Sunday, October 20, 2013


Now Playing:
  • Ennio Morricone - Il tramonto and L'arena.
  • Luis Bacalov - Summertime Killer
Quick post because I have homework and had about five hours of sleep last night (for some reason I woke up at four and couldn't go back to sleep) but I gotta get this out of my system.

I should have known better than to read an article discussing the many genres agents just can't sell anymore, but it was probably the wake up call I needed. Fantasy with creatures is a no-go. No werewolves, no fairies, no vampires, no witches, no mermaids.

Back in planning, I think I thought I'd get away with it in Anne's story because the mermaids don't really play that big of a part. Or they do, but they're very much just like any other creatures? I don't know how to explain it or why it made sense in my head, but none of them are named, and there's no way Anne can even interact with them. It'd be like trying to talk to sharks.

The novel is more about Anne's life as a pirate, her relationship with Captain Hali, Ru, Shin, and Jane the Reaper, and the Brothers' influence on the mortal people. Plus all this other stuff involving the other nations and some random feminist undertones I was playing around with. It's also technically high fantasy, not paranormal. It isn't part of a trilogy, which I had heard some agents were pretty sick off--and thank god because I don't think I'll have the energy to write a trilogy till I'm in my thirties.

But it's not going to be enough. A few minutes back, I sort of tried to accept querying Anne's story somewhere in the near future would just not bring anything positive to me. When I accepted that I also accepted that my writing is nowhere near ready for publication, and it probably won't be in the next year either.

So I've been sitting here thinking, maybe after I'm done writing and revising Anne's story, I'll write and try to publish The Band/Still Life, a YA contemporary. It's been in my head for a little while and I adore the voice of the main character. It has a diverse cast in terms of sexuality, races, gender, and class--main character is Asian, her best friend is asexual, one of her two male friends is black, the siblings are lower class while her love interest is upper class, and a bunch more LGBT and POC characters. It's a coming-of-age story and involves a group of teenagers trying to form a rock band. I don't think it'd be a New York Times best seller but with solid writing, a good voice, interesting characters, and an entertaining premise, it should do well, right?

Except the market is already seeing a huge wave of YA contemporaries. This book wouldn't be ready till at least two years from now. And that's assuming my writing's improved enough to be publishable. It probably won't be.

I know it's not a race. These things take time. I won't be a failure if I publish my first novel at the age of 67. And I'll still write and revise these unpublishable novels because being a story-teller makes me happy.

But I hate that I keep pushing it back, because I'm not ready, or because of things that are out of my control.

I'm trying not to let it get to me, but it makes me nervous. What if I'm never ready? What if I just keep falling behind? I guess it won't kill me if it takes me twenty years to get an agent and a book deal, but I can't shake off the disappointment.

I guess that's life.


  1. Oh no no. Don't ever take any "this doesn't sell, period" statements to heart. First off, they're not accurate; they're someone's opinion, and considering my book is explicitly about fairies and I got representation, I don't think so. People aren't going to say "nothing with creatures sells anymore, so if you've got mermaids, just give up now."

    But also, knowing what "isn't selling"--according to that person--is just more ammunition for you. Wrote something that's on the current no-no list? You might just have to figure out how to downplay it in your queries. The bottom line is that if you write something lovely, and someone thinks it is publishable, they will go to bat for you.

    Trend-riding never works. Once something becomes a trend, if you try to write it so you can get in on the action, you're too late; the publishers already have a huge stack of it in their slush pile trickling out for the next year and a half. That's why I think anti-trend-riding is a bad idea too. No one knows what's going to be popular next. You should write what you want. It could very well be that if it won't work right now, something will change so that it will work sometime in the future.

    Don't lose hope. And keep writing.

  2. @Julie:

    Thank you so much for the advice. It seems I do a pretty good job at convincing myself of the worst possible outcome with just a little push, but you're right, anti-trend-riding hardly makes any sense.

    I feel much better now :D. I guess I'll see if I think the book is worth querying once I'm actually done writing and revising it. I really shouldn't worry too much about these things before I'm even done with my first draft.

    Thank you again :)

  3. Anonymous9:32 PM

    What does the title of that song mean? 'The terrain and the sand'? No... er, darn, I've forgotten...


"Science and science fiction have done a kind of dance over the last century... The scientists make a finding. It inspires science fiction writers to write about it, and a host of young people read the science fiction and are excited, and inspired to become scientists...which they do, which then feeds again into another generation of science fiction and science..."
- Carl Sagan, in his message to future explorers of Mars.