The Quest To Find An Agent

MONDAY 21st OCTOBER 2013

Agents

When I first wrote this novel (currently titled Little Miss Pooshoe but that might be up for debate – but that’s another blog post), I fully intended to self publish it. That is still an option, however, I want to have a go at sending it off to literary agents first – just to test the waters and see what response I get (if any). Then, at least if I don’t get anywhere with them, I won’t be left wondering what if? and I can continue with my self publishing plans.

In order to pitch to literary agents, there are certain submission guidelines. One of them is what most writer’s dread – the synopsis: a brief summary of the major points of a story. This is harder to write than the novel itself, the difficulty is trying to summarise an 80,000 word novel on one page. Inevitably, I keep going over.

At this moment in time, I have drafted a synopsis and I am making contact with Jenny, my editor, later today to discuss her editing my synopsis as well. If I’m going to give this a shot I want it done properly.

Last week, I also spent a lot of time researching agents. I’d previously spoken with Jenny and former colleague, Kerry, and they both recommended using the Writer’s & Artist’s Yearbook 2013. I did this, cheating slightly as I actually have a copy that my mum gave me from the year 2000. I used a bit of initiative and worked through all the agency details and looked them up on the internet to see if they were still accepting submissions and, if so, what were their guidelines. Cue my obsession with spread sheets and I now have a list of thirty four contacts to work through.

As soon as my synopsis has been Jenny-proofed then I will start the submission process. You can follow my progress on this blog and see how I get on.

Have a fab day folks.

Love Missuswolf xxx

Novel Project 2012 – Miss Pooshoe

WEDNESDAY 29TH FEBRUARY 2012

Good Evening everyone – deadline day is here!

After setting myself a New Years challenge to write a Novel by the end of Feb, I am  now pleased to say that the Novel is now complete! Well, the first draft is anyway. In the words of Stephen King – “When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.” 

This is so true of this Novel; I have only just completed my first draft and I found that I really was telling myself the story. It took some twists and turns in places even I wasn’t expecting and although I had a plan (well, ok a spreadsheet – yes I do love them and I have Chapter’s broken down) the story ended in a place I did not expect. It even ended earlier than I anticipated as I found that I had reached a natural conclusion.

Truth be told i did not hit my 80k target, I am some 992 words short, and that has been with adding little sub-stories in here and there that i have remembered (and by sub-stories I mean ridiculous things said and done by myself) therefore, this Novel has aptly been named ‘Miss Pooshoe.’

A bit of a random name yet it is relevant and I am hoping the title will intrigue readers and pull them in.

Although I originally set a target of 80k words, as this is an average word count to aim for by publishers, however I have learnt along this journey that word count isn’t everything.

View Mike Wells’ story regarding his novel ‘Wild Child’, which he was asked to add 15,000 extra words to by his first literary agent, because of some rules in relation to the cost of paper and cardboard boxes. He did this and after it was read by his readers, they had to admit that it ruined the story. This lead to him self publishing the book and its’ success is a story in itself; an inspirational one for any writer starting out – a moral that a word limit really isn’t everything and to perservere.

However, a word count is a nice target to set your sight on to motivate you, just don’t let it stop you from going with the natural flow of the story.

Stop if you feel it is going nowhere. Have a break and go back to it. It’s amazing what ideas you come up with in that break, especially if you take a drive out – you may be surprised what you come across in a half hour trip out in the car.)

So, after two months of trying to make time nearly every day (bar a few) to write; Miss Pooshoe has completed first draft stage.

But what now?

Well, she is getting entered into a competition for the end of March so I need to edit the first two Chapter’s first for this.

Depending on the competition outcome, if unsuccussful I will then send this off to Literary Agents to see if anyone would like to represent me and get this thing published.

If not, I will resort to Self Publishing.

So, for now, Miss Pooshoe is getting put to bed for a couple of weeks before I  do the editing – the part like Mr King says where you take out all the bits that aren’t the story. This will no doubt affect my word count and may see it plummet!

Oh well, a story is a story.

On to the next challenge….

Love Missuswolf xxx