PDA

View Full Version : The Importance of Experience



Tiffanie
06-28-2012, 08:04 PM
How important is writing experience in a query? 'Cause, I've been researching agents for about a month now, and most of them ask for a writer's bio. I have no publishing experience whatsoever ('closet writer' to the max), and I was wondering if that really affects my chances of finding an agent.

I've been worrying about this for a while now. I'm sure it's not an uncommon problem, but...

quicklime
06-28-2012, 08:10 PM
Tiff,

I can call you tiff, right? 'cause I kinda did....


anyway, they want anything that says you can do a novel. So short stories, other novels, well, great--they'd want to know. But if you have not, you have not--debut authors get picked up all the time. A prior pub is a nice feather in your cap, lack of one isn't a massive steel gate slamming down.

Write a great book. write an equally great query. Pitch them. Without trying to make up credits ("I wrote 'The Horse Whisperer' and am uniquely qualified, because for my fifth birthday, dad rented a pony" or that sort of thing). That's hard, but it is all you have to do.

randi.lee
06-28-2012, 08:32 PM
Tiff,


Write a great book. write an equally great query. Pitch them.


This right here. Polish up and perfect that query! Likewise, do the same with your book. Don't settle for polishing chapter one and leaving the rest unattended to, agents don't like that.

Hook them right away, then make sure to keep that hook securely fastened in the agent's lip. Credits do help, yes, but in my opinion its the query and the book itself that are going to get you through the door.

MKrys
06-28-2012, 11:51 PM
I'm going to echo what the others have said. No agent is going to reject your if you have a great query and equally great sample pages because you don't have writing experience. I used 'I'm a freelance writer based out of Northwestern Ontario' for a bio and no one seemed to mind I didn't have anything better to say :)

Good luck!

Old Hack
06-29-2012, 12:03 AM
All you need is good writing.

And I'd appreciate it if you'd resize that picture: it's bigger than our maximum size allowed. If you can't resize it, I'm afraid you'll have to delete it. Thannks.

quicklime
06-29-2012, 12:04 AM
I'm going to echo what the others have said. No agent is going to reject your if you have a great query and equally great sample pages because you don't have writing experience. I used 'I'm a freelance writer based out of Northwestern Ontario' for a bio and no one seemed to mind I didn't have anything better to say :)

Good luck!


I don't have an accepted query to reference, but I'm pretty sure at least two of them I worked with that got agents ended with word count alone. No credits, no claims, just a pitch.

MKrys
06-29-2012, 12:26 AM
I should clarify and say I used that line for the agents requesting an author bio in the query. If it wasn't specifically requested I didn't include any bio at all.

Tiffanie
06-29-2012, 12:57 AM
Tiff,

I can call you tiff, right? 'cause I kinda did....


Tiff is fine. Typing out full names is tiring. :)



And I'd appreciate it if you'd resize that picture: it's bigger than our maximum size allowed. If you can't resize it, I'm afraid you'll have to delete it. Thannks.

Oh, I didn't know. Deleted it.

To the rest (MKrys, randi.lee): It's good to know that writing quality is more important. To add in another factor (probably should of asked this earlier), would having no experience be a red flashing light if I said 'series potential' in the query. One agent I was checking out said that experience means that the writer is more committed to developing their craft and a better 'investment' so to speak. It was that that had me worried. 'Cause my current WIP would be a series (in my dreams).

@MKrys - A fellow Canadian? Could it be? ;)

Richard White
06-29-2012, 07:14 AM
To the rest (MKrys, randi.lee): It's good to know that writing quality is more important. To add in another factor (probably should of asked this earlier), would having no experience be a red flashing light if I said 'series potential' in the query. One agent I was checking out said that experience means that the writer is more committed to developing their craft and a better 'investment' so to speak. It was that that had me worried. 'Cause my current WIP would be a series (in my dreams).


Actually, saying "series potential" is OK. Stating that it's the first of sixteen might be a tad presumptuous.

Agents and editors like to know you have plans for more than just one book. Just make sure the first book is complete in and of itself.

I like to use the Star Wars analogy. First book complete but with a few loose ends hanging. Second book, things go to hell in a handbasket for the heroes. Third book ties everything up, lessons are learned, lovers reunited, etc. -- or not, if you're more into the dark and ironic finishes -- but make sure the first book tells a complete story. You never know what might happen to delay the 2nd book. Don't leave your readers hanging up front.

Tiffanie
06-29-2012, 11:54 PM
Actually, saying "series potential" is OK. Stating that it's the first of sixteen might be a tad presumptuous.


:D Okay. I don't think I could squeeze sixteen stories out of my current WIP anyway.

Great analogy, too. Might use that someday...

Thanks to everyone for the help. Nice to know I was worrying in vain.

stargazer11
07-03-2012, 05:39 PM
Good writing and a good query seems to be the way to go...