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Thread: Have I written myself into a corner?

  1. #1
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    Have I written myself into a corner?

    Not sure if this is the right place so feel free to move if not.

    Long story short: I love football (soccer for you across the pond). I also love writing (duh). I wanted to write a book about something I loved and something that has never been done before (to my knowledge - at least not done to death) and so I wrote a book about a gay footballer. Now I'm starting to think my book has no market.

    It's got too much football in for your average gay romance reader to put up with, and it's got too much gay stuff in for a heterosexual sports fan to read. Am I totally screwed? Or am I underestimating how much people are willing to read about stuff they don't know the ins-and-outs of (ie the football)?

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW cornflake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allmywires View Post
    Not sure if this is the right place so feel free to move if not.

    Long story short: I love football (soccer for you across the pond). I also love writing (duh). I wanted to write a book about something I loved and something that has never been done before (to my knowledge - at least not done to death) and so I wrote a book about a gay footballer. Now I'm starting to think my book has no market.

    It's got too much football in for your average gay romance reader to put up with, and it's got too much gay stuff in for a heterosexual sports fan to read. Am I totally screwed? Or am I underestimating how much people are willing to read about stuff they don't know the ins-and-outs of (ie the football)?
    I'd wager it's been done, though likely not done a ton.

    What you're underestimating is that people will read a good, well-written story, regardless of what it's about, kind of. Someone in a different thread mentioned Ender's Game.

    If I asked you if you thought a lot of people would be interested in reading about a first-grader playing video games to fight bugs, what would you say?

    It's also, just btw, been done with baseball - one of my fave books ever and I don't care about baseball or homosexuality on their own.

  3. #3
    X-Box Fancier sennydreadful's Avatar
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    I would be tempted to say don't worry about the market, just write what you love; chances are someone else will love it too.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornflake View Post
    It's also, just btw, been done with baseball - one of my fave books ever and I don't care about baseball or homosexuality on their own.
    Ooh, thanks ... might read that for a little research/comparison.

  5. #5
    Totally Ninja! quickWit's Avatar
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    Welcome to AW, allmywires!

    I'd say you've received pretty good advice from both cornflake and senny (Welcome to you too!). Don't worry about what's been done or who wants to read what. Write the story you need to tell as well as you possibly can. That's your job. All else is beside the point. As I said elsewhere recently...

    Write the turd, polish the turd, submit the turd.

    Learn it.
    Know it.
    Live it.

    Good luck!
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  6. #6
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    thanks quickWit. Got to have a bit more faith I suppose.

  7. #7
    υπείκωphobe Wilde_at_heart's Avatar
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    One could say the same thing about Indian girls playing footie but that didn't stop the writers of Bend it Like Beckham...

  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW cmi0616's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allmywires View Post
    Not sure if this is the right place so feel free to move if not.

    Long story short: I love football (soccer for you across the pond). I also love writing (duh). I wanted to write a book about something I loved and something that has never been done before (to my knowledge - at least not done to death) and so I wrote a book about a gay footballer. Now I'm starting to think my book has no market.

    It's got too much football in for your average gay romance reader to put up with, and it's got too much gay stuff in for a heterosexual sports fan to read. Am I totally screwed? Or am I underestimating how much people are willing to read about stuff they don't know the ins-and-outs of (ie the football)?
    I know that The Art of Fielding made the best seller list last year. One of the MC's was a gay college baseball player who has an affair with the Dean of his school.

