Wow! I feel like this round of Pass Or Pages really taught us a lot about our agent panel's personal tastes. I love it! Individual tastes are so subjective, guys. It's what makes choosing what feedback to incorporate so tricky. Here's what I learned this go-around from our agent panel and entries.
- Genre conventions are important to know. In Women's Fiction, the trend is definitely toward 3rd person. 1st person present is a much harder sell.
- Short, straightforward sentences are key, especially because agents read queries so quickly.
- When several people (CPs, beta readers, whatever) give you the same note, you should definitely pay close attention.
- Agents and readers will have expectations about your main character and story based on the query letter, and it can be jarring for the opening pages of the novel not to live up to those expectations.