Tag Archives: agents

Motivation, Where Are You?

5 Oct

The Writer sits behind her laptop, biting her nails and compulsively checking her email. It has been a few weeks since she queried two agents. When will they get back at her? And there it is, the ping of DREAD. Because the ping could be the doorway that leads to all her dreams, or it can extend the journey even more.

And there it is. A NO. Again. It’s not a harh no, it’s a not a no that informs you that you’re completely rubbish. Yet, that makes it even harder. To be so close and yet so far removed from The Dream.

We all go through it, and yet we go on. How can we not? We are writers. At the same time, though, it’s extremely hard to stay motivated enough to pour your soul out onto the pages and build a bond with new characters. Especially when your dayjob already demands a certain level of perfection from you. So how can you keep firing at every novel with all you’ve got when you’re covered in cuts and bruises and really just want to go to bed?

Google is your friend. Other than actual humans who NEED to give you peptalks, Google will help you next. If you look for brilliant authors whose works were initially rejected, or famous novels that were rejected A LOT, then you actually find plenty examples. Examples that will give you hope and make you realise that when you stick to your guns and you believe in your novels, you can make it. And keep in mind that with each novel that you write and receive feedback on, you grow as an author. So if you don’t get your bookdeal with this novel, then maybe with the next one. Keep writing, keep improving and especially KEEP ENJOYING the process. If you’re going to be in the spotlight some day, you might as well make sure that you have enough experience to SHINE.

Shine-for-progress

 

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Feedback

23 Jan

….is food for the writer. It even has the word ‘feed’ in it. As a writer/author feedback is very important for your growth, but also for the growth of your story. Every draft you write takes you closer to the version that it was meant to be in the first place. It’s like creating a sculpture out of lifeless lump of clay. You can see what it’s supposed to be, and it will take a while to get it there.

After almost two years of being swallowed up by my new work, querying has taken a backseat. But now that I feel like I’ve got the hang of that thing we call Real Life, I’m back in the game. As I’m still querying the first novel in my cosy mystery, I’m already working on the second. At first I thought that was pointless, because I haven’t even published my first novel yet. I have the luxury, however, of being able to work on multiple stories, so it’s not like I can’t query more novels as a plan B. Also, I let a very critical friend read it and her boyfriend heard about the story and wanted to read it too. Now they’re both hooked and he kept asking me when I’d write the second novel. If that isn’t motivational, I don’t know what is. I also considered it a good exercise of my writing muscles without the pressure of knowing I want an agent to look at it. So I put finger to keyboard and mind to page and here I am…I have a murder in a hotel, an emotional mystery writer, and a love interest who is getting closer to making his move. Yay, the excitement.

What’s even more exciting is the feedback. I mean, after not playing with my characters for a while, it’s nice to know I still got it. And hearing that it’s well-written and just drags you in is just the thing you need to hear. Not just as an ego boost but also because it’s important to know when you’re on the right track. That’s equally important to knowing you’re not. Also, because my beta readers are impatient, I send them a few chapters each time so when they pick up on an inconsistency, I can immediately change it. I’m still going to let more beta readers ravage it, but only after I’m done. In the meantime I’m so happy to reconnect to my characters and let them grow even more.

More murders, more fun. Wait, that sounded psycho. I really must be a writer, then.

Genres

5 Jan

As I’m working on my query letter I can’t help but wonder what genre I am even writing. Does anybody else have that problem? Well, it turns out they do, but it doesn’t make it easier.

I follow the story. The words follow me. The genre, however, is much like my pet dragons when they don’t want a bath. It’s so easy to write something that crosses genres, because books are much like people, they’re many things. Books don’t think in genres, we do.

There really is no solution, except to find an agent that represents both genres that it crosses or think tennis balls, I don’t care. Just pick one and go for it. Sometimes I see books that are labelled as a certain genre that makes me raise my eyebrows AND my socks. And yet they are labelled that way, so it’s more subjective than one might think. Plus, sometimes you just have to take a chance and hope an agent doesn’t laugh at you before he rejects your novel.

Mind you, I only have this problem when I write magical realism. It’s a fine line between fantasy and MR, which makes it more tempting to stick to cosy mysteries. 😉 Then again, murder can creep its way into magical realism too…

Oh, boy.

#PitchWars

15 Aug

Please skip this paragraph if you already know what #PitchWars is. Make yourself comfortable if you don’t. Here’s a cup of virtual tea and a fluffy pillow to lean against. Pitch Wars is a competition that allows you to pick up to five mentors to send your query letter and first chapter to. If you’re lucky you will get chosen as their mentee. This means that they’ll read your entire manuscript and make it all shiny and awesome-r. They will help you get published and who knows? You might gain a friend.

There is something special about scrolling down the list of mentors, reading about them one by one and writing down the names of the ones that make you go: “AAAH. YES.” Never mind if your pet dragons look at you weird for bouncing up and down in your seat as you high five your characters in your head. It feels kind of special that these people WANT YOU to CHOOSE THEM. I mean, when you’re querying agents you do the same, but it feels different. It feels more like standing close to the edge of a cliff. This, however, is a competition where you’re aware of just how many other people are in the same boat as you. It brings you closer to these people and makes you feel less like it’s you against the world.

Also, there is less pressure somehow, because you know IF you get chosen you will get help. You will get better. There needs to be enough potential and a click, sure, but somehow the demands made of you feel less…demanding. It’s just difficult to understand the world of publishing when you’re not yet in it. Who knows how many mistakes you’re making without being aware of it? It is such a gift, therefore, to meet someone who will take your under their wing and open your eyes to a new world where you might achieve something great.

Bring out your manuscripts and most of all, your courage and join the PITCH WARS. You know you want to…
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