Hawking Up Hairballs

Monday, February 01, 2010

Novel News

Well, in regards to my novel Buster Bungle's Big Top, I've sent out 39 queries to literary agents and I've received twelve rejections. Of course, there might be more unknown rejections. Some agents don't reply to queries unless they're interested. It's really quite discouraging. You know, if they were looking at the manuscript and rejecting it, I could tell myself that perhaps the novel wasn't that good, and I could put some more work into it, but they aren't even asking to see the manuscript.

I've realized that I have a number of things going against me, other than the sheer crush of numbers. (The better agents claim to get fifty to sixty queries a day.) For one thing, I had assumed that most agents were people who loved good books, but had to deal in trashy commercial fiction in order to make a living. How naïve of me. The impression I've gotten after viewing over fifty web sites is that most agents aren't truly literate. In their spare time, they probably read the kinds of books that they represent.

Then there's my age. Agents are looking for authors that they can have a long-term relationship with, so they aren't likely to be interested in someone who's sixty-five years old. Add on to that, the matter of genre. They all want you to slot your work into a predetermined genre like mystery, romance, scifi, literary, etc. However, the best descriptive phrase for Buster Bungle's Big Top is Southern Gothic, but that isn't one of their categories. In fact, Southern literature in general seems to be out these days.

On a brighter note, I'm starting work on a new novel. I don't have a working title yet, though it too is Southern Gothic. I tried something different this time. I took a lot of notes and plotted it out in detail before actually starting to write. I ended up with some 30,000 words of notes and I'm pleased with the results. Now that I've started writing, it's going very smoothly. Since I know where the story's going, I only have to concern myself with the writing, and that's making things a lot easier. This is definitely the way I'm going to do things in the future.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home