character-drivenWriters could probably go crazy if they stopped to analyze all of the agent desires that are out there. This one is seeking fun, x-y-z concepts. That one is seeking l-m-n-o-p stories. What do they mean, exactly?

With so much subjectivity surrounding this business, one person’s x-y-z is another’s l-m-n-o-p. What they DON’T mean is, “Quick! Write a story with an x-y-z concept!” It means, if you happen to have something like this, there is a chance, albeit small, that this agent might want to take a look.

I’m as eager as the next person to check into what agents are looking for. But, I love it when I see an agent encourage writers to write what they love, and I honestly believe that all agents really want us to do that. If your heart is not in your writing, if there is no passion behind it, if you are trying to be something you are not, chances are, your story could fall flat.

icecream(3)However, that does not mean you can’t experiment with different styles of writing. Playing with words, styles, and genres can help you grow as a writer. So, how about we make a compromise?

If an agent is seeking q-r-s, feel free to challenge yourself to try that, with the goal of growing, not necessarily submitting. Even if your heart is not in it at first, you may come to find a new love after experimenting. Often, my experimental writing stems from being inspired by what I read. If I read a new unique metafiction picture book that makes me laugh out loud, I leave saying, “I want to write one of those.” And then I try it. It might come out as mush, but don’t forget how much revision will help you grow, too. It could remain mush, and that’s okay. If your heart is in it, the next might win it. Or it might STILL be mush, and that’s okay, too. Chances are, it will affect the complete package in SOME way.

Have you tried something new lately?