Monday, August 10, 2009

Sarah Davies: A Recipe for Writing the Breakout Novel: 5 Ingredients for Success

Sara Davies is an agent with Greenhouse Literary. They see 150 per week.

Sarah is a lover a language. “When I discovered language it gave me the path for my whole life.”

She mentions that publishers make 90% of their revenues form 10% of their books, there is great dependence on those 10%.

There are certain common denominators for a great story, certain ingredients.

1. An inspired concept
2. Larger than life characters
3. A high-stake story
4. A deeply felt theme
5. A vivid setting

Oh, no…she’s forgotten. There’s a number 6.


Davies says writing is a craft. It’s like cooking or playing the violin. Then she poses the question, “Would get up and play a huge venue when you’ve just learned A and C?”

“I think it takes a long time to master this craft. But I say persevere.”


  1. I love that analogy - "would you play in front of an audience when you only know A and C?" Thank you for the encouragement to continually work on craft!

  2. Yes, though the Jaws theme is A and B.

  3. But the Jaws theme has a great voice!