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Old 11-09-2012, 02:29 AM   #1
c.e.lawson
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What To Write Next?

I've recently begun my first try at querying a novel. Been doing it slowly and learning a lot along the way. I know the sage advice is to immediately begin writing the next book, but I first had to catch up on work-related education that I had put off while finishing my novel. Now that's done, and I should be writing, yet I can't decide what to write next.

Ideally, I'd want to stay in my ancient Sparta and "build a brand", so to speak, though I don't plan on an actual series at this point. I love writing in that time/place. But I'm afraid to spend so much time on a new book set in the same time/culture of my current one, if this one doesn't garner me an agent. (Writing historical fiction takes me a long time, because of all the research involved.) The agents who have been interested off the query (4/11 queried) are all from top agencies, so I at least know the concept seems marketable to them or they wouldn't have requested pages. Another part of me is tempted to write a completely different sort of book (contemporary romance with a bit of magic). That would be far from my ancient historical women's fiction which has a more serious tone, and it might not even be appealing to whomever might want to rep my current story, if that happens. But who knows - that sort of story could be my niche.

Any advice?
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:38 AM   #2
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If you go with something completely different and an agent picks up on it, you could be stuck writing in that genre for several books. Make sure you are happy to work in that genre and its not a one-off.
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:25 AM   #3
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Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Since this is posted in Ask the Agent: Make sure the agent you get reps all genres you want to write. That will limit who you can query, but it may save you heartache later on.

But if this is really about brainstorming: Write what you want to write most. But then, I'm in the same "what shall I write next" dilemma (but different genres), so salt to taste.

Blessings,

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Old 11-10-2012, 08:58 PM   #4
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Thanks, waylander - I just read an article from Gaelen Foley's blog under Writing, that says pretty much what you just said (along with some other good advice for those of us starting out). Link: http://networkedblogs.com/EyIGO

I think I will finish my outline for my next Sparta novel.

Hi Siri Kirpal - Thank you. And I hope you decide on something soon. I get antsy when I'm not writing, so this has not been fun for me.

c.e.
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:14 AM   #5
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c.e nice to see you and good luck with those queries.

I spent two years writing that one, you know the one, then I was torn about what to write and didn't write anything for about four months until I was inspired by a painting and ended up writing something set in the sixties with a duel time period of the 80s - both women's fiction, both got agent reads. They are nothing alike.

Actually beta readers that liked the first one, don't like the second one and vice versa, but I don't think it was personally a mistake to try a different period.

Go with your heart on what you want to write.
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:59 AM   #6
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Cooeeeee!!! How've you been, girl? Nice to see you too!

Maybe I'm waiting for inspiration. Though I have an idea for both stories, I haven't been able to work out the main plot points for either of them, even when I sit and mull, or drive and mull, or shower and mull, or do the dishes and mull. Where oh where is my battle-scarred manly muse when I need him?
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:06 AM   #7
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Well, I am

Yeah, I suffered from inspiration and really missed my main MCs, but I found I wanted to explore something a little darker. I think I will return to the other time period as soon as I finish rewrites on the last one though.
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:10 AM   #8
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I think it is a tricky thing. If you gain readers under one genre, they may not read another genre, which isn't probably the best plan for success.

But at this stage I don't have any fiction credits, so I feel free to explore whatever interests me and maybe after a few books I'll fall into a pattern of a particular genre. God knows.
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Last edited by cooeedownunder; 11-11-2012 at 05:12 AM. Reason: I need to spell correctly and delete words that shouldn't be there :D
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c.e.lawson View Post
Thanks, waylander - I just read an article from Gaelen Foley's blog under Writing, that says pretty much what you just said (along with some other good advice for those of us starting out). Link: http://networkedblogs.com/EyIGO

I think I will finish my outline for my next Sparta novel.
Just keep in mind that Foley's post applies primarily to genre fiction, specifically romances. If you see series potential in the Sparta story, then that may work for you. But writing historical women's fiction probably also allows you broader range (such as historical in other eras or women's fiction that's contemporary or crossover), whereas contemporary romance probably works best if you commit yourself to writing multiple books in that genre, perhaps set within the same setting or with some of the same characters.

Ultimately, I agree that you should pick what you enjoy writing more. And it certainly doesn't hurt to jot down notes in a file for other story ideas just to keep them in your pocket.
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