Thoughts on writing to order

I had an email today from an agent I'd submitted my science fiction novel Against the Fall of Empire to last year. The email was a rejection but one of the kindest ones I've ever seen. I'm not going to mention her name but I am going to quote from the email. Here's one sentence.

 - I really enjoyed the first three chapters of your novel AGAINST THE FALL OF THE EMPIRE. I thought this was imaginative, well-written, gripping with strong and original characters.

Sounds promising doesn't it? She said something similar (quoting character names about my horror novel (Mr. Stinky) when I submitted that to her earlier. The email (today's) continues by telling me I have chosen to write novels in two of the hardest genres to sell today. Just my luck eh? Well I wrote the ideas that came to me.

The email did contain something that was hopeful. She mentioned that the market is looking for fantasy. Well I might just have a YA fantasy out these in the Patternmaker's Daughter and I might have already sent it in to this agent. (I'd done it last month thinking the sub I'd sent for Against was dead). If she likes my writing and wants fantasy then I guess I have a chance.

Time to be patient.

And while I'm bring patient maybe it is time to rethink my priorities. I have mentioned in a previous blog posting that I don't think I could write something just because I thought it might sell. However what I can do is go through the ideas I have in my notebooks and see what I have in them that might fit the market place. I'm writing to be published after all so why not give myself the best chance.

I know I've mooted this before but I am beginning to think I actually have a chance at this novel writing thing (given some of the comments I've been receiving and the seven requests for a full manuscript now). Maximising it is worth doing, I think.


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