Reading some of the comments here, I would like to pose a question to the writers/aspiring novelists who read this blog.
If you respond, not only will I see your comments, but other agents, editors, and publishers will, too. I know that several of these Esteemed Personages read this blog at least occasionally.
So here is the question:
*Writers say they want honest feedback on their ideas and their manuscript. But do you REALLY want honest, no-holds-barred feedback?
Here's the reason I ask. In the past, I used to get polite thank-you notes from those whose manuscripts I did not accept. I still do, but I also get responses telling me how wrong I am and how sorry I'll be. And this is even after I've gone out of my way to say something nice or positive about the manuscript.
What might real, honest, unexpurgated feedback sound like? Thinking about a few manuscripts I've read lately, it might sound like this:
- Your book is competent, but there's nothing exciting or interesting about it. The market's too tough, and too filled with established people who deliver the goods, for this manuscript to have a chance.
- The premise of this book is downright silly.
- I'm sorry, but you really don't write well. Sentences are clunky, dialogue is wooden. In a genre dominated by some really superb writers (Michael Connelly, Laura Lipmann, et al.), how can I publish your manuscript and have any confidence that it will sell?
- I know that mixing genres is probably fun to do as a writer, but you should write this stuff for yourself and friends, or maybe self-publish it, because it's almost impossible to find a market for so-called "cross-over books."
- I'm sure you find your protagonist interesting, but s/he's actually quite boring. I don't want to spend 300 pages with him/her, and I don't think readers would, either.
Please hit the Comment button below and give me your thoughts.