2.28.2006

Avoiding Agent's Never Never lists

Dear Miss Snark,
Since we all have personal tastes I was wondering what would happen if you received a MS that was well written and marketable, but was from a perspective you hate. What do most agents and publishers do if a story conflicts with their personal, political, moral, or religious views. In your case would you fill it full of stiletto holes before it landed in the garbage, or would you hold your nose and send it out as you might any other work? The only reason I ask is should it be the first option, then I have another reason to be nervous about who I'm sending a query to.




I don't take on work I can't stand. It may be well written but if it involves poodle evisceration it's not going to be on my list. I have about five things on my Never Never list. I tell people when they query me this is just something I have no interest in and I'm the last person in the world they want near their book.

There's no way to know this in advance cause I don't put it on my website. You'll just have to query everyone and take your chances. It's not a mistake to query someone and find they don't like something.

There are enough agents in this world that if you're writing really well, you'll find someone who thinks Miss Snark is a pinhead and can't wait to take on FifiFieFoFum the Poodle Slayer of Doom.

5 comments:

dink said...

"FifiFieFoFum the Poodle Slayer of Doom"

sprayed wine all over the keyboard and fell off my chair laughing.

Thanks! :-D

McKoala said...

What if the book is written by an existing client? They phone you up all excited, Miss Snark, at last novel no. 3 is finished and I took a little diversion from my original thought that I discussed with you six months ago so now in my new ending...tarantara...the poodle eats lead?

Anonymous said...

If you've read "Kafka on the Shore" by Haruki Murakami you'll be familiar with the similarly themed cat evisceration scene. Nasty. A cracking read, though...

-ril

Lady M said...

Do agents ever pass on an MS to another agent that enjoys that particular type of "sub" genre?

Or is it always - "I don't like it, buh-bye."?

The Beautiful Schoolmarm said...

Addendum to Lady M's question: would this be more likely to happen in an agency with multiple agents?