Short and Not-Always-Sweet Answers

Here are some quick answers to reader questions that don’t require entire blogposts unto themselves:

If you have more than 2 POV characters, are your chances of publication lessened?
→ Not unless your book is really bad.

If you live near a major publisher, and your book takes place in the same area, does this help at all with marketing?
→ I can’t see how it would make much difference unless living really close means you bring them Starbucks every morning and chocolates every afternoon.

What makes you mentally snort and roll your eyes around in your head while you’re listening to a pitch?
→ “This book is a guaranteed bestseller.”

When agents and editors read manuscripts, do they print them out? Or read them on the computer?
→ There are these newfangled devices, you may have heard of them, called e-readers? Yeah. (I’ve heard rumors of some people still using their printers, but I haven’t met any of these fine folks.)

Why do publishing houses give such large advances to some debut authors? It seems like a big risk.
→ Why do publishers do anything? It’s business, baby. They think it’s a good decision that will pay off in the long run.

Do you think agents are more likely to take on work that has a great plot with writing that needs work, or great writing with a plot that needs work?
→ Great writing with a weak plot – for sure. I can help a good writer improve their plot. But teaching an average writer to be a good writer is not my job.

How many books would an author have to have published by a major publishing house to be considered a true success, household name or career author?
→ Considered a success by whom? By God? By their mother? By the general public? Some people are household names after one book. (Think J.K. Rowling or Dan Brown.) Many, many writers toil in obscurity, successfully publishing dozens of books, make a good living at it for decades, are definitely successful career authors, but are not household names.

I would like to know if “lurkdom” is a word.
→ If I said it, then yes.

I’m wondering how to handle racial slurs, such as the N word. When a truly vile character would really use such terms, how does the publishing world handle it?
→ Well, usually a smaller font works for those words you want to include but feel like you should whisper them very quietly. Kidding! It depends on context, who the publisher is, and what their guidelines allow. What are you doing writing about truly vile people anyway? This blog is supposed to be safe for the whole family!

I hesitate to ask, seeing as you don’t rep it, but what is the state of fantasy and sci-fi right now?
→ Iowa? Rhode Island? Oh, you mean… okay. Those genres are hanging in there on the strength of established name authors and hardcore fans, and according to my crystal ball, hoping for a resurgence.

Is there any hope of long (150,000+ words) fiction ever making a comeback?
→ Let’s think about this. Over the last, say, five decades or so, have people’s attention spans been getting longer or shorter?

I’d love to read about a day in the life of an agent.
→ Which agent? Do you know any interesting ones? (If not, you could click here.)

I think the only real question to ask is: What are we going to watch now that LOST has ended?!
→ I know, right? That, and “Why did it take so long for Jake and Vienna to break up?”

Got any more questions? Bring ’em on.

Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!


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  3. Patti on June 30, 2010 at 7:20 PM

    >Hi! I have two questions. First, I am a published author of a trilogy, several anthologies and short stories. My first question is do I need an agent at this point (I've gotten good reviews & only two rejections ever-I'm stunned it isn't two thousand!)and would any agent be interested in me? My second question is would an agent consider taking on one of my unpublished manuscript if I've submitted it to one publisher? Okay this is the third question: would an agent be interested in the unpublished mss if it was rejected by that publisher?

  4. Rachelle on June 28, 2010 at 8:42 PM

    >Anon 6:36 pm: You're right, of course. We don't edit on our e-readers (usually) but we do an awful lot of manuscript reading on them. My experience is different than yours; I think virtually every editor and agent I know reads manuscripts on an e-reader. Some of the big publishers (Random House, for example) distributed them to their employees.

    But most of us edit on the computer, not on a reader. Very few editors or agents that I know still print out paper on a regular basis. Once in awhile, maybe.

    So I guess we just know different people!

  5. Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 7:36 PM

    >Agents may have ereaders, but not all editors do–in fact, most of the editors I work with (as an editor) don't have ereaders. Those that do bought them with their own money, and let's face it, not all editors can afford that on our salaries (and I don't know any company that will reimburse!).

