Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Top 10 Statements to Scare Off A Literary Agent

Day 7 ... of ten straight days of Top Ten lists in anticipation of the arrival of October 10th, 2010. Why do I care so much about 10/10/10? Hell if I know, but a guy's gotta blog about something right. Feel free to join in any or all of the days with your own lists or expand on any of mine.



Today's list is for my fellow writers. Only they will get some of these.


The Top 10 Statements to Scare Off A Literary Agent


10.  "Only a complete idiot would reject a book as brilliant as mine." 



9.  "I'm almost finished writing what my mom says is the best fiction novel she's ever read. Can I send it to you tomorrow after I finish the last three chapters tonight?"




8. "I got four words for you ... Avatar meets The Shack." 
 

7. "I could send you my complete MS but it would be easier for everyone involved if you just went to my website and read it since I've already posted the whole thing there." 



6.  "I've read nearly ever book published by your clients, and let me tell you, my novel is way better than any of that crap." 

   
5. "My book is a bitchin' story about a boy wizard with sparkly skin who unravels a secret biblical code  which in turn help him to overcome his inner demons and discover true love despite the fact he was born with one leg."  



4. "I'm looking for an agent that can drum up some New York excitement for the 6 novels and 1 woe-is-me memoir I originally published with iUniverse and Publish America."
 

3. "Tell any interested editors that I want only the symbol ~, to appear on the book where the name normally goes. If they have a huge problem with that tell them I'll allow in parenthesis (The writer formerly knows as ...) But only in exchange for full approval rights of the cover. "
 

2."I was gonna hand deliver my manuscript to your door last night, but you looked so tired after you got out of the shower. Then when you sat down and had that salad your skin seemed rather pale. Maybe that was the glare from the glass or it could be that my favorite blogger is right and lettuce really is the devil. anyway I decided to go ahead and send you this email."
  

1."And that's when the aliens finally show up to wreak havoc."
   

30 comments:

Ricky Bush said...

I like #10, although, #9 does remind me of someone I know.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

The sad thing is that this probably isn't that far off from some of the crazy things they hear.

Leah J. Utas said...

Brilliant. Hilarious. And scary that some of them actually happen.

No. 8 hurt it was so good.

Terri Tiffany said...

LOL This is soooo good!! I don't know which one is the funniest!

Shawntelle Madison said...

Your list is hilarious! You had me laughing out loud!

Nina Killham said...

God, you're funny. I wish I was a publisher. I'd lock you into a three book deal in a heart beat!

Mark Terry said...

Weirdly enough, my favorite one was the use of "fiction novel."

Deborah Elliott-Upton said...

You mean this stuff doesn't work? SIGH.

Charles Gramlich said...

What's wrong with #2? I don't see any problem with that at all.

Melissa Marsh said...

Love #5! Hahaha...

Ello said...

HA HA HA!!!!!!! You made me choke!

Kathleen A. Ryan said...

Thanks for the chuckle, Travis :-)

Travis Erwin said...

Ricky - Thanks for letting me know your faves and for reading.

Debra - I'm sure there lists would contain even scarier.

Leah - Thanks and yeah I can only imagine the odd comparisons they get.

Terri - I love it that my fellow writers approve and find it funny.

Shawntelle - Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

Nina - I wish you were too. Thanks for the kind words.

Mark - Unless you are a writer or in the business I do not think the term fiction novel gives pause at all. But we should certainly know better. Glad you caught it.

Deborah - Sadly neither does any of the things I've actually tried.

Charles - It might for a thriller writer.

Melissa - I kind of hated to toss out the premise for my WIP but I hope no one steal my idea.

Ello - I take that as a very high compliment since your posts tend to be hilarious.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Great list! (I'm sure the agents could add more real examples to your list.) :)

sybil law said...

Your lists are excellent!

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

Best. Post. Ever.

Anonymous said...

You never fail to make me laugh. I'm no writer and this list was still funny, but looking at the comments what is wrong with the term fiction novel. Aren't novels fiction?

The Story of Enna Scott said...

ROFL! Best post ever. Love #8!

Eric said...

LOL, love them all. Unfortunately, people have actually already done each of these. Hard to believe, but most like true. Thanks for the laugh, Travis.

Old Kitty said...

LOL!! I love no.3!! LOL!! Yes please! I'd buy it!!

Take care
x

Corey Schwartz said...

Ha, ha! Especially #2- lettuce really is the devil :)

Travis Erwin said...

Kathleen- Anytime

Angie - Yes, I'm sure they could.

Sybil - thanks

Betsy - I hope you find me half as entertaining in person.

Anonymous- It is a redundancy issue. The fiction is not necessary when talking about a novel because as you pointed out all novels are fiction. There is no such thing as a non-fiction novel.

Enna Scott- I visit from the mystery shopper I like it.

Eric - Yeah, I know most of these have probably happened. That makes them scary and funny.

Old Kitty - You must be a Prince fan.

Corey - Yes it is!

WordVixen said...

The alien bit made me think of Space Ark!. :-D Oh, how I miss Miss Snark.

pattinase (abbott) said...

These are funny and probably too true. Sometimes I think just Dear Mr. Smith is enough to put them off.

T. Anne said...

I like number 10. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Mr. Shife said...

Yep I think any one of those will do the trick. Pretty good stuff Travis. Keep up the awesome work buddy.

McKoala said...

LOL, love these Travis!

DrillerAA09 said...

I'm not a writer, but these are great.

AvDB said...

Um, Travis, on number five--who told you you could quote my synopsis as an example? Explain yourself, mister!

alex keto said...

What works for me in terms of scaring off agents is putting the word "query" in the email subject line.