Are you wondering whether or not you should send out query letters in December? After all, if this is a busy holiday time for the average person, it is just as busy for agents. This means that they are feeling as stressed, frazzled, and exhausted as the rest of us–and that may not be the best frame of mind for a potential agent who is deciding your future. Then again, maybe your would-be agent is not feeling harried at all because the agency is closed for the holidays. What does this mean for you and your manuscript?
Does the holiday spirit extend to writers and agents?
What seems like a lifetime ago, after I finished writing my first novel, I drove to a neighboring city to buy a manuscript box, fussed with the papers, folders, and labels, then took my precious package to the post office, where I was provided with a dilapidated old box that looked like it had been hauled out of a dumpster.
Believe me when I say that I am so grateful for the advances in technology! Gone are the days of callused fingers, ink smears, and snail mail. However, we now have a new litany of concerns and precautions. Whether you are writing a dissertation, a novel, a science article, or a college essay, you’re likely spending a lot of time at the computer. If you are a willing slave to technology, as I am, take some simple steps to ensure that you receive all of the benefits and none of the drawbacks.
Even the most comfortable positions can do more harm than good.
The relationship between a writer and an editor is precious; you are trusting us with your thoughts, ideas, and creative style. You are counting on us to find the missteps, improve the structure, and offer a solid evaluation. As with any relationship, incorrect assumptions–from the writer or the editor–can result in disappointment at best, and catastrophe at worst. In contrast, knowing the expectations can lead to a smooth, advantageous relationship.
The right expectations can lead to a satisfying relationship.
Commas: we either love them or hate them. Unfortunately, comma use is not a ‘take it or leave it’ issue. Although some people would love to litter their sentences incessantly with commas and others would love to never see a comma again, accurate writers do not usually have the luxury of choice. Commas serve specific purposes; to disregard those grammatical purposes for the pleasure of our personal desires only invites confusion.
The comma battle–it doesn’t have to be like this!
It’s a new year, and what has 2012 taught us?
My first takeaway is that it’s time to jump onboard the YA train.
It seems that everywhere you turn, authors are transforming first-novel successes into full-blown, billion dollar series that become movie franchises with video game options. And it is not hard to see why: although few adolescent adults are keen to read adult fiction, a horde of adults eagerly anticipate installments of the latest Young Adult (YA) fiction along with their young counterparts. According to a Bowker Market Research study , over half of all YA sales were courtesy of adults. The market for YA is large and growing larger, as among printed trade books, the gains in 2012 were entirely due to YA sales .
From a business standpoint, a larger market means more opportunity for authors. But even if you’re not in it for the money or the glory, YA fiction can be extremely rewarding—and not just because it is fun to write. In what other genre is there such an opportunity to change lives?
But how does one go about reaching this volatile and demanding group of readers? Well, here are some tips for how to write a great YA novel.