"not enough energy in the writing"

Dear Miss Snark,

I'm a relatively new addition to the devotion of Snarklings but that does not diminish my love and respect for you and your work on our behalf.

Upon request I sent a partial to a well respected agent I'd met at a writer's conference. Having read your blog and its archives, I included the query, approximately 50 pages, a synopsis and a SASE. Since I followed the guidelines I got a reply, promptly. Wow! and Hooray!

Here's in part how it reads " While I really liked your writing, I'm afraid that I didn't find quite enough energy in the storytelling."
Please Miss Snark, would you translate what "enough energy" means? 'cuz I haven't got a clue and could really use one.

Thank you.

ds (devoted snarkling)

bland, uninteresting or cliched characters.
pointless plots, or no discernible plot.

This writing stuff is harder than it looks!


Rei said...

Ah, Miss Snark, your daily dose of refreshing straightforwardness is like a breath of fresh air.

Brady Westwater said...

Another guess is that there is not enough forward plot momentum.

just Joan said...

Did you drink a Red Bull or coffee/cafine before writing? If not, your writing lacked energy. :-)

Anonymous said...

It could be that there's not enough conflict. Or maybe your voice is a bit flat.

Remember, though, this is one agent's opinion. Have you had someone else (a trusted reader/critique partner) review your manuscript?

Catja (green_knight) said...

I'm finding Donald Maas's 'Writing the Breakout Novel' interesting. Not that I agree with everything, but he's showing a lot of ways to step up the heat.

Me? I'm just quietly cutting about half my prose on a five-year-old novel and disregarding the rest.

Anonymous said...

Passive tone will do that for me, too.