What Agents Hate

There’s a wonderful article up at Writer’s Digest outlining specific turn-offs agents have regarding the oh-so-important first chapter. This is a MUST READ, so scurry on over and take a look!

What Agents Hate


Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
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3 years ago

My novel’s first chapter begins with a thunderstorm . Is that a problem? My novel is 75% dialogue and 25% narration. I am facing a lot of rejections.

3 years ago
Reply to  Sre

It is hard for us to comment having not read it, but there’s a general rule about not starting with the weather, so if the storm is a lengthy description or not important to the plot you might wish to rewrite the opening scene and get feedback from Critique partners. If you are getting a lot of rejections on your opening page, query, etc. This is a sign it needs to be strengthened, or you need to target your submissions differently. Good luck!

11 years ago

I’m glad to read that prologues are becoming less popular as I struggled for a while with whether or not to have one in my own memoir. I decided against it, after listening to Jean Jenkins at the SCWC (Southern California Writers’ Conference) I attended last weekend in Irvine, California. I also heard something else of interest: The synopsis might be a thing of the past. Now wouldn’t that be wonderful?
Thanks for the article.

11 years ago

I just found this one myself…it’s really good!

Bish Denham
11 years ago

I just read the article before coming to you blog. Very good indeed

PJ Hoover
11 years ago

Thanks for the great link!