Hunting for the literary agent

Tomorrow, I’ll be sending out my first three chapters of my murder mystery novel to a number of UK agents who I think might, no must, be interested. The day after I’ll sit back and begin to fret no doubt whether I composed a good introductory letter, compiled a brilliant succinct synopsis and, of course, did I cross all the i’s and dot the t’s in my sample manuscript? Then I’ll begin to wonder if I selected the appropriate agents to consider my work and if I did, will they like it. Next will come, when shall I hear I’ve been rejected?

The first chapters had been reviewed by the Writers’ Workshop last year. Since then, I have turned a lot of the novel on its head, written the MC in the first person and viewed the rail crash through the eyes of a survivor.

Rail crash, what rail crash?

Ah, should I have told you that?

Well OK, the novel involves the worst rail disaster to have happened in England, when 112 died and 340 were injured, and that’s all I’m giving away at this time. The chances of getting it published are about 1:1000. The chances of getting it published for the 60th anniversary of the crash by the traditional route, are even smaller. Time will tell, and you’ll be the second to know about it if it happens, if you sign up to my blog – see below. Of course it will happen – think positive, man.

Those first critical chapters have been tweaked countless times by me before going out to my beta-readers. Amazed at what they picked up on, I incorporated changes, added more detail, took some out, adjusted some characters – poor Lorna’s eye-colour went from black to brown and have ended up blue –  and I corrected punctuation and tense. Then I tweaked it another 50 times! WW call it ‘polishing’.

So, it should be word perfect and make absolutely addictive reading, for everyone and their dog. As I said earlier, time will tell.

Edwin Tipple

with thanks to Writer’s Workshop on letter & synopsis guidance. For more information about that, see

and you can sign up for my blog here at to see how it all works out. Go on, I promise not to blog rubbish.



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