You'll notice I'm a tad late in posting my usual Monday info. I was at a state championship competitive hockey tournament all weekend and had hoped to actually still be there today. Alas, my son's team was defeated in the crossovers (with help from some very questionable refing) so we came home at midnight last night with our heads hung low. This is our eleventh year of being a hockey family; my son has played since he was four. Needless to say, every year games get more tense, the stakes get a bit higher as the ever elusive goal of a hockey scholarship nears.
|Last year's championship game - the Boy is #8|
Chances are, the Boy won't make the cut.
You may be asking how this all relates to writing...although I'm guessing the numbers above are creating the metaphor in your mind. In case it's not, here's how: there are only so many publishing houses out there. And hundreds of thousands of writers. Just looking at the numbers can throw you into despair.
But wait. We're all multi-talented writers, right? Like the Boy - who has a talent for test-taking and, when he isn't being a bonehead, is a pretty smart cookie - we can look at the market for
If the paranormal romance genre is awfully crowded and agents are rejecting your vampire/ghost/werewolf/talking-spider story right and left, what other genre can you try? Maybe your MS is centered around a mystery or has elements of a thriller. Could you strengthen the mystery/thriller aspects of the plot and change the characters around a bit?
Or you have a fantasy with an MC who discovers she's half-fey and has powers to rule/change/destroy the world. Unfortunately, it turns out that about half the other querying writers out there have the same premise. Your plot is so centered around this idea, you're totally bummed. But your MC is this mind-blowing, a** kicking heroine you can't bear to consign to the drawer. How about using elements of her character in another plot?
Know this: nothing you've written so far is wasted. It may never be published but it ISN'T a waste. Step back from your creation and look at it like it's a house you want to sell. You've got to make it marketable, right? So try removing your emotions - because the MS isn't your baby, it's your business - and view it with fresh eyes.
The Boy probably won't get a Division 1 hockey scholarship. But chances are pretty good that his brains will attract what his brawn will not. An academic scholarship at a Division II school is a real possibility. Sure, it's not as prestigious as Div I but an education is an education. That's our ultimate goal.
What's your ultimate goal? And are you committed enough to reaching it to get creative with your approach?