How to stop thinking about the agent issue.

Okay -I admit that I go through periods of nail-biting tension, anxiously checking my emails and the post, to see if I’ve had a response from an agent. I don’t literally bite my nails as I think it is a disgusting habit – but you catch my drift.

The weekend offers some respite,although a tiny part of my brain still hopes I may see something. Having had two partial requests, I feel as though I may be getting there, although I’m not at the point of lighting a cigar. My novel is a dark and gritty psychological thriller, and the very first chapter begins with a moment of aggression and power – perhaps too much too soon? Anyway, I digress – i use some of the following diversionary tactics to stop becoming too obsessed about the agent issue – perhaps you could give me a few more ideas.

1) Immerse yourself in a new WIP – live it – breathe it – and remember your writing is improving all the time.
2) Read novels in your preferred genre – explore the author’s genius and flare – or lack of, as the case may be.
3) Enter writing competitions.
4) If you have children – play board/card games – have fun and laugh – the hours will fly.
5) Cook a meal requiring a fair amount of preparation – chopping always clears my head.
6) Visit other writers’ blogs and tweets to see how they are getting on – it can help to know that you are not alone in your search.
7) Explore other options of publishing – such as Kindle, ebooks…

Thinking too much about acquiring an agent can make you frustrated and sometimes get you down – especially when another week has gone by without a peep. Such feelings are unnecessary emotions that can drain you of your productivity and hope. Don’t waste your energy – enjoy other realms of life – and if rejections flow in – send out some more queries.
In the meantime – write – write -write.

I would love to hear how you cope – the more options the better i feel. Welcome to the new followers – I appreciate you popping by.

Happy Word Flow One & All

The rush to find an agent.

Hindsight is a marvellous phenomenon which we are all blessed with when it’s too late.
Last year, I sent Attic of the Mind  out to a few agents, but without success except for one partial request.
Six months later, I re-read the ms and discovered that it still wasn’t polished to my liking. I had to remove paragraphs that were leading nowhere, and chop around the structure in places to improve the flow and pace. After a fifth rewrite I felt a warm glow about the result – ah – that warm glow feeling we so seek.

I am, however, someone who learns from mistakes – why make them otherwise – and I realised that my synopsis needed a face-lift. @Bubblecow (Twitter) talks about the synopsis being a marketing tool – a way to sell oneself. So, seeing it with this in mind, I wrote another one that I believe to be more appealing, snappy and attention grabbing – I hope.

I have read more about the Kindle and ebooks – as this may be forward for me – who knows?
Okay – I have tentatively begun the search for an agent – but I’m aware that querying agents can have an addictive undercurrent – so I must tread with caution, and continue to learn from my mistakes.
I feel hopeful about 2011 – let’s hope it doesn’t let me down.

Happy Word Flow One & and All

The Agent Minefield

The Internet offers up a plethora of possible suitable literary agents for the aspiring author.

I write a list of possible ones and then I make a note of what the agent requires. This is an area that is quite tricky as they all request different styles of query methods.

Some require a traditional query letter, others want the writer to sell themselves as a person first and foremost. We then move to the synopsis where some agents accept one up to six pages, whilst others prefer a one page synopsis.

We then move onto the novel where the norm appears to be the first three chapters,but I have seen requests for the first ten pages or the first four chapters.

The next issue appears to be the mother of all minefields. One agent I looked at said that a writer could only query them and no one else at the same time, which I found rather off putting due to the time factor involved, and the fact that some agents don’t give a response time.

However, on the same day, I came across an agent who advised that the writer query several agents at once seeing as the wait can be as long as three months. The agent seemed to empathise with the agony of the query process.

I do understand how overwhelmed agents must be, many are closed to submissions currently, so the whole process is even harder.

Sometimes it’s easier just to compile a list of potential agents, because I know that once I start the process, there is a lot of work and heartache involved. However, having taken months to write, re-write and re-re-write a novel, I should at least take the time to query suitable agents – I have nothing to lose, and rejection isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of moving onwards and upwards.

Happy Word Flow One & All