Friday, February 10, 2012

All day Q&A with the Bouncers and Cupid!

(See post below for this week's winners)

Okay, people. This is the time to get your questions out to our fabulous Bouncers. Their undercover identities remain secret, but they will answer with their real identities. Ask whatever you want that isn't specific about your entry and why they did or did not like it OR too personal. They will do their best to pop in throughout the day with answers. I will also be here to answer questions.

Again, here are our Bouncers: (Check this post for their info)

Gennifer Albin!
Marissa Burt!
Anne Brown!
Gabriela Lessa! 

93 comments:

  1. This question is for Gennifer - is Crewel the first book you wrote, or are there some 'practice' manuscripts floating around in your house somewhere?

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    1. Hi Kimmy,

      Why are you up at 4:30 am!?

      Crewel is the first finished novel I wrote. I have bits of manuscripts that I started and abandoned. The farthest I got on one was about 50 pages. My husband used to tease me that my obit would read "author of the 20 most promising first chapters ever written," because I was always jotting down a chapter and then never doing anything with it. It wasn't until I actually let him read some of my work that I got motivated. He was very enthusiastic about it, and it helped me believe I could do it. Also I'm competitive, so Nano'ing the first draft helped.

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    2. Yes, I can't believe how early people are up. When I scheduled this I didn't think people would be up. Ha! Unless they are in totally different parts of the world. :-)

      Good question, though.

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    3. Thanks for the response Gen! I was not up at 4:30 am, thankfully. I think I posted this at 7:30 am Eastern Time. Maybe the time stamp is off?

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  2. Any question? Really? lol
    I have a question about Friday and Saturday's entry windows.
    Since I didn't make it into one of the slots, my paranoid-self wonders if I formatted my entry incorrectly or if it was due to my slow email.

    Is there a way to discover what happened?

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    1. Hi! With how many entries came in so quickly it was almost like a lottery who came in first. What can you do??? If you are worried it didn't make it, give me your title and I can check when I get a second. :)

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  3. I have a question regarding genre. What is the difference between an urban fantasy and a contemporary fantasy? I had thought the two the same thing but I saw on an agent's website that they specifically said they were "tired" of urban fantasy but were always on the look out for great contemporary fantasy. Huh?? Help :)

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    1. I'm so glad you asked this!! I thought they were the same, too. And have been labeling mine wrong - whoops! Great question!

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    2. Urban fantasy usually takes place partly in an existing city that somehow has a portal to another world. So, in urban fantasy, what matters is that the story goes from invented world to real world, humans going over there, monsters crossing the portal into earth, that kind of thing. So it doesn't matter when this is taking place -- a lot of urban fantasies actually seem to happen in the past, London in the 1800s seems to be a big favorite for some reason.

      Contemporary fantasy is about the period in time. Meaning it's a story in another world happening right now, in 2012.

      Does that make sense?

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  4. Hi Danny, I'm one of the bouncers ("Anne Brown"). This link should help sort things out!

    http://literaticat.blogspot.com/2010/10/big-ol-genre-glossary.html

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  5. Thank you Anne, I went to the link and it will provide lots of good info in the future for me. But, altho she describes urban fantasy - and it is what I thought it was - she makes no mention of "contemporary fantasy" so my question still stands. I had never been confused by this till I read yesterday on one agent's website that ( as I said before) they did not want any urban fantasy but were always excited to read contemporary fantasy. I just don't get the difference. Thank you very much for the link however.

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    1. Danny, this link might be helpful: http://tatehallaway.blogspot.com/2006/11/difference-between-urban-dark-and.html

      The difference as I understand it, and I'm no expert, is that contemporary fantasy is less dark and gritty than a contemporary fantasy - so kind of the difference between Blade and Buffy.

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    3. At last! Thank you thank you thank you. I went to the link and now understand the difference. I have been labeling mine as urban fantasy when it should be contemporary fantasy. Unfortunately, I also did the same for this contest as I'm in the next batch. But, this has been bugging me since I found out there was a difference and the link cleared it right up. Pizza for you! :)

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    4. I've been doing it wrong too! Gah! Mine is definitely more "contemporary fantasy", I believe, after reading those descriptions. Hopefully the agents who currently have my query/submissions will go easy on me for the mistake.

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  6. I know most YA novels have protagonists around 15-17 years old, but is there a YA market for protagonists around 21-22? Or should I be looking into a different genre? Thanks!

