View Full Version : What does it mean to be suited to write a novel?

03-22-2012, 09:24 PM
I often come across submission guidelines that request that an author's query say "why you are suited to write this particular book." I understand what that means in the context of nonfiction, but I am having trouble understanding what it means in the context of fiction. What does it mean to be suited to write a story you have utterly made up? I am suited to write this science-fiction novel because I once went to the Air & Space museum? I am suited to write this romance novel because I like boys? Obviously this is not what is meant here...but I'm having trouble thinking why I'd be particularly suited to write the book I have written, above and beyond any other decent writer.

03-22-2012, 09:38 PM
It's my understanding that that's just a standard way of requesting biographical information, and covering both fiction and non-fiction submissions at once (as you point out, non-fiction submissions do generally need some assurance of some sort of expertise or at least audience.)

There's no particular qualification for good fiction writing other than having written good fiction. If you have experience that is directly relevant to your novel, then by all means put it in; otherwise, just show that you've done a good job by having an engaging, well-written query.

03-22-2012, 10:54 PM
Exactly as JSSchley said. If your romance is set in the world of horseracing and you were once a trainer, they want to know that. Likewise your mystery set in Bangkok, where you've lived for ten years.

But if you researched and invented--which is all that's required for a lot of types of fiction--then you don't bring any specific life experience to the table. In many instances, you can't.

Maryn, who's lived her life in a small hole under the porch and has no life experience