Steam Heat!

Three weeks ago I mailed Agent A a query letter and one page synopsis. She responded via e-mail within a week, asking for first three chapters and full novel outline. I mailed them pronto. Within another week she PHONES me and leaves a message asking that I call her back. Whooeee! This agent is a biggee. So I call her back, her receptionist puts me on hold for maybe ten secs max. Heart palpitations. Surely the agent is calling to request representation. Then the Illustrious Agent is chatting with me, saying how much she loves my writing--- but that the novel doesn't quite have enough "heat." Big sigh.

But she wants to see something else of mine. So I describe the beginning of Novel Two (totally different from One) and she says e-mail it in Word, which I have done.

What's going on here? I'm encouraged to a degree. I suspect the story of Novel One didn't quite get it. It sounded to me as if Agent A is saying I've got the technical skills of fine writing, but it's what I'm writing ABOUT (i.e., compelling story) that is the hold up.

Sounds about right to me.
I'm not sure what the technical definition of "heat" is, but it's probably akin to what Miss Snark describes as "oomph". Does it produce a visceral reaction in the reader? Do you have to set the book down sometimes to catch your breath?

Sounds like you've got an agent on the hook to read your stuff! Burn baby burn!


Existential Man said...

technical definition of heat:
what Lisa Loobner feels buring in her loins when she thinks about Marvin Hamlisch.

Bernita said...

~tapping existential man on shoulder~
Women in that kind of fiction usually don't have "loins". Men have loins, usually lean and muscular and ...um...powerful.
Women have " wet female centres" etc.

Existential Man said...

thanks for your comment, bernita, but Rugged Existential Man doesn't use no stinkin' pansy term like "wet female centers."

Bernita said...

I'm relieved to hear it.

THRILL said...

'Women have " wet female centres" etc.'

With dew-slickened petals that unfurl.

On thinking about it, men might have "hot rods" or "piston-rod" perhaps?

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Yikes!!!!Word pictures...word pictures....especially you bernita...tsk, tsk, tsk!!!

Next subject...there are teenagers around here guys!

Miss Snark said...

Y'all are driving me to Mallomars for sublimation!

Bernita said...

Bonnie, those "teenagers" may know more about the subject than I do.

To save Miss Snark from an overdose,I will depart from my legendary reticence and suggest that a yeasty term like "burning" is also not a good word
~holding hand in front of Bonnie's eyes~
to use in conjunction with the aforementioned subject-object. Watch your mouth, guys.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Thanks Bernita, Whew...that was close...I could see between the fingers!!!:-)