A little time; a lot of information

I spent an hour in Borders last night looking at all the current and best-selling fiction. Most of my time was spent in YA, reading the first few pages, back covers, publishers, page count, etc. Then I moved on to the publishing section and tried to read whatever I could on the business of querying. It was a good hour! I left with a copy of the Writer's Digest special issue on how to get an agent. Lots of really good information in there.

But the best thing I read last night was for free. Someone on Absolute Write wrote about how their novel kept getting rejected, and a meeting with an agent at a conference told her why: her main character is too old. Apparently agents will not touch a story with a college age MC. Of course, that's what mine is—Emma's 18. Or she was 18. I changed her to 17 this morning without hesitation. I was going to make her 17 when I first started writing the book anyway, so it's not a big deal. Emma is now 17 with a birthday coming up. It actually makes more sense to me and I really like the change! And if it helps, then yay.

I also bought chocolate. You know how Borders is—they trap you in that weird lane and surround you with tons of impulse items: little toys, cool bookmarks, pretty journals, sparkly pens, Twilight stuff, cookbooks with great pictures, Burt's Bees products, and tons of chocolate. But it was good. The chocolate. Yes.


Comments

  1. Mmm...chocolate! Glad that the impulse items work on someone other than myself! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. It was calling out to me . . .

    ReplyDelete
  3. That's really weird. One year older in age mukes that much difference? There's something wrong with that, don't you think?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I does seem strange, but I have to tell you, I've been hearing it more and more. Over at YALITCHAT people are constantly being told to change their protags to under 18. The reason being, again, that agents can't sell college age fiction.

    However, I do not think changing Emma to 17 is going to make agents love my query more. But it does give them a category to place it in. You know, if they don't have a category, they can't sell it. It's my job to give them something they can sell.

    But yeah, it's definitely crazy.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Where did you find word counts? I didn't know they were listed in books. But then, I never thought to look.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You're right Matt. I meant page count. Thank you for bringing that up!

    ReplyDelete
  7. The free advice is always the best! I'm glad changing her age wasn't a huge issue for you!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Interesting - I've never heard that! Did they say why?

    Yum... chocolate.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Talli, it's something about teens wanting someone their age or older (to look up to). Eighteen through college age is kind of a gray area right now. There was talk of a new genre called "New Adult Fiction" for older YA readers, but it doesn't seem to be going anywhere yet.

    Personally I love the idea of 18 and up, which is why I kept Emma that age until now. But if it helps to start her story off at a younger age, so be it. Time will take care of the rest I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Isn't it crazy that having your MC one year younger can make all of the difference. Truthfully, I don't quite understand why if a MC is 18 it is doomed to be rejected. Kind of silly, I think.

    YAY chocolate!

    ReplyDelete
  11. It's a fickle world out there. 17, 18, why should it matter. I can't remember opening a book, finding that the main character was of a certain age, then putting it down again as a result. But I suppose there must be some who do! Wierd.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sounds like you had a productive day, and you ended up with chocolate. What could be better?

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Listen, do you wanna . . .

And now, something about the girl

Oh I wish, I wish that I had . . .