As many of you know, I’ve recently returned home from a series of writers’ conferences. As I met with writers and read their proposals or sample chapters, one thing struck me over and over…
More and more writers are spending time writing what they think agents and editors want to see.
Is that bad? Well, yes and no.
No, because you need to understand what editors and agents are looking for. That’s part of being professional about your career. And yes, because what most of us—agents and editors—are looking for is passionate writing. Writing that comes from your heart and spirit. Writing that grabs you and shakes you and won’t let you go until it’s out on the page. In a word, what we want is your best. Your best message. Your best craft. Your best act of obedience to what God has given you to write.
One meeting with a writer brought this home to me. The woman sat down and handed me sample chapters from a romance novel she’d written. Even as she handed them to me she seemed…hesitant. I read the first few pages, and could tell her heart wasn’t in it. I handed it back to her with a few pointers. We still had time left, so I asked if she wanted to ask any questions. She bit her lip.