Sean McCarthy, founder and sole agent for Sean McCarthy Literary Agency, discussed what makes a work viable.
He gave four requirements.
- It has an arresting commercial hook.
- It has an internal or emotional core.
- Character transformation takes place.
- It has a fresh, original concept.
Related to that, I believe, was his comment on issue-driven versus character-driven projects/books.
Issue-driven books are published by educational publishers.
Character-driven books are published by other publishers.