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    1. I was actually wondering that as well. I know the age range is considered "emerging adults" nowadays, but there isn't necessarily a writing genre for it that I know of. I've read YA books where the protagonist was in college, and then I've also read general fiction where the protagonist was in college so I don't know!

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    2. To Rhen and Lauren, I think there is a new genre that they're calling "New Adult" that deals with the newly graduated from college crowd (kinda like the T.V. show, FRIENDS).

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    3. I can't remember the agent whose blog I read this on (she's well known and an active blogger), but I believe there is just one publisher (St.Martins) who is accepting "New Adult" and so it's not much of an advantage to relabel it as such.

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    4. I asked about this the other day and was told New Adult died before it got started. That said, there was once no MG or YA market. It just takes the write book, and I think a lot of people would like to see New Adult happen, but we'll see.

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    5. write=right ...hmmm, what's on my mind?

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    6. I think that's true. It's not a well established genre; however, I have been hearing comments about it more and more in the last couple years. I haven't heard that "New Adult" died.

      Whay I think your best bet is to look at the issues and conflict involved in your story: if the conflict centers on friends/school/and a smaller locale, lean toward YA. If the conflict is bigger, involving things like conspiracy, law enforcement, politics, and/or careers, lean toward adult contemporary.

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    7. :o) pun intended? run with it!
      For the record, I'm dying to see some New Adult on the shelves.

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    8. Wow. Thanks for all the responses. I think my plot is definitely aimed at YA. So if I'm reading the advice clearly, I should just submit as a YA until someone tells me differently. Is that everyone's consensus?

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  7. My question, for anyone who wants to answer, is the old stand-by: how long did it take for you to land an agent and how many manuscripts did you query before striking gold? (I'm sure you all get this question a lot, but since two of you are debuting I can't contain my curiosity). Oh, and thanks for taking the time to be Bouncers!

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    1. My first novel got one rejection and I gave up on it (rightly so).

      My second novel got a lot of requests for partials and fulls, but no takers.

      My third novel got me an agent, but didn't sell. Every editor said, "I love this BUT..." But it's too quiet. But it's not the right market. But it's too similar to something else on our list.

      My fourth novel, LIES BENEATH, sold to Random House in a two book deal, that will hopefully turn into a trilogy. Bottom line: keep at it!

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    2. Thanks Anne! You give me hope! My first novel is trunked for now. My second is ending its query process without much luck, and I'm currently working on a third. Maybe one day!

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    3. Definitely! The only sure way to failure is to quit.

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  8. For me the difference between my first manuscript and my second manuscript was fantastic critique partners, so my question is how did you find your critique partners? And for you, what makes a good CP?

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    1. What makes a good critique partner? Funny, I blogged about that today. I think the single most important quality is honesty. Tact is nice, but honesty is essential.

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    2. I belong to two critique groups, but I also have one go-to CP. I met her online. I published in an online lit mag called LITERARY MAMA, and I read a piece of hers in that same mag and noticed in her bio she lived less than an hour away. I emailed her and asked if she wanted to work together. Fortunately she was looking for a CP, too.

      In my opinion, a good CP is a writer who is also well read and can see the "big picture" of your project in terms of both the writing craft and the writing market.

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  9. Re: The New Adult market. I've heard it's a difficult sell. Mainly because while you have high school students reading YA with some crossover, young twenties are going to be reading adult contemporary.

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  10. My question is for Anne. I'm very excited to read LIES BENEATH, and happy that there are so many YA mermaid books coming out this spring/summer. I'm curious to know your thoughts about the mermaid trend. I've been told different things about it by different agents. i.e.: mermaids are "the next big thing" but it's too late to buy into that market, the whole mermaid thing was a false trend, and that mermaid books are tough to sell to publishers right now so I should wait until the trend "picks up". When I started writing about mermaids I was basically clueless about the book market and what's trendy, so this is all very confusing. What has your experience been like with your awesome-looking mer-book?

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    1. It's a really bad idea to write TOWARD a trend. Usually the trend is over by the time you're done writing. Plus, keep in mind that when an editor buys your novel, it doesn't usually get published for another 18 MONTHS! So even if you sold to the publishing house, you might be 3 years behind already. (Fyi--I wrote Lies Beneath in spring/summer 2010; it sold to Random House on February 1, 2011; it comes out June 12, 2012.)

      When I started writing LIES BENEATH I wasn't aware of any mermaid books, and I wasn't writing the story because I thought it was going to be "the new vampire."

      I wrote LIES BENEATH because I was working on another Lake Superior novel that wasn't working. Every night I kept dreaming that one of my characters was diving into the lake, which would be a stupid, death-wishy kind of thing to do. (Lake Superior is dangerously cold.) That character spurred me on to scrap what I was doing and try something different.

