Right, since it’s only TEN days until submission day, I thought it only fair I fill you in on what would be an instant autoreject from me in a submission. I’m telling you this to save you a wasted entry, because I want each and everyone of you to succeed.
So here goes…
1) Opening in a dream sequence. Really, even if you think yours is super different, it’s not for me. I want to see MCs in active scenes, not dreaming about something and being in bed. If you still want me as a mentor, please shoogle this scene to a later date. 😉
2) Characters describing themselves in a mirror. Just no. Not now, not ever. I hate this. It’s probably my biggest bugbear ever. Show me you have skill as a writer and go another route!
3) Animals being hurt. I’m sorry but there is no way in my lifetime I can do this. I turn off movies that show this. I throw books at the wall that show this. My little animal crazy heart can’t do this (and if it is a dog or a horse, then woah…I am not your friend!).
4) Too much exposition. I don’t mind a little, but if you explain everything to me, I’ll feel you don’t trust me to work out some things on my own.
5) Too much snark. I love witty characters, but snark feels fake and forced if it’s piled on too high.
6) Queries with insanely high word counts. I can handle too high (as I can help you cut) but if we’re talking plus 125K for a YA novel, then I don’t have a big enough axe handy to chop that baby!
7) Unclear, vague queries (ala “events unfold”). Yes, I would assume events unfold, because it’s a book, but WHAT events? Keep your query really, really simple. CHARACTER, CONFLICT, STAKES. That’s it. Don’t try and wow me with mysterious angles. All I want is a clear query that gets right to the bone of the matter. THAT impresses me.
8) Arrogance in a query. I can’t work with someone who is arrogant. Confidence is awesome, but arrogance is a turn-off.
9) Reams and reams of description. I LOVE description. Evocative wonderful words that paint the scene – but if you give me pages and pages with no action…I’m not going to fall in love with your book.
10) Gory, explicit violence. *shudder*
So there you go. Those are usually autorejects for me. That’s not to say an agent, mentor, publisher or editor might not love these things; it;s just saying they are not for me.
Remember – research your mentors to give yourself the best possible chance!
I wish you all the best of luck!