Dreams of Tanelorn
I have never tried to get an agent, I just went straight to self-publishing.
But, if I were to try to get an agent I would find out what kind of things they like.
I would find out which agents have blogs or websites, and I would tailor my manuscript to their preferences.
Maybe they like novels that have a lot of the usual tropes found in the genre.
Maybe they are tired of the genre’s tropes, maybe they don’t like a few particular tropes.
Maybe they like prologues, maybe they hate prologues.
Maybe they like heavy, detailed world building, maybe they don’t.
Any information I can use to adjust my manuscript to their liking would be nice.
Developmental editing is a hazy concept for me.
Is developmental editing about knowing how to structure a story in general? Well, there are plenty of YouTube videos about story structure.
Is developmental editing about knowing the tropes and reader/publisher expectations of a specific genre? Well, there are plenty of YouTubes videos about genre tropes, maybe not so much about publisher expectations.
Traditional publishing is not like self-publishing.
In self-publishing, you want to hook the general readers of a genre and then satisfy them.
In traditional publishing, you want to hook an agent or acquisitions editor or slush pile reader and get them excited enough to pimp your manuscript out to the rest of their colleagues.
You need the right bait on your hook for the right job.