Wrong direction?

Agent search update:
So far I’ve querried eight agents to represent my young adult novel and received four rejections. Four queries are still out. I’m finding this process very different from submitting stories to magazines for publication.

Many agencies state something like this on their Web site
“We will make every effort to respond to your e-query within 4-8 weeks. Occasionally, it may take longer. We respond as quickly as possible, but we receive a large volume of submissions. Due to this large volume, we are sometimes not able to respond to every query personally. Therefore, if you have not heard from the agent you queried within 8 weeks, please assume that we are not interested in your work. PLEASE, DO NOT CALL TO FOLLOW UP!”

I can no longer say, “No news is good news.” If I hadn’t gotten a rejection, I used to know my work was still under consideration. No so with agent queries. In addition to not responding, many agents won’t even tell me they have received my query. They don’t want me to contact them to find out. So I wait in limbo land hoping for a bite on my query.

Meanwhile, there is a hole in my publishing credits. I have several story publications, but none in the young adult genre of my novel. That’s something I need to change. I have submitting a couple of chapters of THE MAGIC QUILT to children’s magazines. I am also going to write a couple of stories for young adults and submit them for publication. I have hit a snag there. While I have read children’s and young adult novels extensively, I haven’t read many stories for children. As I begin the process of familiarizing myself with the story market for children, I’ve found that the stories I am reading are BORING and unrealistic! Many are rewritten folk/fairy tales or myths. All have a moral message. Even contemporary or historical stories tend toward peachiness. Yulk. I can’t imagine writing anything that uninteresting. I’m just beginning to sample the market, so I hope it gets better.

I am going to continue polishing my query and synopsis, and submit my young adult novel to agents, but I’m also starting my next novel. I’m not giving up on the first, but I’m going to move ahead.

Which brings me to my next dilemma and the topic of this post: what is my next novel? I have so many ideas for adult fiction. But … as I previously posted, I don’t enjoy writing for young people as much as I enjoy writing fiction for adults. I love reading psychological and medical thrillers for adults, which is what I want to write.

After reading two of my stories, one of the women in my writing critique group noticed that in both stories my writing was strongest in the scenes involving children. This gives me pause. Should my next novel be for young people? Writing for children requires a different mind set than writing for adults. In writing from the view point of a twelve year old, vocabulary, parents and the young psyche have to be considered.

New Year’s Resolutions Part 3

I’d like to close 2007 with part of JA Konrath’s New Year’s Resolutions Part 3:

Newbie Writer Resolutions
I will start/finish the damn book

I will always have at least three stories on submission, while working on a fourth

I will attend at least one writer’s conference, and introduce myself to agents, editors, and other writers

I will subscribe to the magazines I submit to

I will join a critique group. If one doesn’t exist, I will start one at the local bookstore or library

I will finish every story I start

I will listen to criticism

I will create/update my website

I will master the query process and find an agent

I’ll quit procrastinating in the form of research, outlines, synopses, taking classes, reading how-to books, talking about writing, and actually write something

I will refuse to get discouraged, because I know JA Konrath wrote 9 novels, received almost 500 rejections, and penned over 1 million words before he sold a thing–and I’m a lot more talented than that guy … Read entire post.

I especially like the last. It gives me hope.

Have a wonderful holiday and I’ll be blogging again in the New Year.