Monday, September 29, 2014

What Literary Agents Don't Want

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It's sad but true, almost all Literary agents are tired of vampires. It's nearly impossible to write an original vampire novel these days. I personally love vampires!

While researching agents, I found most had included "vampires" into their "What I'm Not Looking For" list. There are always exceptions however. Following novels like Twilight and The Vampire Diaries, literary agents inboxes were flooded with similar manuscripts.

Some of the toughest sells in young adult:
  • Dystopia (think Hunger Games, or fallen government books)
  • Paranormal love triangles (think Twilight, The Vampire Diaries)
  • Paranormal (anything with werewolves, shape-shifters, selkies, mermaids, anything with tail, teeth or wings)
  • Zombies (editors are over zombies, and if an editor doesn't want it, neither does an agent)
  • Parallel Universes
  • Time Travel
  • Fairytale Retellings
  • Pregnancy Horrors
  • Apocalyptic Aftermaths
  • Trilogies
Paranormal and Urban Fantasy are becoming tougher sells because of the flooded marketplace.

What most Literary agents are looking for in young adult:
  • Contemporary
  • Science Fiction
  • Stand-alone novels
Literary agents are always looking for "voice" and "good writing". If you research literary agents you're going to find that most want the same thing. They want something they haven't seen before, something unique/original. Agents are also looking for something that will lure more male readers into the young adult genre. They'd like to see more young adult novels that feature a strong-but flawed-male protagonist. They want to see more contemporary thrillers.

As trilogies are becoming a hard sell, editors are looking for more stand-alone novels.

As I said, there are always exceptions and most, if not all, literary agents don't care what genre the manuscript falls under, as long as the writing is good. Whether it's contemporary romance, horror. or a paranormal love triangle, agents want a story that they've never seen before. Something that captures their attention and won't let go - a great story with good writing that's original and unpredictable.

I wrote my manuscript, The Walker And The Witch, six years ago because I love writing. I've been told that it's unique, but it falls under the paranormal categories and includes The Orenda (witches), Skin-Walkers (shape-shifters) and Balkan Eternals (vampires). It has a slim chance of getting picked up by any literary agent, I know that.

Don't get discouraged by this post, write because you love the craft. Write because you love your story. Don't choose your genre based on what other people think, your manuscript will suffer, your writing will seem forced. As with all great trends in the world, it will come back around. They always do.