Agent Rachel Vater is doing a query workshop for aspiring writers on her blog

. A couple of times, she’s labeled a novel as “quiet.”  Does anyone know what does she mean?  That it’s too literary?  That nothing much happens?  That it’s more about relationships?  Is it agent-speak for boring?

Quiet minds want to know.

Written by : thunderchikin

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  1. sarazarr March 3, 2007 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    I’ve gotten “quiet” on my manuscripts. From what I understand, it basically means that plot is not a huge factor and the piece may be more character-driven. It can be code for non-commercial, or it might mean it’s hard to sum up with a 2-3 sentence pitch. Basically it boils down to “tough sell,” lacking a hook, etc. I think. It’s one of those words like “edgy” that can mean different things to different people.

  2. newport2newport March 3, 2007 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    I was wondering the same thing. I’m glad Sara weighed in with her interpretation.

  3. thunderchikin March 3, 2007 at 8:34 pm - Reply

    Thanks for replying, Sara. I wonder if anyone has examples of quiet books that actually sold?

  4. sarazarr March 3, 2007 at 9:20 pm - Reply

    Oh, yes. Quiet books are out there…they just have to be realllly well written to make it. See Mary Pearson’s A ROOM ON LORELEI STREET for an example.

  5. thunderchikin March 3, 2007 at 9:32 pm - Reply

    Know any stories that don’t have to be really well-written to work? (Don’t answer that.)

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