    95% of the editors I work with edit on paper. And they're not the rarities.

  6. Tom Dowler on June 28, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    >"There are these newfangled devices, you may have heard of them, called e-readers?"

    So would you recommend pre-converting sample pages to Kindle format and attaching them to a query or is that the sort of obnoxious brown-nosing that annoys more than endears?

  7. Rachelle on June 27, 2010 at 9:50 AM

    >Anon 11:46 AM: The question specifically said, "the contract clause that says you can't publish anything with another publisher for x months/years." So clearly the answer only applies to situations in which the contract DOES have that clause. Obviously if your contract doesn't have a limiting clause, then both the question and the answer are irrelevant to you!

  8. Anonymous on June 25, 2010 at 12:46 PM

    >A fun post, however I must disagree about the pen name. Not all contracts include limiting clauses. Mine certainly don't. How can this be unethical?

  9. JessG on June 25, 2010 at 12:24 AM

    >I couldn't help but get a good laugh with your answers. I wasn't a Lost watcher…I got "lost" watching the darn show anyway when I caught it mid-season. I don't even remember what season it was I did try to watch. Probably because it was a Wednesday and my shows are on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But you have a great blog and I have learned a lot (even through these answers in this post). And yes, I need to work on the grammar. 🙂

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  11. writerashley on June 24, 2010 at 5:50 PM

    >Oh, by the way… we were pretty bummed around here about LOST, and 24 for that matter, ending, so my husband and I have been checking on new shows on Netflix. I'd definitely recommend Lie to Me, and Castle (which I think was already mentioned) as well.
    -Ashley Clark

  12. writerashley on June 24, 2010 at 5:48 PM

    >My favorite part of this blog is the last answer. I was just soaking up all the information, making mental notes and snickering to myself at the sarcasm. Then I came to the last comment and thought, "What?! From The Bachelor? But he was so nice in Dancing with the Stars."

  13. Michelle DeRusha on June 24, 2010 at 2:28 PM

    >This post made me snicker.

    My question: if you had to recommend just one Christian writers' conference to attend (specifically for non-fiction), what would it be?


  14. Kelly Freestone on June 24, 2010 at 12:39 PM

    >I love the tone of this post. So funny.

    And the lost thing?
    But Castle rocks!

    Thanks for the thing about POV.
    I've got one in First for two people.

    Great post.

  15. Bob Mayer on June 24, 2010 at 11:53 AM

    >Using a pen name to get out of the option clause on a contract is not unethical. Numerous published authors have done it over the years. It depends on the wording of the contract which varies from publisher to publisher. But if I had followed that "rule" as you've stated it, I'd be doing something else for a living now. A blanket statement like that could derail an author's carer.

  16. Susan on June 24, 2010 at 8:41 AM

    >John Grisham is a great example of an author who hung in there until his career finally took off.

    I'm from Louisiana. He lives in Mississippi. I guess I've been following his career since my daughter went to college at Ole Miss. His home is close by and the setting for it is breathtaking.

    I saw him on TV on one of those interview type programs last year. He is extremely humble regarding his success. He has a lovely sense of humor.

    From what I remember he stated that he felt he would not be able to make a sufficient amount of money as an attorney in the small populated area where he lived. Instead he decided to venture off that path to write novels involving his education as an attorney.

    He said he studied several novels of the same nature. Isn't this what all agents say we must do? He said he was almost at the point of giving up because things were not taking off when one of his novels was finally accepted. This sounds similiar to Stephen King's story where it's said he threw his script for "Carrie" in the trash because he was at the point of giving up. In fact, from what I recall, his phone service had been turned off due to a laspse in payment. Can you imagine feeling that strongly about your passion? It sure paid off; didn't it? From what I remember his wife fished "Carrie" out of the trash!

    To me, both of these men are great examples of risk takers. Aren't most writers risk takers? I imagine most unknown authors, myself included, are continually being judged for their passion of writing in comparison to getting a real job.