      The first time I heard of any "mermaid trend" was when the Pirates of the Caribbean movie came out, and I was like "Whhaaaatttt???? I've been scooped!"

      I think the best thing you can do is write the story you want to write, the one that's in you. That's the best way to write the best story you can. The rest will follow.

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    2. And I should add, if your best story is about mermaids, go for it!

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    3. I also knew nothing about this mermaid trend until my mermaid manuscript was finished ... And then found out about Pirates and that Stephanie Meyers is supposedly writing about mermaids :S
      Thanks for sharing your story and advice!

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    4. Same here. Wrote a mermaid novel then saw Pirates and said, "They stole my mermaids!". I love everything mermaid, so I'm still going for it. :) Thanks for asking this question Alexandra! And Anne, I can't wait to read your book!

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  11. Wordencounters: STORYBOUND is my first novel. My agent offered representation fairly quickly - she was in the first round of queries I sent out, so we began to work together a few weeks after I began querying.

    I think much of it depends on researching your query search. You may have a great project and be querying agents who don't represent your genre or who know they can't sell your work. But there also is that point where one needs to evaluate if it's time to move on to another project. Crit partners are great for giving outside input into whether your work is polished enough (interesting enough, well-written enough, fill in the blank here!).

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    1. Thanks so much! One book is getting close to the end of my "to query" list with a few bites but nothing hooked yet, so I may be nearing the point of "put it down and move on." I don't have a crit partner, per se, but I've gone through several betas. It may just not be the right book. Thanks for answering!

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  12. Andimjulie - Great question! I agree that honesty is super important. So is someone who thinks like a writer. It's great to have friends who will read through and tell you if they liked the story or if interested them. But having someone who is willing to give you big picture things like plot holes, pacing issues, etc. is important.

    I still haven't found a good fit, though, so if you aren't able to get the kind of input you're hoping for, keep searching. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks Marissa! And good luck in your search as well! Honestly, I think finding the right CP is harder than dating hahah :o)

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  13. I have a question about prologues. I wrote a prologue to my novel, which I feel is compelling, but I kept reading negative things about prologues and decided to submit the first 250 words of my first chapter instead. (I got in, so it will be posted on Monday.) Now, after reading everyone's dramatic first 250 words, I think I made a mistake. My prologue can't really be woven into the first chapter, because of the time shift. Anyone who wants to respond...where do you fall on the "to prologue or not to prologue" question?

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    1. Hi Densie,
      Just curious. Why do you have a prologue? Are you summarizing your book to get in facts because it starts somewhere you aren't sure the reader will understand? Does my question make sense? Simply, why a prologue? For the record, I'm neither pro-con prologue. When I read them, sometimes I say "Huh? Why is this here?" and sometimes "I don't even notice because it flows so well."

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    2. I have a prologue in my debut. There will be one in the other novels as well. For me, too many prologues are teasers -- pages that introduce something that will happen later in the novel. Personally, if you can't compel your reader with your first chapters, and you have to put into something from page 443 to entice them to reader, you should rethink more than your prologue. That said, a well done prologue can be vital, but there has to be a reason it's there. My prologue sets the reader up for chapter one with important information and I hope it sparks interest. It's too short to be chapter one, but I don't want to linger on the moment so I wrote a prologue.

      So my answer is really a question, just like Lavender: why do you have a prologue? Is it essential? You know if it is or isn't. Don't listen to the prologue hate. If you listen to every piece of advice on writing, you'll have a mess of a book. Take what resonates with you, what makes your story stronger, and leave the rest!

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    3. "If you listen to every piece of advice on writing, you'll have a mess of a book."

      Amen! to that. Feels like I'm chasing my own tail half the time, i.e., is this what I think works, or is it what I read in an advice book two years ago?

      Water for Elephants had an effective prologue that told what would happen almost at the end of the book--of course it misled on purpose, which added to the intrigue. In another genre, Twilight had a "preface" that was only about 150 words, but it implied the character would be facing death. The Girl Who Played With Fire had a gut-wrenching prologue, detailing with a single event of the past without even identifying the character whose voice we were listening to.

