Tags: agents, always read the fae print, dagmar, heirs, ideas, stranger, the hands of cally wu
While I’m aware that I have some very legitimate attention span problems, I’m sure this dilemma is one that every author in the world is familiar with: what the heck do I work on next?
In my case, I have several novel-length projects clamoring for my attention Right! This! Instant! Normally, I would simply finish one project (in this case, Heirs) and then figure out what needs to happen next, but this post by Rachel Aaron made me want to take a step back and consider my options.
- Heirs: This draft is about 20k away from being done, and I hate leaving projects unfinished. It’s the first in a YA urban fantasy trilogy, and I think the different perspective of the MC – he was forced out of the demon-slaying biz after he became deaf but desperately wants back in – might just pique agents’ attention. Plus, trilogies are hot. Which leads me to…
- Yunupaya. Or Stranger. Or the half-dozen other crappy titles I came up with for this as-of-yet-unwritten YA sci-fi trilogy which I’ve been playing with for over a year. I’m super excited about it; I think it hits a good mix of original and commercial. This was supposed to be the project I’d start on after Heirs.
- The Newest and Shiniest of All Projects: This one only popped into my head this week, and it’s taking over the neighborhood. I can’t say too much about it yet, but it’s a standalone YA paranormal/fantasy which is a bit more real-world-based than most of my other fantasy projects. It’s also currently bouncing up and down going “I’m THE ONE! WRITE ME. WRITE ME NOW.” Every book does that in the beginning… but every time it feels right. And I really think this could garner a lot of interest.
- The Hands of Cally Wu: Did I mention I hate leaving projects unfinished? I was supposed to edit this in November. I, uh, didn’t. Basically, I do really love this book and want to mold it into something better than the pathetic excuse of a first draft it is now… but it’s not my regular genre/style, and I worry that I’d be wasting time I could be spending on other books that are in my genre, which would be more useful to my career in both the short and long term.
- Always Read the Fae Print. Yes, okay, so I just turned down an agent offer. Yes, I’ve queried more agents with this than I care to admit. Yes, I’d pretty much given up on this book… but I really think it could work as a YA. I’ve had that thought for months and months. It means rewriting the whole darned thing, but it’d open up a lot of other avenues. I don’t want to rework a project to death; I know how important it is to move on to the next book. At the same time, there’s life in this project, and I don’t want to give up if it still has a chance.
As you might’ve noticed, I’m trying to take a very objective, commercial view of these projects. Let’s be honest here, my current number one priority is getting an agent.
I’m not selling out: whatever choice I’ll make, I’ll be writing a book that I love and want to write. It’s just that, well, this one is more commercial, and that one’s more interesting, and this one is so close to being done, and this one is more in my regular style, and this one could be The One but it’s kinda different from what I usually write so what if people wouldn’t like my regular work…
… Yeah, this is why getting an agent is so important to me. I always struggle to know what the best course of action is, and it would be such a huge help to have someone else to discuss that with.
Basically, I need a goal. I don’t work well without one. And right now, I’m floundering.
So how do you decide what to work on next? If you’ve got any pointers, I’m all ears!