    Fortunately for me, my family and friends know me and they have little doubt that I will make something happen. It's simply a matter of when. A writer must possess that type mentality.

    I do think it's important for all aspiring authors to realize that it's OK to be like one of these formerly unknown authors. It's OK to dream and take risks that one day you too may be successful.

    I guess you have to take on the mindset of why not me.

  17. Susan on June 24, 2010 at 8:03 AM

    >You are hilarious!

  18. KJ Bain on June 24, 2010 at 7:58 AM

    >Thank you for not taking yourself too seriously. I really needed the laugh this morning.

  19. Shmologna on June 24, 2010 at 7:48 AM

    >I'm already a household name. I'm big…in my household.

    ~Britt Mitchell

  20. iheartya on June 24, 2010 at 2:49 AM

    >So You Think You Can Dance is always a good choice!

    Sarah Joy

  21. Justajo on June 24, 2010 at 12:18 AM

    >Two questions:
    1. Am I the only person in the world who didn't watch Lost…and doesn't think he's missed anything? (Don't hit! Don't hit!)
    2. I foolishly had my book printed by a POD publisher six years ago. (Yeah, that one.) It has sold maybe four copies…and those who have kept up with this outfit know why. When my contract expires next year, I am thinking of reworking the whole thing: Title, character names, etc. – but not the plot – and try to find a REAL publisher. What reasons can you give for me to NOT try this?
    Thanks for a great blog, Ms Gardner.

  22. Valerie on June 23, 2010 at 11:30 PM

    >thanks so much for the laugh! Nothing like a little sarcasm to make me smile!
    I hear Vienna is doing a public apology to Jake tomorrow on 'The Insider'….all in keeping with her general classiness and good taste.

  23. T. Anne on June 23, 2010 at 9:07 PM

    >I appreciate the answer. What about requests? i.e. If I go into B&N and request a book will they just order the one? Am I obligated to purchase it?

  24. Rachelle on June 23, 2010 at 7:36 PM

    >T. Anne: The store decides. First they decide whether to buy and stock the title at all, and they decide how many to buy and place on shelves. Then they decide how long to keep it on the shelf, and whether or not to re-order when the last copy is purchased. They make their decisions based on what they think they can sell.

    One of the biggest frustrations of published authors is not being able to find their books in bookstores. But it happens constantly.

  25. Missy on June 23, 2010 at 7:34 PM

    >What's your favorite chocolate? Dark? Milk? Nuts? Plain?

  26. Rachelle on June 23, 2010 at 7:34 PM

    >Jacqueline Windh: Your comment explained exactly the reason publishers will never allow it. Digital rights are going to become bigger moneymakers, while print books will continue to make less money. How will publishers stay in business if they hang on to the rights that are making less and less money, and give away the rights that will become profitable? Doesn't make sense, and never will.

    However, it leaves authors with some terrific choices. If you can make more money the do-it-yourself way, go for it!

  27. T. Anne on June 23, 2010 at 6:38 PM

    >What determines how long a book will stay out on the shelves at bookstores/department and big box stores?

    A friend of mine had her debut novel hit last summer by a well known publisher and I haven't seen it anywhere but Amazon. Some titles I see for months at brick and morters, and some disappear within weeks. Is it a stock issue or is there a shelf life for books?

  28. Jacqueline Windh on June 23, 2010 at 6:27 PM

    >Yup, Rachelle, that answers my question! I feared it was such…

    It is definitely something for us to consider, as authors, this whole ebook thing. It's not for everyone – but for some of us, getting that higher percentage by doing it ourselves just might be the best option. I'm a "best-selling" author in Canada (here, the definition of best-seller is >5000 copies) and I sure can't make a living off my 10% cut through the traditional route…

    I do hope that some alternative contract models start to come out of this, so that authors/agents/publishers can work together in ways that are worthwhile for all parties.

    If I get anywhere with this, I'll definitely let you know!

