If you’re not following agent Chip MacGregor’s blog, I have three words for you: You need to. Chip is a top-notch literary agent and president of MacGregor Literary. He works with both the Christian and general market and loves sharing his snarky-laced words of wisdom with writers. I’m telling you now, you don’t want to miss his annual Bad Poetry Contest in May–what a fun way to celebrate his birthday!
Today, I’m thrilled to share a recent question submitted to Chip’s Ask the Agent blog series. Great advice for those who are serious about writing. But watch out, you must have your humor hat on or you may not get it.
Excerpt from Chip MacGregor’s blog series, Ask the Agent: â€śWhat 10 editorial mistakes do most novice authors make?â€ť
I suppose if you asked this of ten agents, youâ€™d probably get a hundred total answers, but here are my pet peeves with newbie authors:
- Too many exclamation points!!!
- A proposal that has not been proof-red
- Overpromising, as in â€śThis proposal will sell a billion copies!â€ť
- FEELING A NEED TO PUT LOTS OF WORDS IN ALL CAPS.
- Random numbering in an outline.
- I did this, I did that, I did this other thing, I, I, I.
- Random commas, that make no, sense.
- A failure to understand how to properly use â€śquotationâ€ť marks. (Also parentheses. And their attached punctuation).
- Failing to understand the difference between its and itâ€™s (or there and their and theyâ€™re).
- The manuscript is passive due to the author.
Hint for the humor impaired: There are intentional errors in that list. If you see one, donâ€™t send me a scolding note or youâ€™ll be banned from the blog. Itâ€™s a joke. I know you donâ€™t get it. Just trust me â€“ others find it funny.Â
Friends, I hope you learned something about agents and what they’re NOT looking for. And if you’re a writer interested in finding out more agent answers to your questions, check out Chip’s new book, How Can I Find A Literary Agent? And 101 Other Questions Asked by Writers .
Call-Out for Kudosâ€¦I Want to Brag on You!
Itâ€™s really simple, but I do ask that you contact me with the info in this format and order ONLY:
**Your state in two-letter abbreviation
**Link to your website or blog
**Your good news
**Link to your good news, if online (online bookstore, online article, etc)
I canâ€™t wait for us to celebrate with you!
Call for MoGo7000 Totals
If you wrote at least 7000 new words on a book project in March, you can receive an entry in the drawing for the 2015 MoGo7000 $100 cash prize! Itâ€™s open to everyone who qualifies.
To report your March results, please leave a comment below with your total new words written in March. (Please do not send your totals by email or through the Contact page. Totals must be left as a comment here by next Monday).Â
If you missed out on last yearâ€™s money-winning writing challenge, donâ€™t worry, the 2015 challenge is underway! Here are the MoGo7000 Challenge rules. All you have to do is write at least 7000 NEW words on a book project in any month and youâ€™ll receive an entry into the end-of-the-year drawing for $100.
Each month that you qualify with 7000 new words, your name goes in the â€śhatâ€ť for the drawing. Reach the goal one month and youâ€™ll have one entry. Meet it 10 months and youâ€™ll have 10 entries!
So what are you waiting for? Get started now and you could have $100 this time next year. And it doesnâ€™t cost you a cent. đź™‚
And Who Won Cindy Sproles’ Book, Mercy’s Rain?
The winner is…drumroll, please…
Congratulations, Cindy (Patterson)! I’m so happy for you and I know you’re going to love this book. Simply contact me with your snail mail address and Cindy (Sproles) will get the book right out to you. (Hmmm…could this be a Cindy conspiracy?) đź™‚
Well, for those of you who are not named Cindy, here’s a direct Amazon link to Mercy’s Rain. I know–and you know–you want your own copy!
Thanks for Tweeting!
Well, that does it for another 1st Tuesday. I can’t wait to see you back next week to meet another author and to celebrate our successes together!