Friday, July 23, 2010

Question from a Writer

Here's a question... When an agent tells you they like the story, but it's just not for them, but then adds that I shouldn't give up that it will find a home. Do they really mean that or are they just being nice? I've had many tell me to keep looking and not give up, but it keeps getting rejected. Just wondering.

This is a great question to close the week on and as we get closer to many of you flying out to Orlando. Unfortunately, this really does depend on the agent and their approach.

IMHO I do honestly believe that many people just say that to keep you happy. I know it is really tough to write rejection letters. Maybe that is the reason that so many people have gone to the form letter. I have had submissions come in when I want to scream: "Idiot, this story tells me you shouldn't even be allowed near a computer." Some queries contain a lot of history of the writer (which they shouldn't have included) but hearing some of the stories makes it even harder to say, "oh and add this disappointment to your list." But the letter has to be written.

I would like to believe that when someone tells you to keep looking an it just isn't right for them, but they tell you the story was good, that there is hope. If you continue to get rejection letters on that same project, I would have to say that there is a pretty good chance you aren't doing the right research and sending it to people that the story would have never worked for in the first place. I really don't know.

Knowing this, if you are one of those people going to Orlando and you get some requests, jump around a little, but then pull yourself down to the ground. Remember they may have asked for material from everyone. Let's hope not though.

We have to remember that this is a tough business. There is a lot of competition for those coveted slots with agents and editors. There is really only so much space on those book shelves (no this is not another reason to move to e-books). Just keep working.

I will likely not be posting much from Nationals. My schedule just turned really ugly in the last two days. For those of you thinking of submitting proposals to me via email, I would recommend waiting until after the first of August. I simply won't be reading submissions on Space Mountain.


1 comment:

  1. Scott,
    I've been reading some of your old posts (from before I started frequencing your blog) and I came accross one in which you address too much sex too soon. I thought you might considering tackling a question when you get a chance. Now, I follow a few series that go all out with their explicitness, I'm talking kinky. I know I can't be the only writer to have this question. How do you know when it's too much, when you've gone to far, or is there even a point to consider? With the media being what it is, people can pretty much get away with anything. To put it simply, does an agent ever pick up a manuscript and say, "I can't represent this. It makes me blush and giggle like a school girl."? Thanks.