Hope, adjusted but not dashed

I got a couple of requests for ‘fulls’—the full manuscript of a novel—from agents. Really exciting, because word has it that agents won’t ask for a full unless they’re interested.

Time passed. A week. Four weeks. Two months. Of course, I knew to expect that delay. Finally, a really nice rejection. Encouraging. Fine writing but just ‘not in our wheelhouse.’ (Apparently, many agents have somehow acquired tugboats.) But still, it was encouraging.

Then I read a newsletter from Lawrence Block, one of our preeminent mystery writers. Block noted:

“When a good agent sends you (a publisher) a manuscript and makes it clear he has high hopes for it, you don’t tell him it’s crap. You say it’s not quite for us. You insist you think very highly of the writing and the writer, but cite the book’s problems of theme and content. You give it high marks for artistry while faulting it for being insufficiently commercial. And you might even say what publishers in your position have been saying for upwards of thirty years: Gosh, five years ago we would have jumped at this, but the way the business has changed—” Lawrence Block, writing in Mystery Fanfare

Yeech. Well, there are still a couple of fulls out there. Hope springs eternal, but more  queries seem to be the order of the day.

The Cloud … and a Resource

Ahh, the Cloud.  You know, all thCloudsat data that’s searchable, that enables creativity to flourish.  That brings transparency to politics everywhere.  That data that allows ads for Minnesota ear-muff hats to pop up in the Huffington Post when it’s 30 below outside.  That cloud.

Not to be a curmudgeon, but it seems to me that the amount of IMPORTANT data is growing at a fairly regular rate.  Higgs boson, sure.  Good music, sure.  But that other stuff … the miasma of misleading ads, multiple sources contending for each and every niche … that’s growing exponentially.

I don’t know about you, but the Internet is both an irresistible source and a frustration for me as a writer.  There’s so much out there, and so much dreck obscuring the good stuff.  As a result of trying to sift through some of it, I have put up a page, Resources, that lists out what I use.  If you would like a more readable spreadsheet, contact me.  If you can add to it, contact me.