It’s no secret that acquisitions editors have red flags. We twitch when we see spelling errors or the wrong publishing house’s name in the cover letter.
However, as a group we do appreciate authors who write with authority, finding ways of getting time of day, setting, tone, the promise of genre, and some hint at the central conflict up front. We want to know, “What is this story about?” And, “Why should our readers care about this protagonist?”
Heroes and Villains: Not All Good or All Bad.
Alien 2’s flesh-eating monster cared about her children, and Narnia hero Digory’s vanity echoed his Uncle Andrew’s. Happily, unflawed white-hat heroes rarely sail in and out of my acquisitions in-box. The trouble is that, more often these days, I read heroes that are bad through and through. It’s pretty easy to write an all-bad hero. Balancing flaws believably, perhaps with some small sacrifice or reluctant, kind act, are a couple of ways to show narrative skill.
And, inside the acquisitions in-box, I read on.
I hope you’ll have another brilliant week in your writing career. Cheers to you. Mel
Mel Anastasiou writes The Fairmount Manor Mysteries series, starring Mrs Stella Ryman, The Hertfordshire Pub Mysteries series, starring Spencer Stevens, and is Acquisitions Editor with Pulp Literature Press.
If you enjoy reading Mel Anastasiou’s writing tips, get her pocket-sized writing guide, The Writer’s Boon Companion: Thirty Days Towards an Extraordinary Volume, here.
Motivates, organizes, encourages, inspires.