  29. Brother Cysa Dime on June 23, 2010 at 5:30 PM

    >I would suggest that instead of showing naughty language, show naught behavior.

  30. Rebecca LuElla Miller on June 23, 2010 at 4:55 PM

    >Is there such a thing as Christian Fantasy? By that I mean a story set in a Fantasy world but explores strong Christian themes.

    Mark, check out Karen Hancock's Christy Award winning books in the Guardian-King series, starting with Light of Eidon (Bethany) which recently came out in Kindle version. You can still get some of them in print.

    The Christianity is allegorical in those but overt in The Trophy Chase Trilogy by George Bryan Polivka (Harvest House).

    Most recently Crossway put out The Sword by Bryan Litfin, first in the Chiveis Trilogy. Then there's the Auralia’s Thread series, Jeffrey Overstreet, WaterBrook Press and the Blood of Kings series, Jill Williamson, Marcher Lord Press. These are just the adult fantasies. Now if you wanted a list of YA or middle grade, well … that would take a while. 😉


  31. Rachelle on June 23, 2010 at 4:55 PM

    >Jacqueline Windh: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…….

    (Does that answer your question?)

    Loree H: 90,000 give or take.

  32. Julie Musil on June 23, 2010 at 4:22 PM

    >Great answers! And you read my mind about Jake and Vienna.

  33. Ruth in the Desert on June 23, 2010 at 4:17 PM

    >Thanks for responding to my question! I remember now–it's devotionals that you don't usually represent, and that's what I write. 🙂

  34. mary bailey on June 23, 2010 at 3:22 PM

    >LOL–"Are people's attention spans getting longer or shorter?" So true!

    Your short answers are funny and insightful!

  35. Krista E. on June 23, 2010 at 3:21 PM

    >Great post Rachelle. 🙂

    And to the person who asked about using racist words, it seems like a pretty bad idea to me if you're writing contemporary fiction. If you're writing historical fiction and describing an era in which that kind of vocab was used, it would be more acceptable, though probably some concerned parents group somewhere would still try to ban it *facepalm*

  36. Beryl Singleton Bissell on June 23, 2010 at 2:21 PM

    >What a happy find, Rachell. I've been internet "shy" for the past few months, finishing one book, and the second draft on the sequel to The Scent of God, so I've been missing your blog. Did a search for you and this popped up. And to think, I didn't realize you were a literary agent. This is a great blog.

  37. Timothy Fish on June 23, 2010 at 1:46 PM

    >Not that I know how publishers would respond, but if I were a publisher faced with Jacqueline Windh’s request, the easy thing would be to back away from the deal. Short of that, I would want at least enough digital rights that I could provide portions of the book online for marketing purposes. I would also want a no compete clause in the contract that would prevent the author from attempting to sell the book in digital format while I’m trying to sell the book in paper format.

  38. Loree H on June 23, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    >Sorry. Didn't mean to echo.

  39. Loree H on June 23, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    >Great post. Didn't see this one coming. Kinda came out of left field there. (Also wondering how much coffee you had this morning?)

    Still chuckling.

    I do have a Q4U. (Ducking under my desk before I ask) Historical Fiction–word length?

    As always, thanks for the informative and entertaining blog. ;D

  40. Beth on June 23, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    >Enjoyed the post. I especially liked your response to good writing/bad plot vs. bad writing/good plot. Of course it makes perfect sense. Becoming a good writer is the writer's job. No one can fix that but the writer through blood, sweat, and tears.

  41. Kristi Bernard on June 23, 2010 at 12:57 PM

    >This is a very informative post and quite funny. Thanks.

  42. Rachelle on June 23, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    >Ruth in the Desert:
    What I'm Looking For

  43. Jacqueline Windh on June 23, 2010 at 12:52 PM

    >Great post, Rachelle, a wonderful blend of info and entertainment.

    OK, I have a question and I hope it's not a dumb one. And, even if it has been answered somewhere previously, I suspect the answer today is different from what it would have been even a few months ago.