    Secondly, is the final draft of the book written yet? It was unclear from your original post, but if that is not the case, focus first on the actual writing process. There is always a market for good writing.
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  9. #9
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    Yeah, it's written and redrafted, currently out at agencies at the moment. No luck so far, which is why I started the thread, really...wondering if it was my subject matter or not. I like to think it's good writing, but y'know, I'm blinded by my attachment to it. :p

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    Quote Originally Posted by allmywires View Post
    Yeah, it's written and redrafted, currently out at agencies at the moment. No luck so far, which is why I started the thread, really...wondering if it was my subject matter or not. I like to think it's good writing, but y'know, I'm blinded by my attachment to it. :p


    Sometimes you don't get accepted by agents, not because your book is not good, but because it's not the type of story that the agent likes. It's not their cup of tea. What you have to do is continue to query. I've known about books that are best sellers today that have gotten hundreds upon hundreds of rejections before going anywhere. You never give up after a couple of rejections. Somebody's going to pick it up one day. Don't worry too much about it if the agent doesn't take his or her time to explain to you why they rejected your book. The day that an agent has 2 minutes to sit down and explain to you what the problems in your manuscript are, that's when you ought to consider rewriting your book with a totally-different plot. Don't give up. There is hope. I would still be querying after 100 rejections. If you don't believe me ask Stephen King.

  11. #11
    Let's see what's on special today.. Bufty's Avatar
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    ...written and redrafted...and edited and polished till it shone and was the best it could possibly be?

    If so, just keep submitting it, and concentrate upon the next novel.

    Quote Originally Posted by allmywires View Post
    Yeah, it's written and redrafted, currently out at agencies at the moment. No luck so far, which is why I started the thread, really...wondering if it was my subject matter or not. I like to think it's good writing, but y'know, I'm blinded by my attachment to it. :p
    Everything yields to treatment.

  12. #12
    DenturePunk writer bearilou's Avatar
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    It'd be something I'd read.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bufty View Post
    ...written and redrafted...and edited and polished till it shone and was the best it could possibly be?

    If so, just keep submitting it, and concentrate upon the next novel.
    I'd also suggest get your posts up to 50 and put your query through QLH and let the squirrels have a go at it.

    Good luck!
    Quote Originally Posted by Phaeal View Post
    The first draft is a huge pile of clay that you've laboriously heaped on your table, patting it into a rough shape as you go along. From the second draft onward, you'll cut away chunks, add bits, pat and punch and pinch, until you finally have a gorgeous figure of, oh, Marcus Aurelius. Or a duck. But a damn fine duck.
    Quote Originally Posted by KTC View Post
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  13. #13
    practical experience, FTW Write_Askew's Avatar
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    Don't underestimate yourself or your plot. You're just fine. If you're really concerned about audience I suppose you could go check out the GLTBQ forum here, they might be able to help you out. (I can't remember its proper name at the moment...)

    Personally, I'm gay and I have a lot of gay friends. I love any novels that have a wonderful gay protagonist I can root for. I don't care if they're weaving baskets, living in ancient China or playing football. A good character and a good novel will transcend those things. It will make me care about football, because the character cares.

    I hope you have great success!

  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW Zach Lancer's Avatar
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    I think what you have to consider is exactly what kind of story you're telling on an emotional level, and build around that. If you can find the note that resonates with the audience, it doesn't matter what the actual setting is. I liked Brokeback Mountain, doesn't mean I'm interested in sheep herding as a subject. Of course it's a different story entirely if football is the subject and not the setting.
    "All my life my heart has yearned for a thing I cannot name"
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Write_Askew View Post
    Don't underestimate yourself or your plot. You're just fine. If you're really concerned about audience I suppose you could go check out the GLTBQ forum here, they might be able to help you out. (I can't remember its proper name at the moment...)

    Personally, I'm gay and I have a lot of gay friends. I love any novels that have a wonderful gay protagonist I can root for. I don't care if they're weaving baskets, living in ancient China or playing football. A good character and a good novel will transcend those things. It will make me care about football, because the character cares.

    I hope you have great success!
    I identified with this thread because I am writing an LGBTQ romance at the moment, and I'd like to show my support to the OP, let her know she's not alone and there are many of us who'd love to read her story. I love movies and novels about football players. Their life is interesting. Oh, and I love your avatar. That's beautiful.

  16. #16
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    Thanks again everyone, having a bit of a rubbish few days at the mo (exams) so nice to hear some kind words I will post some stuff when I get to fifty but don't want to seem like an eager noob spamming, so maybe a bit longer than that

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