Monday, September 28, 2009

I'm Serious.

Agents don't give a shit if you use Times New Roman or Courier.

They don't care if you do underlines or italics.

They don't care if you space between your ellipses.

They don't care if your margins are an inch or an inch and a quarter.

They don't care if your book is a few thousands words shorter or longer than the guidelines writers quote like the Bible.

Your readers don't care if you have a bit of telling instead of showing.

Your readers don't care if chapter one isn't your absolute strongest chapter.

Your readers really don't give a shit what your query letter looked like.

You have to believe me. The writing world is full of archaic rules and guidelines that only exist because writers preach them. WRITERS preach them, and they are the ones who do.

Don't let this bullshit infiltrate your mind. Get a few beta readers, but for God's sake go easy on getting critiques from other writers. Writers know every rule in the book and they will tell you every single one. Which is awesome. If you want your book to sound like everyone else's.

Read agent blogs. Read editor blogs. Find out what's going on in the agency.

Listen to readers.

For God's sake, listen to readers.

But remember to cover your ears sometimes when you're talking to writers.

We don't know as much as we think we do.

If you ever believe anything a writer says, believe this: Writing is all about the readers.

All about them.

And that's all it is.


Catherine said...


L. T. Host said...

Well said, Hannah.

Ami The Salami said...

I officially <3 you.

Emilia said...

:) Nice.

Karla said...

Nice one! said...

"Every time a writer tells the truth, one of his ears falls off."

Anonymous said...

I am a reporter for a high school newspaper in Bethesda and would like to interview you, Hannah. What is your contact information? You can email me if you prefer.