    Would an author have any hope of negotiating a contract with a publisher, these days, where the author retains digital rights? As we all know, the publishing industry is shifting in a huge way right now… contract terms have been pretty standard for a long time right now, so I'm wondering if these industry shifts might instigate some shifts in the "standard" author/publisher contract terms.

    I'd be very interested in an alternative model, e.g. where I retain ebook rights – and I'd be willing to give in on some things for that e.g. foregoing an advance, and author taking a more active (and perhaps even financial) role in the marketing.

    Do you think there's any possibility of publishers being open to new contract models such as this? I'm asking because I'm debating over whether to even approach an agent or publisher with my next book, or whether to just self-publish (I am already pretty on it with the platfrom-building and marketing). If I go with a traditional publisher, I'd want to retain ebook rights – do I have any hope in succeeding with that?

  44. Ruth in the Desert on June 23, 2010 at 12:50 PM

    >Posts like this one are why I follow you on Twitter. Thanks! Now where are the helpful and hilarious agents who represent writers of non-fiction?

  45. Sharon A. Lavy on June 23, 2010 at 12:49 PM

    >Thanks Rachelle. I needed a good chuckle today. Love to read your posts.

  46. Melody on June 23, 2010 at 12:39 PM

    >Haha, funny! And helpful. 🙂

  47. Timothy Fish on June 23, 2010 at 12:28 PM

    >Just an observation, but while some authors are made famous by a book, there are others with a famous book but they are not famous. I never can remember the name of the guy who wrote The Shack for instance. On the other hand, I know the name John Grisham but it would be difficult for me to name a book he wrote. I’m not sure which is better for sales, but I think it would be cool to have someone tell me that I should read a book they enjoyed and to be able to say, “I wrote it.”

  48. Durango Writer on June 23, 2010 at 11:43 AM

    >Loved your response re: great writing vs. great plot. There are so many people with great stories in them. That doesn't mean they can put those stories in writing that's publishable.

  49. Rachelle on June 23, 2010 at 11:08 AM

    >Anon 9:49: You are ever so correct! Thank you for setting me straight, cuz, you know, it's not like I'm in publishing or anything, and it's not like I've actually read any of those earlier Dan Brown books like Deception Point, and um, it's not like I even said anything about Da Vinci Code being Dan's first book – it was one book that made him famous. Kinda like John Grisham. One book made him famous – The Firm. But it wasn't his first book.

  50. kathy taylor on June 23, 2010 at 11:00 AM

    >Rachelle, you have the perfect clincher: Jake and Vienna. I have three POVs, so you answered one of my lurking fears and gave me some great laughs. Thanks!

  51. vmichelle on June 23, 2010 at 10:57 AM

    >Funniest/best blog post I've read in awhile – I just love your sassy truthfulness here… Thanks for informing me while making me smile today.

  52. Anonymous on June 23, 2010 at 10:49 AM

    >Actually, Da Vinci Code was not Dan Brown's first novel.

  53. Rachelle on June 23, 2010 at 10:44 AM

    >Julie: I'm with you, I sincerely hoped some of these were not real questions. Alas, my hopes were dashed as they are all quite real. (What is that saying – there are no dumb questions? Um, no comment.)

    Olga: Wait, there are more people who read my blog than I see in the comments? Hallelujah!

  54. T.J. on June 23, 2010 at 10:40 AM

    >As always, insightful, clever, and humorous. If I wrote in your genres I'd query you. If I was in your area, I'd take you to Starbucks to pick your brain. For now, I'll just have to say, you're an awesome agent.

  55. FeelingFiction on June 23, 2010 at 10:38 AM

    >Very informative without being a chore to read. You revealed your personality and character within a few short answers. Adorable. thanks for that.

  56. Julie Lindsey on June 23, 2010 at 10:31 AM

    >I sincerely hope that some of these are not real questions. I am also wondering just how many "guaranteed best sellers" you manage to pass up. Priceless. LOVED this.

