Agent & Editor Warnings

Riffling through old notebooks, I found a list of “Things to avoid when writing a novel.”
It came from a writers’ conference, a group of agents and editors talking casually about manuscripts they were quick to reject. Seemed these red flags might be of interest.

[Warning: the list is undated, but it has to be at least twenty years old, meaning BIP (Before Internet Publishing). A lot of things — standards not excepted — have changed.]

Anyway, these once were features to avoid:

Flashbacks: too many, too long, too soon
Back Story: too early
Characters: too many, too soon
Setting: neglected geography and time
Pronouns: confused or incoherent first <—> third
Important Scenes: failed to grapple with, omitted


Thanks, very useful.