View Full Version : Help...

04-21-2005, 07:27 AM
I have a couple questions:

Background- I was able to have an agent (someone in good standing with P&E) read my novel as a favor, and she declined for personal reasons, but she said that I should contact another agent who was a friend of hers and she would tell him I would be in touch. She made several nice comments about my ms, which, of course, made me leap with joy! :banana: (or dance like a banana)

So, do I send off a query letter only and mention the first agent? If so, my query needs a lot of help!

Also, she mentioned that my ms is a little short. I need to add about fifty pages, but I don't want it to seem like filler. I could add more description, but I don't want that to interrupt the action and flow of the story. I realize that it's hard to advise me without reading the novel, but are there any general things I can do?

Thanks for any comments.

04-21-2005, 01:57 PM
Dialogue is a fast way to add pages, but you must be careful in that the added dialogue must assist the plot in a forward thrust. Just plain narrative and description might seem too obvious. 50 pages sounds like about two chapters. Just out of curriosity, what genre is it, and how many pages (or word count) are you running now?


04-21-2005, 04:10 PM
Thanks for your comments

it's supposed to be romantic suspense, but it's long on the suspense and short on the romance. It's 65,000 words right now, which I knew was short.

Also, do you know if I should include the first agent's remarks in my letter to the second?

04-21-2005, 05:36 PM
Since your first agent told you that she would notify the second, I don't think it would hurt much to make this declaration. You might even add some of the positive quotes from the first agent, to verify the authenticity of your contact. I simply wouldn't go overboard on the "tooting your own horn", but simply state some positive facts. No harm to be done there in this account.

Yeah, I shoot for about 80,000 words or so. I write very lean and actually have to go in and purposely pad the script. So I don't have a "short script" problem.

Much sucess to you, and I hope your second agent works with you on this project. The fact that you've received a referal and some positive comments goes well in your favor.


aka eraser
04-21-2005, 06:34 PM
Hi Kathleen. I agree with tri that you should mention the first agent's referral.

If your book is romantic suspense but is light on the romance then I think "where to add?" is pretty obvious....

Light those candles...run that bath...slurp those oysters....

Can you tell that's not my genre?

04-21-2005, 10:33 PM
Light those candles...run that bath...slurp those oysters....

Can you tell that's not my genre?

I'm not so sure it's my genre either! :o Most romance novels have pages of romantic encounters. Mine are short and sweet.

Wonder about what that says about my sex life?? LOL

Anyway, that will definitely be where I start. Thanks

04-22-2005, 10:45 AM
I don't know Eraser, you won me!

I think Eraser is right. If you're going to call it a "Romantic Suspense" and you have plenty of suspense, but not a lot of romance, i think you should either call it a "Suspense" or add in some romance.

Cathy C
06-06-2005, 05:26 AM

If you're writing the romantic suspense for a category line (such as Harlequin, Boons & Mills or Silhouette) then the agent is right that you probably need to add a minimum of 12,000 words (bringing it up from 260 pages to 310). That's the rock-bottom minimum that H/S will want, and you'll need to target it to a particular line of their with the content, conflict and sexual intensity.

If you're writing for single title (Berkeley, Pocket, Mira, etc.) then you'll need to beef that baby up by about 50,000 words. 90,000 to 100,000 (375 to 400 pages) is pretty much the going size for any of these publishers. But you're in luck -- romantic suspense is selling well right now. If you want to see a terrific example of the "suspense to romance" ratio, you might pick up "Night's Landing by Carla Neggers." It's a recent release and does a terrific job with both the suspense and the romance. I judged it for the RITA Awards and gave it top scores!

Let me know if you have any other questions, and good luck with that agent!! :)

Cathy C

Visit our website to see sample chapters of our books: http://www.ciecatrunpubs.com (http://www.ciecatrunpubs.com/)