I read in the letters section of the Guardian Review on Saturday a follow up to the lists of rules from writers. A writer was commenting that if he followed all the rules, took out all the adverbs, culled his adjectives, took out the metaphors and similes, omitted his descriptions, all he had left was the title of the book and his name. And the title was suspect.
It made me laugh and was written tongue in cheek (I think) but there was a serious intent behind it. How do you measure your book, and against what?
Ahead of the Writing Industries Conference this weekend, I've been looking at information about the literary agents and authors they have attending. Most of the agents are not accepting submissions at the moment.
Submission guidelines can seem intimidating;I've just been trawling through some from Carina Press, a digital arm of Harlequin Press. They are expecting a high standard from submitters. I guess from their point of view that's fair enough. For their own and the sake of the would be novelist, they're trying to weed out those of lower capabilities from even submitting.
The truth nowadays is that writing is a business. If it was ever anything but that, which I doubt, authors now need to work, not only at their writing skills, but at their marketing skills.
Learn to pitch as if your business depended on it. Because it does.