      Of course, the overwhelming majority of books are prologue- or preface-free. Not sure where that leaves me--somewhere between Twilight and The Girl Who Played With Fire, which a confusing place to be. :-)

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    4. I like prologues. That's a great example of the Wizard of Oz - an absolutely essential set up. Think also of the beginning of every Star Wars movie - the srolling text is a prologue that situates you in the action. Harry Potter also begins with leaving the baby Harry on the step before it launces into the action - also essential. I read once an agent say she rejects immediately without reading further anything with a prologue - which makes me think she would have walked out of Wizard of Oz, Star Wars and Harry Potter even before we got comfy. DOesn't sound like someone who should be evaluating any book. It's like saying "I don't want my baby because it's ugly" and it's only been born 5 minutes. Wait a while, sheesh.

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    5. Danny, I guess I was reading the same thing about agents who drag the file to the trash if it contains a prologue. Star Wars, Wizard of Oz and Harry Potter all good examples. Like everyone keeps saying, guess you just have to go with what feels right.

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  14. These are some great questions with some great answers!

    I, for one, would love to read some New Adult but also have not heard promising things for it.

    Hmmm....I don't really have much to add to anything. The Bouncers are doing a fab job! :D

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  15. Personally speaking, I'm a fan of having the reader work just once to 'get into the story,' meaning, try to work the prologue into the book along the way and drawng the reader in with chapter one. But having said that, I've enjoyed plenty of books that had the prologue promise of a good story to come.

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    1. To my mind that's excellent advice for literary or upscale fiction, but for popular fiction, seems like you have to grab them at "hello" or you've lost them before you've even had a chance to seduce. Or maybe that's my own short attention span talking.

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  16. Lavender Writer,
    THanks for response. I set the story up so that it opens with a character in her 40s, hearing something that brings up memories of things that happened when she was in her twenties. The bulk of the book is that story. Then the last chapter brings the reader back to the forty-something voice. A "sandwich story" if you will. The way I submitted, it just starts with the twenty-something character's voice, which is not as dramatic, because she doesn't know, of course, what is about to happen. It still makes sense without the prologue, but thinking I'll put it back in when I start querying. A lot of people seem to have strong opinions about prologues one way or the other and I guess I let the negative side of the fence sway me.

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    1. My suggestion (for what it's worth) is write YOUR book. Then, let readers/agent suggestions, etc, help you with the flow from prologue to beginning. In your case, a prologue may be very helpful. Think of the movie Wizard of Oz. B/W Kansas (well, Brown and white) is sort of the prologue. If they dumped us into the color world first - it wouldn't be the same story at all - it has a 'prologue', then a full story, and in a sense, an ending that ties in with the prologue - back to B/W Kansas. It's the flow that makes it work. It's there and it works because it's perfect the way it flows into the beginning of the story. I don't think anyone would question or argue that 'prologue' (Wizard). It's not a question of having it. It's making it work. That's my 200 cents.

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    2. oops. i responded up there on Cupid's post by mistake. so i deleted it and moved it.

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    3. "It's not a question of having it. It's making it work." I think I need to post that on my computer monitor. That could apply to so many aspects of writing a novel. Thanks!

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  17. Denise - I think prologues fall into that if-it's-really-well-written-you-can-break-the-rules camp.

    I tend to think prologues can work really well in some genres: epic fantasy or historical fiction, for example. BUT I agree with Lavendar Writer, too. Is the prologue absolutely essential? Is it something that can be woven in a flashback or dialogue? Often, I think we as writers think chronologically. So if we have to tell what happened in the past, we want to sneak it into a prologue. But weaving it into the actual narrative can be a great world-building challenge.

    For queries that request the first ten pages, I would start with the action rather than the prologue, even if the prologue might make it into the final version. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks for the input. When I start querying, I guess I just have to decide for myself if I think it's break-the-rules worthy.

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  18. Hey bouncers! I have a question about genre. My manuscript is what I think you would call a mashup. It is sci-fi (time travel), dystopian (totalitarian government) and fantasy (reason for why time travel is possible). I have been calling it a dystopian time slip, but I'm curious if I should call it a sci fi. Do any of you wise bouncers have advice on how to make that call?

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    1. My novel is a mashup too. Don't laugh, but I changed it depending on who I queried. If one agent was actively looking for dystopian, that's what I called it. Another wanted sci-fi, that's what it was. Sometimes I called it speculative fiction. I will say I got more form rejections for it when I used dystopian than any other genre - something to consider.

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    3. Gennifer, I am not laughing at all because that is actually what I was thinking of doing:) You have TOTALLY helped me!

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    4. I'm no pro in this at all, but I say call it dystopian fantasy. Time travel that's logical, that has scientific backing, is usually considered sci-fi, but if it's more of a fantasy method of time travel, then I say it's more fantasy. (This is simply what i've learned from being a librarian, so, again, do what you think serves your story best!)

