Thursday, November 30, 2017

#amwriting #authortips #romance the want list for publishers and their readers

For the past few months I have been contacting editors and agents for a contest of emerging authors.  You guessed it.  I volunteered to chair a contest, and this is a helping contest with worthwhile critiques.  Aside from that, would you like to know what qualities and tropes agents and editors are looking for right now? I'm sharing this insider information which I've compiled from the many agent and editor websites I've visited: 
·       Strong conflicts where the characters’ goals are in opposition to one another
·       Physical action-oriented heroines (martial artists, MMA fighters, etc.)
·       Enemies-to-friends-to-lovers romances
·       Adventure quest style romances (think Indiana Jones or Ready Player One but with more kissing!)
·       1930s-style fast patter bantering
·       Diverse romances that showcase heritage, ethnicity and cultural practices
·       Romances that also feature very strong friendships/BFF characters
·       Gender role reversals or defiance of gender role stereotypes ( i.e. biker heroine, preschool teacher hero)
·       Post-apocalyptic romances grounded in realism (think Battlestar Galactica)
·       Couples who aren’t interested in a nuclear family-style existence

Here are qualities and tropes that editors and agents are presently not looking for:
·       First-person POV (usually better suited for New Adult, chick lit or women’s fiction than romance)
·       One or more “evil exes” as the main source of conflict to a romance — the conflict should be interpersonal between your leads.
·       Telling rather than showing and long exposition/information dumps
·       Characters without any goals besides finding love
·       Alpha heroes that are insulting and condescending to their heroines
·       Couples that fall into insta-love when they meet and never truly face any conflict

·       Relationships where the characters’ only bar to getting together is fear from past bad relationships (Everyone has insecurity and angst, but the only way a character can resolve these things is through internal epiphany. That isn’t enough to hang a story on.) 

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