Thursday, April 23, 2009

Calling All Agents

As I mentioned in an earlier post I am looking for an agent. I was so enthusiastic after The Sureshot was published with relative ease that I thought I had my writing career moving. While I still think that is true, I am faced with a few new realities. The first is the real possibility that my book is not as good as I think it is. This is hard to swallow, but I am comforted knowing that it is my first work and I am young enough to polish my writing to hopefully reach a level more impressive. The second is that the world of literature is much tougher to succeed in than I thought. It seems it is not enough to write well. You need to write well, find an agent who agrees that you write well, then improve the work you already spent hours on, then your agent has to convince a publisher that you write well. Then, I think, you have made it as a write, but to be honest I am not sure yet. I definitely should not have sailed this ship with a wife and three kids aboard. As it is however the ship has sailed and I do not want to turn back yet. So I am looking for an agent. I really need an agent because I don't know what I am doing when it comes to publishers. I need an editor. I need a book deal so I can invest more time into writing. I am torn however because I do not want to settle for any agent but really want to find one who knows what the heck they are doing. I signed up for "the Writer's Market" again so I can search lists of agents and find their contact information. This is helpful, but realistically there are only about 10 to 20 agents that I think could represent me. What is they don't think my manuscript is worthwhile? Should I give up? I don't know if I can. I know that so far this has largely been a poorly rewarded use of time, but I love it anyways. (Sigh) If only I could be compensated for loving something. So…know a good agent?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Why Fantasy?

I am in the process of finding an agent if one is willing. It is a laborious and slow process full of frustration and disappointment. All that and I have only been rejected by one agent thus far. I am not looking forward to doing this for long and I pray that I will find the one right for me soon. In this process however I was forced to reflect on my manuscript. One agency I scouted had an interesting page of information about why it is that they choose to represent writers. Their words were strong (in more ways than one), but made me think about my own work. I reflected on The Sureshot. Firstly I rethought (as I have a thousand times) whether it is a worthwhile piece. I still think it is. Then I thought about why I chose to write fantasy. Was it because I was young and into Dungeons and Dragons? Was I influenced by movies I watched? Was it because of some unfulfilled need deep inside me? Or was it something else? In the end, I think that fantasy offers the writer and the reader something that is hard to find in regular fiction. I believe that fantasy allows for the fantastic (hence the name). It is not constrained by reality. In fiction there is always a challenge making something believable. I read Kite Runner and although I thoroughly enjoyed the book, I was a little suspicious of the events leading to the climax of the book as they spiraled into an ever more elaborate tale. While it is natural that odd or unusual stories make up the bulk of fiction, sometimes it seems to go too far. In fantasy it is a challenge to go too far. It is possible mind you, but when you are not limited by human constraints or natural laws, anything is feasible. That is what I love about fantasy. What I don't love about much of the genre is the lack of humanity. I believe that fantasy needs to be human at its core. Good fantasy says something about mankind at its core. That is what I want to accomplish in my writing. My first goal was to make The Sureshot interesting, the second was to help the reader to identify with Durbar (the main character). It was not enough for me to entertain—I want to make a statement, or at least an observation. That is what I believe about fantasy, and that is why I write in the genre. What I need to do is show agents and then publishers that I am capable of this, and I am sure that they will find it worthwhile to work with me.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Going Down

Another poem. I would love to have something else to post right now, but aside from spending a lot of time shuttling my kids around and trying to get a few things of the Honey-Do list, I have been writing a novella for use in my World History Class. So...another poem...

A soft sweet rain falls on my face,
I never want to leave this tranquil place,
A breeze blows coolly through my shirt,
My damp pants are covered with dark dirt,
The sky is lifeless with gray clouds,
My bones cleaned eagerly by cows.

Sunk deeply in the thick clinging mud,
My salty tears form a small puddle
On my cheek, roots entangle my body
Turning my skin to a fine light sod;
Not yet! I climb from my hole,
You will never get to take my soul.
Too hell you will be sent to burn,
And sit there you will for eternity,
Giant rocks weigh you down,
A fate fitting for a social clown,
Still I walk amongst the living.
I will never go down without fighting.