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    5. Great point Lauren. Thanks!

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    6. I don't know what the "right" answer is, but for what it's worth, dystopian novels are becoming harder to sell. If you can call it something else, e.g., fantasy, I'd go that route in a query letter.

      Although a "mash up" novel may work beautifully, I also think it's a good idea to not pitch it as "fantasy, time travel, dystopian" in a query because it might be off putting to an agent and suggest you don't know enough about the market to pick one genre. It's a matter of first impressions! Make a good one! You can wow them with your writing once they ask for pages.

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    7. Hi Deana!
      Yes, as Anne said, dystopian really is becoming a harder sell, and agents are not really willing to represent it. So this might be something to be aware of when naming your genre. Of course you can't make up a genre, but twisting things to your favor slightly, like calling a dystopian just sci fi, or calling chick lit a women's fiction, is completely acceptable. After all, dystopian is a branch of sci fi.
      But here are the basics: if it's set in the future, it's sci fi. If it's someone who lives in today's world and can time travel, it could be paranormal, I think. Fantasy usually requires the creation of a new world, so that probably wouldn't work well for you. It's hard to define something without really knowing the story, but from what you said, I'm guessing sci fi would be your best bet.
      Hope that helps!

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    8. That really helps Gabriela! Based on your definitions, I'm thinking sci-fi for sure. Thanks so much for your help:)

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  19. It's been really informative reading all the questions and the outstanding answers by the bouncers. I've asked this question to several people and always get different answers, so I'm curious as to what everyone here has to say: Will an agent reject a book solely based on word count? I don't mean a 500k-word manuscript, but if it's over 100k words, is that enough to send it straight to the slush pile?

    Also, I'm a copy editor, so if anyone's looking for a CP, I'd be happy to help out! :)

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    1. Ummm... I'd love a CP! I've been doing freelance/copyediting as well for a self-published friend, and I find it harder to do the same thing to my novel as I do to hers, lol! Email me if you're still interested, I'd like to see if we're a good fit for each other :-)... PageTraveler[at]gmail[dot]com

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  20. Deana - Hmmmm. Maybe Gabriela will be able to weigh in on this. I'm not sure, but I don't see any problem with calling it a Dystopian scifi if you feel like that's a better fit?

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    1. This is a good option too. Thanks Marissa! And yes, Gabriela, I'd love to hear your opinion as well:)

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  21. Cblair - Again, I don't think there are any absolutes. If it's a 100K novel that grips a reader for every single word...well, then, there's your answer.

    I think it's harder to break in as a newbie with 100K novel. For example, if the query says 100K+ and those first 10 pages aren't FABULOUS, then I would think it would go to the slushpile, because no one wants to invest in 100K pages of meh, right? ;)

    All that being said, I tend to think editing is so crucial. My first draft was 80K or so. Cutting 10 or 15K words did wonders for the pacing and plot. All of sudden, there just wasn't room for the superfluous charaters or descriptions.

    So I would say: cut, cut, cut. If you've done that, and you've still got a high wordcount, well, then that's what you've got. Good luck!

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  22. I have another category question. I read an agent say MG books MUST have a MC no older than 13...and actually 11 or 12 is better. Now, I loved the Hardy Boys (still do - don't tell anyone) and they were high school age..17 about. But there is no way that the Hardy Boys is YA...so my question is..does every MG book have to have a MC that young? Can;t you put an older kid in there as the MC and just write it for a younegr age group?

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    1. Danny - here's a good video to watch from a respected literary agent on the diff between MG and YA. It might help. Or if you ask in the comments, she's good about responding.

      http://pubrants.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/fridays-with-agent-kristin-episode-2.html

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    2. Hi, Danny! Literary agent Kristin Nelson had some wonderful things to say about this in a blog post last week. Here's the link:

      http://pubrants.blogspot.com/2012/02/fridays-with-agent-kristin-episode-2.html

      In short, she said that age was one of the primary distinctions between YA and MG but that character development had more to do with it. YA novels change YA characters from children to adults (or at least set them on that path). MG novels change MG characters, too, but not in such a way that it turns them into adults. (I'd say MG novels change MG characters from little kids to adolescents.)

      I'd never really thought about it that way, but her explanation made sense to me. So I think it would be hard to write an MG novel with a seventeen-year-old protagonist simply because a seventeen-year-old character would be impacted by the novel's events in a more adult, less childlike way.

