Saturday, February 13, 2010

More Quick Answers

When I submit a manuscript to an editor, is it a good idea to include my (children's book related) blog with my contact information? Is this something an editor would be interested in?
Sure, it wouldn't hurt.
My agent is pitching my YA novel. Controversial subject. (But not chick lit or about vampires in any form.) I have received a few thoughtful, longish rejections, each with faint or nice praise. I agree with the critiques and am doing some revision. Is it best to wait for more comments or do significant revision now?
This is something to discuss with your agent. Tell her you're thinking of revising, and wonder if she should stop sending the manuscript out until the new draft is ready, or if she would rather keep pitching it while you rewrite. Whatever decision you come to should make sense to both of you.
I've received a fair number of "good" rejections from editors over the years with favorable comments in spite of the rejections. Several editors have invited me to submit other work. I have continued to submit work to them (picture books) as well as other open houses. The difficult spot I find myself in now is that I am considering trying to get an agent to open doors to closed houses. However, as I have already submitted some of my manuscripts to numerous publishers, I'm afraid that I have, in a sense, tied an agent's hands when representing my work. Should I give up on the idea of finding agent representation for some of these manuscripts or should I wait until I have something new that has not yet been submitted?
Because I'm not an agent and I don't know who you've been submitting to, I can't be sure whether your previous submissions will hamstring a potential agent. You might be able to find an agent now--as long as you're up front with him/her in your initial contact about where the manuscript you've sent them has already been shopped, and why (those personal connections sometimes make a difference). Your chances may be better, though, with a brand new manuscript.
I am writing my first YA novel; extremely to succeed. I have all these thoughts in my head and sometimes find it challenging expressing them, not only because writing genuinely is hard, but because Spanish is my native language. I just purchased two books on writing YA and quit my job to finish my novel. I know, my mother-in-law said I was crazy. Then again, "nothing ventured, nothing gained". What does it take to be a great writer? What advice you would give to someone really willing to follow it? A million thank yous from Puerto Rico.
There are different definitions of what makes a writer "great", and the ways that different writers go about being their version of great varies a great deal, too. So unfortunately there is no simple formula for greatness. But I do strongly recommend reading every day and writing every day, faithfully and persistently, and wanting to live the rest of your life that way. Greatness is not achieved through a passing interest or periodic dabbling, and most writers' first work (or works) do not get published. I can tell you at least that no one ever achieves greatness by wanting to be a writer-- only by being one.

Addendum: some great writerly advice from Patrick Rothfuss, courtesy of Maine Character.

10 comments:

maine character said...

To the last question, I just read one of the most practical bits of advice at Patrick Rothfuss's blog: scroll down to Feb 9, for "Advice For New Writers."

http://www.patrickrothfuss.com/blog/blog.html

And for a great all-around life-of-a-writer-plus-craft book, try Lawrence Block's Telling Lies for Fun and Profit, which is a collection of his Writer's Digest articles.

Steve Brezenoff said...

"Extremely to Succeed" needs to be the name of an emo band.

Editorial Anonymous said...

That is such a good link I am adding it to the post.
Thanks!

Diana Murray said...

"I can tell you at least that no one ever achieves greatness by wanting to be a writer-- only by being one."

Well said. It sounds so simple but it's so true.

Reminds me of a study I read about back in psychology class. When people were told to smile, the very act of smiling made them happy.

Anonymous said...

On that link, I was enjoying the VD hate until he got to the point where he actually has a girlfriend.

People in relationships should go off and have VD all by themselves and leave the rest of us alone.

Thank you.

Jane Steen said...

Love your last paragraph. As E.F. Benson (the Mapp & Lucia author) said, a writer is not someone who CAN write, but someone who DOES write. I may not have that quote exact, BTW, so don't quote me on it :)

Steve, I was also tickled by "extremely to succeed". I feel a bit sad, though, that success is what's in that writer's head rather than the process.

Linguista said...

loved the Patrick Rothfuss. Thanks Maine!

Fanfreakingtastic Flower said...

that is a great link!

The Novelist said...

I love your last paragraph about what makes a great writer. Well said. You are an example of it!

Richard said...

EA, your comment was so appropriate. She tried hard, but English is her barrier, and you made that important. She will read and grasp diction, because of you. I only hope she still pursues a vital plot, with a virtuous theme.