A few of the agents reading my current MS prefer literary or literary bent. Does that mean my writing style has a slight literary bent? Or is it simply that they are requesting something outside their norm? Who knows, but it did get me thinking—do we know our style?
I think it's a more important element to our writing than we may guess. Agents definitely have preferences. Querying a sci-fi agent with a romance is almost certainly going to result in a form rejection. Why waste your time and theirs? But the same goes for querying a plot-driven story to an agent that hates plot-driven books. Analyzing your writing style beyond the genre may help focus in on the best agents for your work. Many agents will specify their genre preferences on their website/blog, but most also go into detail about what they like in general. This hints more at writing style than premise/story.
- Ex. “I prefer high concept stories with a literary bent.”
- Ex. “I prefer character-driven, commercial fiction.”
So what about you? What is your style? Do you know?
M.B.P.S. Please note, on any given day you could receive a request from an agent that you never expected to request your type of MS. It happens all the time. :)