My agent recently had a confab with a number of editors in New York, all from various houses. I can’t tell you the details of which house wants what (she’d kill me) but I can say this: what everyone is looking for is something fresh. They want the unique, the immersive, and the truly different.
There are a few catches to this.
First: in the nineteen years I’ve been professionally writing, editors have always said they wanted something fresh. No acquiring editor in their right mind is going to say “you know, give me the same-old, same-old.”
Second: in many cases, they are lying. They want fresh, and different, absolutely – but not too different. (Often what they really want is a slightly different version of some fresh and successful thing that came out recently.)
Third: when you’re writing genre, especially now, coming up with something that hasn’t been done before is a tough gig, indeed.
So how do you do this? How do you come out with something that’s going to wow with its originality and verve? [Read more…]