…your project has its best shot at being my next big Nah-to-Yes surprise if it: has strong crossover appeal beyond its genre; hits that upmarket sweetspot where craft, plot, and character meet; evocative (but not purple) setting-as-character; has a grabby pitchable hook #MSWL
#MSWL: SF/F is not my thing. Open to grounded speculative with strong crossover appeal—ordinary with one small or bizarre twist vs. magical/fabulist. NOTHING TO SEE HERE more than NIGHT CIRCUS, THE CITY WE BECAME more than BLACK LEOPARD RED WOLF. No dystopian or time travel.
#MSWL Suspense Nah: crabby alcoholic detectives, LE or PI. Military or political thrillers mimicking current/recent events. Ghosts, dreams, mental institutions don’t work for me. Feeling ODed on Karens with shady husbands and vice versa
#MSWL Suspense YES: setting-as-character in a location we haven’t seen before. A civilian in a career with an intriguing vantage point on people’s habits and motivations. Light grounded horror. Surprise me with something wild like SA Cosby, Rachel Harrison
#MSWL suspense: I'm extra good at this and have a list full of rockstars, so you really gotta knock it out of the park. Upmarket: big on voice/setting, starting a conversation about issues of justice, equality, class, etc., character-driven storytelling, a truly FRESH twist
#MSWL Book club fiction aka women's fiction aka upmarket fiction Nahs: mother-daughter stories, unhappy marriages, white person travels for personal growth, discovered letters/journals. Historical is usually not my thing (especially WWII).
Sharon Pelletier @sharongracepjsOkay 📣 time for the Great Pre-Vacation #MSWL Thread of 2020!
🔥Please note that ALL the Yesses that follow ESPECIALLY include voices beyond white, cishet, able-bodied, middle-upper-class experiences—tons of these find my inbox without needing a hashtag to help! 🔥
#MSWL: SUPER thirsty for juicy, smart, book club fiction like ASK AGAIN YES, THE VANISHING HALF, SUCH A FUN AGE
YES elements: multi-generation, sibling stories, career-oriented women, sense of humor, reinterpreting classic or myth through an unsung character’s POV
Sharon Pelletier @sharongracepjsAnd these are also "invisible" jobs with a great opportunity for surveillance or eavesdropping. Would anyone notice how long the UPS guy has been parked there? Think of the personal conversations/phone calls you've had in a Lyft!
I'm particularly obsessed with the idea of a sanitation worker helming a thriller, which I saw in a tweet a few days ago and foolishly didn't save.
What are your other ideas for careers that would make a good vantage point for suspense fiction?
I often say I want unexpected suspense. Here are some careers that could be a fun perspective from which to dig into a mystery instead of police detective as MC
-rental car agency employee
-UPS driver (or bus driver, or Lyft driver...)
Theodora Goss @theodoragossMy father belongs to a scientific academy that always has exactly 350 members. Someone has to die before new members are admitted. He looked horrified when I told him that was a perfect motive for murder. This is why we need STEAM, not STEM.
Sharon Pelletier @sharongracepjsWriting up an edit memo for a dark, fraught, twisty, emotional upmarket thriller while listening to Holly Jolly Christmas and Santa Baby and various other jingle-belly songs pic.twitter.com/Esv2rGbk9b
Come to think of it, All I Want For Christmas Is You could be pretty threatening. #MSWL??!
Denise Williams @nicwillwrites@sharongracepjs This is on brand with Billionaire Bear Erotica in case your MSWL is in need of updating
Sharon Pelletier @sharongracepjs#PitMad legions: if I <3 you today, please send query w/tweet and the first 50 pages to spelletier at dystel dot com. Good luck out there! pic.twitter.com/uY8iKlujcj
and because I'm not sure how much time I'll have today to browse the feed, right now I'm especially hungry for: upmarket WF, book club fiction, and truly fresh suspense fiction.
Diverse voices extra welcome.
Not for me: SF/F, paranormal, kids/YA
Lyz Lenz @lyzldo yourself a favor and read this amazing story of the death of funnel cake vendors at the Iowa State Fair features.desmoinesregister.com/news/murder-at…
#MSWL not this, exactly, but a psychological thriller set on fairgrounds please!!! (and Lyz is correct, you should read this.)