Monday, June 7, 2010

What are editors looking for?

So many times as writers we wonder what editors want. If we could just find out what they want, then we would write that and presto! Published Author!

The truth is relatively simple. What we want is a good story. That’s it. I don’t care what genre it’s in. I don’t care which POV you use. I don’t care if the protagonist is male, female or some odd mix of the two. What I do care about is the story. Pull me into your world. Make me care about the characters. Make me feel something. Make me forget that I’m looking for reasons to reject the story. Make me forget that I’m wearing my editor’s hat while I’m reading it. Simple, right?

Of course it’s not simple. If it was, I’d be whipping out two or three novels a year and we’d all be published in the New Yorker. The truth is, writing a good story comes from loving the story you’re telling, and there’s no formula for that. Find a story you’re passionate about though, and I’ll bet it will come through in your writing. Write that story and an editor will love it.

Since this post was maddingly unspecific, next time I’ll tell you what I don’t want to see. And yes, I’ll be specific!

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