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    3. Thank you M. Dunham and Krista for that link. I watched the vid and also added her blog to my list to follow. It's a good explanation. To me, the confusion came because I thought it would be the intended audience and the focus of the story that would determine it regardless of age. Like - again - the Hardy Boys - absolutely MG yet both characters are 16 and 17 yo teens. There was a cool tv show also - unnatural history - which had a MC of about 16 but was aimed at 9-12 yo boys. I know when I was 12 (all those 6 years ago) I loved reading about teenagers. Anyway, Tanks Muchly all :) Pizza for everyone!

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  23. Danny - I suppose you can write whatever age character you want, and I mean that sincerely. It's your story, so if you want a MG with a 17 year old MC, go for it. Now, whether it's an easy sell...that's another story. I do think publishers encourage a MG character of 11-12 because kids read up, so MG readers are typically 8-12 and you're writing for that whole range. And 8 year old probably has a tough time relating to a 16 year old.

    I suppose it's also worth asking what is making you feel it's necessary to have an older character? Teens are typically dealing with more coming-of-age issues, whereas MG books tend to be more about relating to family members. Good luck!

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  24. I have a question. Given the number of people who submitted all on the dot for this contest, are you going to try a different system for contest submissions next time? Or will it continue to be the first however many at the appointed time?

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    1. Hard to say. We could do it like a lottery, but really with the email server pushing some ahead of others, it was already probably a bit of a lottery. In the future the contests will be narrowed down more, so that should help, too.

      I'm open to any ideas. I just can't really think of a better way without taking everyone or doing a lottery.

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    2. Miss Snark has an interesting way of doing hers, where the submission windows are only for a few hours each, then she uses a bot to randomly pick the ones who go in.

      The concern some people have is that if they get caught in a spam filter, let's say, or their server is just that bit slower, they're never going to have a chance to get in. But at the same time, I know changing it might be more work for you, so I can see both sides.

      I don't think a lottery is a bad way to go, personally. Maybe you can do a post on it? :)

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    3. Thanks for the input.

      If I had a few hours to work with this would be easier. :) We're talking seconds here.

      I asked the people what they thought of lottery, and those who spoke up voted no. Although, I really think it already was a lottery for those right on the trigger.

      In the future we will probably do a mix of things. Most contests probably won't be this crazy. At least, I don't think so.

      Everyone will get to have some fun, I'll make sure of it. :D

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  25. Hey everyone! This is going great!

    As for WORD COUNT, I love longer books and a lot of the great ones I've read this year from debut authors have been longer. But you definitely want to make sure every word counts and that you are not TOO high.

    I tend to write longer novels and never had a problem with the agents thinking it was too long. BUT I always try to stay under 100K. But I don't write Sci-Fi or Fantasy either.

    Danny- Not sure writing an MC who is older, like 17, and then calling it MG is going to fly with most agents. But I don't really know a lot about that, so who knows. :)

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    1. This is a really great post on word count:

      http://bookendslitagency.blogspot.com.au/2009/07/word-count.html

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    2. M. Dunham: Thanks for the link, it was great!

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    3. My pleasure. :D I know what a pain it is to find up to date stuff on word counts and genre definitions. SUCH a pain.

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  26. I have a question about pace - does YA have to be slightly frenetic, with a fast pace? Is there a market for something more languid, or is that considered old fashioned these days? :)

    I'm just thinking about the Twilight series, which are pretty long books and I don't think you would call them fast paced? Stephenie Meyer has really taken time to explore the relationships. Or is that series considered an aberration and not really what agents are looking for in terms of pacing?

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    1. Agents and editors look for "good pacing." Pacing, however, depends on the needs of the story so what is good (or bad) may differ quite a bit from romance to sci fi to horror.

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  27. Yes, I think pacing is tough to define. Even quiet books have tight pacing. In my mind, slow pacing = unnecessary scenes that don't move the story forward.

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  28. I have a question about genres (even though I didn't make the contest). If a book goes from present-day town and then to Heaven or Hell setting-wise with Angels and Demons, would you call it Fantasy, or Paranormal?

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    1. Anne Greenwood BrownFebruary 12, 2012 at 7:51 AM

      oops--I didn't get my reply attached to your post! See below.

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  29. My first thought is to call it Fantasy because you've got the other worldly parts with Heaven and Hell. Also my guess is the Angels were always angels and weren't human/humanoid in the past or aren't transforming back and forth from human to angel and back again. This link may help, too.
    http://literaticat.blogspot.com/2010/10/big-ol-genre-glossary.html

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