Monthly Archives: September 2015

MSWL

At my critique group the other day, a member mentioned the #MSWL on twitter. This stands for “manuscript wish list” and is all tweets from agents/publishers about what they are looking for. I checked it out today and it’s pretty cool. People are discouraged from pitching their books with the # obviously, but several agents–even one I queried!–put up what they are interested. For non-twitter people there’s also http://www.manuscriptwishlist.com with more detailed info about what agents are interested in.

While looking around #MSWL I felt nervous. I could not find anyone interested in something similar to Charley’s Dragons. I feel like my MS does not fall into an easy category which makes it hard to find out who would be the best person to query. It’s not as simple as a paranormal romance or coming of age or book that deals with the issues of race and gender. It is a story that is supposed to be realistic but with a “fantasy” twist that is actually hallucinations–not like The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I know there is someone who would want to represent it, but I’m worried on how to find that person. I’ve tried querying women’s fiction people, fantasy people, commercial fiction people, but no one has bitten. I want to query the right people but it’s so hard to find someone who is interested.

Has anyone else faced and/or conquered this problem? There are so many books that defy common genres that have been published, and I hope to be one of them! What are you writing? Having trouble finding your audience too?

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New Group

This past week I moved into a new apartment! While it is great it does not have any internet. I am currently babysitting and borrowing internet while the infant sleeps! Onward…

I joined a new critique group that is going very well. It’s a group of writers from around Evanston that have different styles and successes in everything from novels to poetry to flash fiction. It is great to be with a group again. Writing is such a lonely life and being able to talk to others and read their work is so refreshing and inspiring. Last week I submitted the first 10 pages of my latest novel Charley’s Dragons. I have had no luck with agents lately and so I wanted feedback.

The critiques i got from everyone were fabulous. No one in the group is afraid to speak up when they read something that does not work. I got great comments about one section where none of the characters were likable and it was hard to read since the scene was too tense. Other sections were highly enjoyed and they wanted more! The beginning was split: half understood and half were confused. (Spoiler: the beginning is strictly dialog without any character markers!)

Overall I was encouraged. They all wanted to read more and had consistent feedback about lightening up the main character’s home life from the get go. Once I get all of my crap in place in my new apartment I am excited to start revising and finish up the list of agents I have. Only a few are left on my initial list of 50-something agents, but maybe one of them will bite. I can hope. If not, there are soooooo many more agents to consider. Onward!

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