really?
1. Voice: Voice is so difficult to define. It’s more than just good writing – it’s that special something that makes your prose stand out. When people can read something you’ve written and know it’s by you then you know you have voice.
2. Character: Your characters need to be interesting, engaging and well rounded. The reader does not necessarily have to like your main character but they do need to empathise with them. There’s a big difference.
3. Idea: A strong original idea, or a unique twist on an old one. Don’t follow trends – those that are on the shelves now will have gone out of fashion by the time your book is published. Something new will be causing a buzz. Be that something. Break new ground.
Keep an eye out for more tips to follow.