Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Agent blogs

Just to prove that I haven't chucked it all in, here are some new literary agent/editor blogs I've been reading this evening. That is, they're new for me. I'm not sure which of these I'll continue to read on a regular basis -- when I do know, I'll post the links in the sidebar. But some of them are looking promising!

Nathan Bransford
BookEnds, LLC
Editorial Anonymous (children's book editor)
Pub rants

There is so much to learn, and so many things to get right. These blogs offer advice about query letters, what questions to ask agents, how to find a literary agent, synopses etc etc. It seems that Miss Snark really started something. I figure it's good to get opinions from a variety of different agents, since presumably they all have their quirks and preferences. They also have links to other agents, so it should make it easier to find 'just the right one' when the time comes.

One of the posts was in answer to a question from a reader (wannabe author) about what one should write next -- should it be part 2 of a series, bearing in mind that part 1 might never make it, thereby dooming book 2? Or should one tackle something completely different until book 1 is acquired?

This is something I've been wondering myself, and which we've been discussing in my writing group. It all boils down to whether you're writing because the story must come out, or whether you're intending to make a career out of being a novelist. Ideally, we all want both. But if you have to choose? I know some writers who vow that telling the story that 'needs to be told' is the most important thing. Me? Part of me wants to be pragmatic and accept that book 1 is probably not going to make it (being a first novel and all) and that I really should go onto something new. Something to which I can apply all my newfound wisdom.

But the other half of me is not so sure I can leave a certain story only half told! It's a real dilemma! (The answer, according to this particular agent, is a resounding 'write something new'! However, I have a feeling this referred to 'series' in the crime/common protagonist sense, rather than the fantasy story-isn't-over-yet sense.)

Another post of interest was the story of what happens to a requested manuscript once it reaches the editor . . .

1 comment:

  1. If I were making this decision, I'd write something new. As you said, it's possible that your first submission would be rejected, so it would be good to have a fresh story to come back with.

    I view this as a simple matter of having insurance, or moving on to 'Plan B'. But moving on with a new novel doesn't necessarily mean letting the first one go.

    If you were to become published with your second (if only!!!) or subsequent attempts, there's nothing stopping you dusting off your first novel and trying again. With the advantage of experience and better writing skills, you may be able to rework it so it's publishable. Which would then enable you to tell the story that 'must be told' with the 2nd and 3rd parts of the trilogy.

    First, think positively: I will be published, then think strategically: what is the best course of action to get published?