  57. Olga on June 23, 2010 at 10:27 AM

    >There's a FORMAT for manuscripts? I am so screwed.

    Also, do you mind when people read your blog regularly but don't comment?

  58. passinglovenotes on June 23, 2010 at 10:17 AM

    >Please consider doing a once-a-month blog post like this one.

    Helpful. Thanks.

  59. Rachelle on June 23, 2010 at 9:36 AM

    >Anon 7:44: That'll teach people to ask me questions about genres I don't rep.

    Meagan Spooner: Don't worry so much about the formatting of the sample pages that are pasted in to your query. Just copy and paste them from your Word doc. But yes, manuscripts still get double spaced.

    writer jim: Check some of the resources already mentioned for advice about profanity. I've blogged about it before but I'm too lazy to try and find the post.

    Sarah: I know some authors get away with single-POV-scene characters. You'll have to make this decision yourself, and hope I don't edit you, because personally I don't think they work, and I think they're a bit of a cop-out or "cheating" on the part of the author. It's like an easy fix (sorry Angie, you know I adore you).

    Joyce: We love The Closer! My 13-yr-old is counting down the days.

    Napkin Dad: I'm with you on that, the wrestler would totally be my pick for Ali. Too bad she got rid of Kasey… didn't she realize he was going to protect and guard her heart?????

  60. lynnrush on June 23, 2010 at 9:30 AM

    >Loved this!
    Great answers and sprinkled in with some humor makes it fun.

    State of Sci-Fi. . . Iowa. . . LOL!!

    Thanks for this.

  61. Anonymous on June 23, 2010 at 8:44 AM

    >I'm surprised about your answer to the fantasy/sci fi question. There are several rather new authors with fresh styles who are incredible and have been getting a lot of positive press and good sales – David Anthony Durham, for example, and Brent Weeks.

  62. Penelope on June 23, 2010 at 8:42 AM

    >Loved this!! Helpful advice and hilarious. 🙂

  63. Johnnie on June 23, 2010 at 8:36 AM

    >Sarah (5:08 a.m.)

    You asked about only one POV from a minor character. I finished reading Angela Hunt's The Note yesterday and she includes single POV scenes from a few characters. You might want to get a copy of that book and see if her approach gives you any ideas on what you can do.

    Jeff Gerke's The Art of Writing Christian Fiction has a great chapter on the use of profanity — and a couple of creepy examples of how to show vile without profanity.

  64. Teenage Bride on June 23, 2010 at 8:33 AM

    >This gave me a much needed laugh. Thank you thank you thank you.

  65. David A. Todd on June 23, 2010 at 8:18 AM

    >How can you lump Rhode Island in with the States of fantasy? All them wicked-good quahoggers are gonna' get you! I left RI 36 years ago and haven't looked back.

  66. Sarah N Fisk on June 23, 2010 at 8:10 AM

    >haha! Were you channeling Miss Snark when you wrote this?

  67. The Napkin Dad on June 23, 2010 at 7:57 AM

    >I was so into this blog entry…until you mentioned Jake and Vienna. Then I wanted so to cry. My world shattered, my hope for traditions in the face of the downfall of western civilization obliterated. Real life is so harsh.
    Oh, and by the way, who do you think Ally will choose? I hope she chooses the wrestler, he seems so sincere…

  68. Timothy Fish on June 23, 2010 at 7:56 AM

    >In spirit, I’m in agreement with the answer concerning poor plot with good writing versus poor writing with good plot. It is always easier to change the design than the implementation. But what constitutes poor writing?

    Concerning offensive words: I think writers are the only proponents of their use. It seems that everyone else either doesn’t care or are against their use. And I’ve never seen anything that shows that a villain is improved by their use.

  69. Joyce Magnin on June 23, 2010 at 7:46 AM

    >In answer to the LOST question, Rachelle. Did you ever try The Closer? I love that show and it starts in just a couple of weeks. Brenda is a hoot.

  70. Josin L. McQuein on June 23, 2010 at 7:38 AM

    >I'm glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read this. Your first answer would have cost me a keyboard.

