Friday, April 9, 2010

What now?

I'm still trying to regain my confidence in my writing, boy was I on top of the world when I was writing my last novel, now I'm still struggling with that feeling of deflation. I think maybe I'm letting too much information sink into my head, even though it's been so helpful for me to learn everything that I have about the world of writing and getting published. Now I am at a crossroads with myself: what do I do next? It's only been a couple of weeks since I finished the book but I feel like I have to start another, though I will admit I'm pushing myself for reasons that aren't entirely right. So if not another book, then do I try to get some poetry published to build my writing creds? Poetry is all I have as I just don't do well with short stories, they will always go on too long...I'm just the type of writer who likes to go long (novel length), not short. I had a poetry kick late last year where I did a lot of poetry writing and even sent out a few queries, but no bites, so I turned back to my books. I know that having some publishing creds can only help my query letter, but I don't want to think that it's absolutely essential. It can't hurt...but I don't know if that's what I have the drive for right now. Or maybe I should sit back and relax for a while and get back into some art. But if I do that I feel like I should really be concentrating on writing. I just feel like I need to do everything now, now, now, but I've no clue if now is the time I'm ready. Maybe it's a future book that will be my jackpot, maybe I need to get other things published first, maybe I'll have a stroke of luck, maybe, maybe, maybe....

I did have a dream last night that I got a book published. It was somewhat nonsensical in that way dreams usually are, but I did have a book published and I was over the moon about it. I even remember that in my dream my agent was from Janklow and Nesbit. No that doesn't mean I'm going to go query them now. But damn, if only it wasn't a dream. Someday for sure!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Mood Swings

From time to time I read agent blogs and I've come to have mixed feelings about doing so. On the one hand I find reading the blogs to be extremely informative and helpful in many different ways as many of the agents discuss the dos and don'ts of query letters and just give good advice to writers. But on the other hand I've realized that reading these blogs too much can make my head want to explode. Why? For exactly the same reasons I like to read them: all of the information. You'll have one agent blogging about doing x,y, and z when it comes to trying to get your book published, but then another blog will counter that. Of course there are MANY things these blogs agree on, but in some ways I realize I've been feeling down about my current book because of blog reading. I was so excited and motivated with this book that I wrote it in no time flat. I believe that it is a good story with good character development and is well written (I wrote it...of course I won't sit here and bash it but that is how I feel), but I've also been second guessing it. The book is urban fantasy and from reading different blogs I know the market is saturated with urban fantasy and some agents have even indicated that it would have to be a really standout UB for them to take it on since there's so much out there already. So now this makes me ask myself, is my storyline original or played out? Is there enough there that would make an agent excited and want to read more and possibly want to represent me to get it published? When I was deep into writing it my answer would have been yes, but my enthusiasm is waning, I'm getting nervous, I'm constantly re-reading things to assure myself that what I have is a good book. The reason I wrote this book was not only because of the idea that came to me, but because of what I read about the types of books that are marketable and sell well. A book that has a flat plot is not intriguing, nor is one that is too far out there. Prior to writing this book I thought the novel I was planning to use was maybe too far out there and wouldn't hook anyone in a positive way. It's a series and I have 3 out of 4 books done, yet I put it aside to write what I thought would be something that could end up in a bookstore. Now I am wondering if I made this book enough of a standout, and I'm wondering if my previous series is actually the ticket. What made me hesitate on my series was the fact that it was a vampire/shapeshifter/witch novel that did not take place in the human world. The human world exists, but so does the "dark world" where the supernatural creatures live, and both worlds are connected by a dimensional portal. I've never really heard about a book concept like that, usually portals to other worlds don't lead to vampires but to something more fairy and high fantasy like. But here I have what would be an urban fantasy, only it takes place in a completely fantasy world. The main character is half human and there is a small point in time where she goes to the human world, but that's not enough to make it an UB, in that regard I really don't know how to categorize these books. Do I think they are good? Yes, which is why I've worked so hard on them. They have all the elements one would want in a vampire novel: action, mystery, romance, conflict, suspense...but does the fact that it doesn't take place in some realistic seeming human world block it from being desirable to agents and publishers? I don't know, hence I thought to lead with my new book....but now I also don't know. Which makes me want to write something new, which isn't writing for the right reasons. It's one thing to believe in myself and my writing, which I do, but when it comes to the marketability of a book, that's a whole other ball game. That's what agents look for: will this sell? When I think about my books, my answer on that wavers, and I don't want it to.