The Donald Maass Literary Agency semi-regularly publishes a list of the novels it would like to see. It’s a whimsical compilation of what the agents view as potentially salable fiction themes. Don’t start writing based on the list; by the time you’re done, the new list will be up — focusing on the hottest topics of that moment. Just use it to peek inside the minds of those who are out there every day, talking to acquisitions editors. Here’s a sample:
THE PROMISED LAND: An itinerant worker in 1930’s Depression America, laid off from a Detroit factory, becomes a hobo and must ride the rails home to his wife and children in Southern California in time for Christmas.
ALONE FOR THE HOLIDAYS: A single New York woman escapes to a Central American resort for holiday R&R but finds that an unexpected romance and a mission for street children give new meaning to Christmas.
SEASONS GREETINGS: Two friends, veterans of the war in Korea, have not met since but have exchanged early Christmas cards every year…until this year, when one card doesn’t arrive forcing the other friend to uncover the unknown truths of his army buddy’s life.