In going through my emails, I saw that a friend posted a blurb she’d created for a new novella and asked for opinions on it. Was it too long? Did it get the point across? Did it intrigue the reader? Etc. This particular author is experienced–she’s had a number of ebooks published and has self-published some works on her own. Still, she, like the rest of us, is wondering if she’s following the “rules” that we hear and read about so often.
It got me to thinking about all of the rules that plague writers today. Many of these so-called rules come from articles or buzz about what editors or agents are looking for. If you’ve been in the business of submitting for any length of time, it becomes quite clear that what agents or editors say they want or how they want it presented isn’t really true. Why? Because when pressed, most will say that don’t know exactly what they’re looking for; they’ll just know it when they see it. In other words, it has to strike a chord with them—right subject, right time, right place, etc.
The sad thing for me is that publishing has become such a numbers business that the heart of it is lost. There’s almost no professional feedback for the author trying to break through publishing doors. Submissions are made and either a request follows or…get ready…one never hears a word. That’s a new rule we could all do without. Do you agree?