    (People seriously ask you about skirting a contract with a new name? As though someone would make a new contract with a person who couldn't even follow through on one already in place.)

  71. Lydia Sharp on June 23, 2010 at 7:25 AM

    >Coming out of "lurkdom" to let you know I loved this post. And regarding the state of sci-fi/fantasy… that's why I also write mainstream. I took a step back and seriously considered my future job security after reading an interview with Iain M. Banks. If you can do both, do it. You never know how the market will shift.

  72. Rachelle on June 23, 2010 at 7:21 AM

    >Mark Wise:
    Do the words "The Chronicles of Narnia" ring any bells?

    In answer to your question: Yes. Lots.

  73. Heather Sunseri on June 23, 2010 at 7:17 AM

    >Loved this, Rachelle! Very funny. And informative.

  74. Shelby on June 23, 2010 at 7:10 AM

    >Wait, who is Jake?

  75. Jessica Nelson on June 23, 2010 at 7:05 AM


  76. Marla Taviano on June 23, 2010 at 6:41 AM


  77. Lisa Jordan on June 23, 2010 at 6:23 AM

    >ROFL! LOVE the morning dose of snark. Glad to see you don't take yourself too seriously. 🙂 Loved your response to the first question because otherwise my current WIP would be doomed. And I'm thankful you help good writers strengthen weak plots. 🙂

    Jake and Vienna were all show. Jake wants to resurrect his acting career and didn't mind being Mike Fleiss's puppet. There's a rumor Vienna has DWTS aspirations.

  78. Sarah on June 23, 2010 at 6:08 AM

    >Thanks for the first question. On that train of thought: if I have a minor character with one POV scene, is it better for them to have at least a second POV scene, too? Or is leaving them with one measly POV scene OK? This has been a discussion lately in my critique group. Thanks for these helpful posts!

    Also, regarding the profanity questions, I recently read a great post on this topic here:

  79. Katie Ganshert on June 23, 2010 at 5:34 AM

    >There is nothing like a great laugh at 5:30 in the morning. Your answer to the sci-fi/fantasy question had me laughing out loud.

  80. steeleweed on June 23, 2010 at 5:16 AM

    >Re long fiction:

    I just finished reading (for the 4th time), the Loss Of Eden trilogy by John Masters, about 1800 pages. At 200-250 w/p, that's 360000-450000 words.

  81. writer jim on June 23, 2010 at 3:56 AM


    My book is filled with narratives. In certain cases I feel I should 'show' by quoting nasty words people used, rather than just 'telling' by saying that they cursed me out, etc.

    Any advice or guidelines?

    Thank you.

  82. Meagan Spooner on June 23, 2010 at 3:29 AM

    >You raise a good point with the e-reader comment, one I've seen echoed on a number of agents' blogs. My question is this: should the pages attached to a query still be in (double-spaced) manuscript form?

    I don't have an e-reader but I do occasionally work on a netbook, and the tiny screen means you only see a few lines of text when it's in Courier 12, double-spaced.

    Or does this not bother you, when reading on an e-reader, after all?

  83. Mark Wise on June 23, 2010 at 3:07 AM

    >Is there such a thing as Christian Fantasy? By that I mean a story set in a Fantasy world but explores strong Christian themes.

  84. T. Anne on June 23, 2010 at 1:21 AM

    >It's profound posts like this that keep me coming back. I don't know what I thought was funnier tonight, the DVR'ed edition of 'the last comic standing' I just watched, or you.

    Being a long time Bachelor/ bachelorette viewer I've come to the conclusion the overall fan-base would increase dramatically if they included a post production special. Unlike the farce called, 'After the final rose', my new proposed special, 'Into the thorn bush' would expose reality TV based relationships for the blood sport I suspect they really are.

    I have an inkling the break-ups are far more entertaining than the show could ever hope to be, and would offer closure to the 15 million viewers who tune in regularly.

    At some point today I'll be back with a brilliant question.